Co-Chair Of Our Economic Development Corporation Supports Outsourcing
In a shocking move, Roy Ellis (pictured to the left of Mayor Gord McKay), the co-chair of the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe (EDCNS) stood up at the OCPC (Ontario Civilian Policing Commission) hearing on August 20th 2015, and after introducing himself as a resident, then as the co-chair of the EDCNS and then also as spokesperson for MidlandCommunity.ca , went on to endorse the Police Service Board’s recommendation that policing dispatch be outsourced to the Owen Sound Police Service.
Mr. Ellis could have simply presented himself as a citizen and taxpayer, but for some reason he felt compelled to add his positions on these two organizations to his credentials and then proceed to offer his opinion to those present as well as directly to the two OCPC hearing adjudicators.
It was hard to conceive that a senior member of our fledgling Economic Development Corporation could not only stand there and endorse the loss of eight well-paid jobs, but endorsed the migration of hundreds of thousands of our local tax dollars to another community and the service reductions to our community that offset those losses.
Furthermore, the loss of those jobs and no offer of employment by Owen Sound meant that those employees would be paid severance (some very large sums) and then likely have to move out of the community to seek employment in their trade, taking their skills, taxes, disposable income, housing and all other financial and personal business out of the community. It should be noted, that this change officially took place last week.
His stated position on the outsourcing and job losses is incompatible with the core principles of our taxpayer-funded EDCNS and an insult to the community as a whole. Clearly, his position is influenced by his community group’s mission and puts him in a direct conflict-of-interest.
What is going on here? Is the Economic Development Corporation endorsing the loss of local good paying jobs and industries in favour of new lower-paying jobs in industries that don’t even exist here yet?
On the EDCNS website, one of their stated roles is “Collaborate on talent attraction, retention and workforce development strategies being led by others” and to “Support business retention efforts”. In the mission, they include “Develop and implement strategies that provide programs and services for the purpose of broadening the employment base in North Simcoe”. It appears they are failing in that mission with their co-chair’s position.
Our research concludes that Mr. Ellis is also a principle financier of Midland’s own ShopMidland (or ShopCity), an organization that has blossomed with the influx of cash and whose sole reason for existence is to promote shopping locally. We support that initiative wholeheartedly, but…
Mr Ellis and the EDCNS cannot have it both ways. Either they support shopping locally, or they don’t. They either commit to keeping our valuable jobs, tax dollars and resources in the community or they don’t. They either want to maintain and nurture the valuable resources we already have or they want to discard those, find cheaper, newer ventures and then come asking for funding to help those settle here.
This all seems so ridiculous we would have had a hard time believing it except for the fact that a credible member of this group was at that meeting and heard this deputation himself.
We welcome a response from the EDCNS to learn how the publicly expressed opinions of their co-chair are compatible with his position on their board and how the EDCNS could possibly justify a public stance supporting local job losses and outsourcing valuable services.
We will publish any responses we receive from them.