For Immediate Release
Monday, May 27, 2019
Check Against Delivery

Mayor Crombie delivered the following keynote address at the Toronto Region Board of Trade, announcing the creation of  the Southern Ontario Mayor & Chair’s Council on Aerospace.”

“Good morning everyone, what an inspiring message from Minister Garneau!

It’s great to be joining you this morning for the SOAN Summit.

It’s rare that we have so many experts in our aviation industry, business leaders and politicians in one room to put our heads together and discuss how we can better partner to bring greater prosperity to Southern Ontario as a whole.

In Mississauga, we are very lucky to be home to Canada’s largest airport, Pearson International, and I’m sure you all feel the same about your respective airports.

Airports are hubs of connectivity; they not only connect people but goods and services to the world.

They help propel our economies forward and have become a major part of our identity as a city.

Look no further than Mississauga.

We create 27 jobs a day and are the second largest cluster of employment next to Toronto in the GTA.

I have no doubt that’s largely thanks to the fact that we are home to Canada’s busiest airport.

In fact, I have said on many occasions that Mississauga owes some of its economic success to Toronto Pearson and its ability to attract people and businesses from around the world.

In the next three decades, Southern Ontario is set to experience significant growth; we are one of the fastest growing regions in all of North America.

In the next 15 years, Southern Ontario’s population will grow by over 2 million, up to 15 million people… that’s more than the population of the entire province today.

I know it’s hard to believe, but we will be living in an even more digitally connected world.

In the coming years, we will see more than 1 million tonnes of cargo will flow through our airports, compared to 470,000 tonnes today.

Consumers have come to expect real-time, same day delivery, which means we need to find innovative ways to move cargo across the world fast and efficiently, including drone technology. In twenty years, Amazon Prime will be the norm, not the exception.

We are already starting to see some of that innovative thinking out of Waterloo Regional Airport…

They are partnering with Avidrone Aerospace to design and manufacture automated drones for package delivery out of their hanger space…

Passenger traffic will more than double to 110 million passengers, up from the nearly 50 million we have today.

And with that comes its fair share of opportunities…

More jobs, prosperity and investment to our region.

But also a fair share of challenges…

How will we ensure that we have the proper infrastructure in place to handle this increased demand?

What impact will increased cargo have on our roads and congestion? How will we mitigate this impact to ensure consumers are well-served and businesses remain competitive?

How will we move people across the Region and get them where they need to be, quickly, reliably, and sustainably?

Well, for starters we need to invest in building more transit. Not just for the GTA as it currently exists today, but for all of southwestern Ontario. From Windsor to Oshawa and all points in between.

When we are building transit, we need to think boldly and collaborate with our neighbours to make sure that as we build transit, service doesn’t stop at our borders…

Pearson is working to build a second major transit hub, “Union Station West,” that will better connect Mississauga throughout the GTA.

We are already taking steps in the right direction with the Mississauga MiWay Airport Express bus, UP Express and TTC connections…

We also need to start thinking differently, beyond just the growth and success of our airports, but the strength of the employment area surrounding them and how we can work together to advance the economic interests of our cities and our region.

Mississauga is proud to be home to the largest aerospace cluster in the country, over 345 companies, many of whom are global aviation giants including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Pratt and Whitney, Aversan and Air Canada…

And that’s largely due to the fact that we are home to Pearson Airport, a major employer in our city…

Nearly 50,000 people work at the airport…

But when you look at the area surrounding our airport, it’s the second-largest employment zone in the country and facilitates over 300,000 jobs in industries ranging from food and beverage, ICT and of course, aerospace…

For our part, the  City’s Economic Development Office has made investment attraction a priority and I look forward to working more closely with Howard and the GTAA to attract aerospace and non-aviation investment to Pearson and the surrounding area in the years to come, as no doubt my municipal counterparts are doing for their areas.

The potential to grow Southern Ontario network into the largest aerospace cluster in Canada is as great as it is exciting.

The spin-off effect for cities, particularly those with airports, is massive.

We are starting to see more collaboration between our airports, but we need more of it, more often. There is hidden economic value in working together. We must unlock this potential and be intentional in our collaboration.

Increasing demand for long haul international flights at Pearson creates opportunities for short haul service at other airports; for example, Fly GTA operates a service between Billy Bishop and Niagara airports. And Porter operates regional service from Billy Bishop including to the united states.

This is just one example but it speaks volumes about what can be achieved when we work together…

Now, I’m very excited to be here today to announce that Mayors and Chairs representing over 20 cities across Southern Ontario who are home to airports large and small…

Will be working together to strengthen our aerospace sector and ensure it continues to be a major driver of employment, innovation and productivity – more intentionally and more often.

The Southern Ontario Municipal Aerospace Council or SOMAC, and yes that’s another acronym for us to remember…

Will be a vehicle for member Mayors to showcase the scale and value of Southern Ontario’s aerospace sector and it’s airports to the economy…

In an effort to strengthen our supply chains so that we can more meaningfully compete on the world stage.

In our role as Mayors, we have a unique ability to bridge the gap and bring people together in one room who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get the job done.

On a day to day basis, we are asked to do a lot with a little, which happens to work in our advantage as negotiators when seeking funding from the provincial and federal level of governments.

And dare I say, from time to time we’ve even been known to help close a few business deals.

Our group will build on each other’s strengths whether that’s passenger travel, cargo, pilot training or small air crafts for the benefit of our shared economies.

And most importantly, we will be innovative in our approach to growing the aerospace sector in our region.

This is much bigger than bringing prosperity to our member airports…

It’s about pooling talent and resources to create integrated supply chains across our region that will allow us to create good local jobs and attract aviation giants from around the world.

This will require us to think differently, act differently and commit to breaking down some of the silos that are preventing us from reaching our true potential as a region.

When working to attract new investment to our region, we will promote each other’s strengths…

We will showcase the stories of aerospace companies in our cities who are working together on innovative research that is strengthening our local supply chains.

Companies like MHI Canada Aerospace in Mississauga, who has been working closely with Safran Landing Systems in Ajax and Curtiss Wright in Brampton along with Ryerson and Carleton Universities on a project for wing enhancement.

We will continue to foster innovation and support the next generation of leaders in the aerospace sector at the 7 post-secondary institutions across our region and we will encourage them to work more closely, with each other and with industry.

Look no further than Centennial College …

Their research department is working closely with Safran Landing Systems, a global leader in the design and manufacture of landing gear systems, and Burloak Technologies, a company with considerable expertise in metal 3D printing, on a project to redesign components of the Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft nose landing gear system.

Now, that’s cutting-edge…

We will work together to better move people and goods across Southern Ontario.

And last but not least, you can bet we will be down at Queen’s Park knocking on Minister Smith’s door touting the importance of our aerospace sector to the economy while of course, calling for investments…

In fact, Howard and I will be at the largest aerospace exhibition in the world, the Paris Airshow, next month to promote Southern Ontario as the place for global aerospace companies looking to invest.

And you can bet we plan on starting those very conversations with Minister Smith who I understand is planning on attending the Paris Airshow….

The opportunities for this new Council to work closely with SOAN, industry, business and government to strengthen our supply chain across the region and unlock global investment opportunities is limitless…

Only by breaking down silos and working together will we ensure that the aerospace sector in Southern Ontario not only thrives, but drives our province’s economy for generations to come.

Thank you.”

Media Contact:

Nicole McInerney