/EOWC will work with province on recovery warden says

EOWC will work with province on recovery warden says

By Chad Ingram

While professional projections for COVID-19’s impact on the economy of eastern Ontario are dire, Haliburton County Warden Liz Danielsen notes that eastern Ontario has fared better proportionally than other regions of the province, and says the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus will work with the provincial government on a strategy for economic recovery.
As previously reported, consulting firm Limestone Analytics has estimated
the economic impact of the pandemic to eastern Ontario was $3 billion in
losses as of the beginning of June, and that by the end of 2020, projects that figure will be between $6.8 and $8.1 billion, dependent largely on how well the tourism sector is able to recover.
“The work done by Limestone Analytics for the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council (which works in partnership with the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus and other groups) does paint a rather dire economic picture for eastern Ontario,” Danielsen said in an email to the Times. “The data provided offers a number of scenarios from an optimistic outcome down to an actual failure to recover, something we will work to ensure does not
happen. However, despite everyone in the county feeling the painful impact of the pandemic, it is somewhat heartening to learn that in many sectors of the economy Haliburton has fared much better than other areas of Eastern Ontario. In addition, the impact on GDP per household is less in Haliburton than the rest of eastern Ontario. In fact, on average Eastern Ontario has not been hit as hard as other areas of the province where industry and manufacturing play a larger part of the economy. Unfortunately, the travel and tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit, along with the wholesale and retail trade and construction industries, all of which are key to our economic success.”
Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Lisa McLeod visited the county earlier this month, and Danielsen said the EOWC, of which she is a member, will continue to work with the province.
“The EOWC is committed to working closely with the province on steps for economic recovery from COVID-19 and the study will definitely help to guide discussions that will take place between the EOWC and the province
as we move forward,” she said. “It will also help tremendously to inform the future direction of economic development practitioners and decision makers in the region.”
While the task of economic development was moved from the county level to its four lower-tier townships nearly a decade ago, Danielsen noted there have been some recent discussions around the county council table about bringing economic development work back to the upper-tier level.