How will the city [Sudbury] capitalize on investment and growth? – by Brian MacLeod (Sudbury Star – June 23, 2012)

 The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Click Here For the Speech: City of Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk “State of the City Address”

Mayor Marianne Matichuk’s State of the City address this week was more of a review than a visionary speech. There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as it captures what’s important on her agenda. But the speech spent a lot of time explaining how mining is important to the city — in case you were wondering — and why Sudbury is important to the mining world.

All speeches make room for reflection, but they also need to generate excitement and show what will come of all that potential.

Some of that potential was there, in the speech, but the buzz just wasn’t galvanized for a city that is expected to move into an expansion phase that it hasn’t seen for years. The mayor’s speech was sprinkled with affirmation phrases: “Sudbury is the epicentre of Canada’s hard-rock mining sector”; “there is an incredible sense of energy and prosperity in the air”; “Sudbury is an island of prosperity”; “no one in this entire country can begrudge our community its moment in the sun.”

Fair enough, we’re about to head into a period that will see some $6.3 billion of mining investment over the next five years. We’ve had Hollywood movie stars visit and we may have more. We’re researching dark matter in the SNO Lab. Great.

So what’s next?

Well, you’ve heard most of it. Efforts to enact the least expensive parts of the Downtown Master Plan, possible expansion of gambling with a downtown casino — though the downtown location can expect to see fierce debate in the community — and a possible multi-use convention centre, also downtown. And there’s focus on using the CP Rail lands to develop an innovation and technology park, which is part of the master plan.

There’s a possible proposal to pitch the city’s old roasting beds as a world-heritage UNESCO designation, focusing on the city’s re-greening efforts. That would put the roasting beds in league with medieval monuments in Kosovo, Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park and the Rideau Canal. It will be interesting to watch this unfold.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: