Not much insight from [Sudbury] community leaders – by Karen Pappin (Sudbury Star Letter to the Editor – January 12, 2012)

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

Re: “Community leaders share hopes for 2012” — Dec. 31.

Reading the story, I anticipated some insight or vision. The mayor sees environmental knowledge as an economic generator because she has spoken to many international mining interests from around the world.

Former mayor Jim Gordon continues to wail about youth out-migration. It is no longer a worthwhile conversation after some 25 years and still no solution after many studies.

The first study, which I facilitated about 20 years ago for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, stated that youths leave for many reasons, not just jobs. They will return for a job when it kicks into their 30- something heads, as they become parents themselves and begin to think that perhaps it would be nice to raise their kids in an environment similar to what they grew up in.

We all wanted out from where we were raised. In fact, similar studies addressing youth out-migration have determined that, for example, kids from Toronto want to move to Boston or Chicago or Auckland, New Zealand. Youth out-migration is a dead horse. It happens. Some go; some don’t.

Prof. David Robinson mostly repeated what we all know — that mining research and innovation is the future of mining stability on a globally competitive basis. He further challenges the municipality to change the tax system. This is a provincial matter. Yes, the municipality can advocate for a change, but then it would have to be visionary in conceiving ways to spend with less money, because the population and business investment isn’t growing fast enough to keep up with the spending.

Stan Sudol makes sense. He suggests consolidation of mining education and research from other Ontario universities to Laurentian. I have been thinking similar thoughts for a while now, after witnessing for six years how universities work and spend our tax dollars.

A specialization initiative with higher education makes sense.

The mayor should itemize all the environmental opportunities she refers to and then make a priority list. Once the list is done, see if anyone else is doing this. If yes, call them and negotiate to become a partner. If no, generate a feasibility study and a business plan. Then tell the community the facts about environmental economic engines.

Manufacturing is over, as Robinson said. The new manufacturing will be specialized and conducive to an area for particular reasons (e. g. manufacturing surgical equipment from nickel extracted from the ground in Sudbury).

Stan Sudol, do you want to move to Sudbury?

Karen Pappin

Greater Sudbury

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