Candidates make their pitches for city council: Marianne Wilkinson, Kanata North

On Thursday, Aug. 28, OBJ issued an open invitation to all candidates in the upcoming municipal election to answer one simple question: Why should the business community vote for you?

As the responses come in, one will be published online each day, and be included in our daily email newsletter. Send your response to editor@obj.ca.

Today’s response is from Kanata North incumbent, Marianne Wilkinson.

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Working with the business community has been a priority for me throughout my times on municipal councils. My accomplishments include:

• Establishing the first municipal business park that was the start of the Kanata North Business Park;

• Chair of the Ottawa Talent Initiative formed in 2003 to assist Tech Workers laid off during the Tech Downturn;

• Member of the committee that recommended the present business development policy for the City of Ottawa including establishing Invest Ottawa;

• Working with business leaders to establish the Kanata North BIA which supports tech companies as well as retail and support businesses and actively serving on the Board of Directors;

• Consistent and reliable engagement with individual businesses on issues such as bus service, getting municipal approvals such as for the new Blackberry Building and supporting efforts to do business with the City.

• I am committed to representing the interests of businesses in Kanata at City Hall. Their success is Kanata’s success and an important part of Ottawa’s economic development strategy.

Moving forward there is still much work to be done to ensure our business community continues to flourish.

The last year we have seen some exciting announcements and growth in our Business community.

With these announcements come challenges – that I am committed to seeing through.

Whether it’s working with Cisco to ensure new jobs come to Kanata, not Waterloo, or working with Sanmina to ensure their new building gets built on time so those 450 jobs stay in Kanata or supporting Nordion by finding a location for a new public school some distance from their operations and supporting the move of Ciena from the Nortel Campus.

I am dedicated to making sure our business community is first rate. We are incredibly fortunate to have over 22,000 jobs in the Kanata North Business Park along with thousands more in other parts of the Ward so that residents of Kanata – can live and work in their community.

This was the vision for Kanata when it was founded and an objective that I have worked to achieve, against many obstacles, for decades.

We have an incredible urban area because it is a complete satellite centre, and I will continue to work with the BIA and local businesses to keep existing employment levels – and to create new jobs and opportunities in our community.

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Aug. 29 - Katherine Hobbs, incumbent, Kitchissippi

Sept. 2 - Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi

Sept. 3 - Marc Aubin, Rideau-Vanier

Sept. 4 - Thomas McVeigh, Somerset

Sept. 5 - Cam Holmstorm, Rideau-Rockcliffe

Sept. 8 - Catherine McKenney, Somerset

Sept. 9 - Mathieu Fleury, incumbent, Rideau-Vanier

Sept. 11 - Jeff Morrison, Somerset