Volume 92, Issue 64
Thursday, January 21, 1999
Stating the success of the city's year
HOW 'BOUT AN ORDER OF STATE OF THE CITY, HOLD THE IMPEACHMENT. London Mayor Dianne Haskett spoke to the city's business community and a few councillors yesterday about last year's successes. She didn't, however, have much to say about Western.
By Mark Brown
Mayor Dianne Haskett delivered a glowing report on the City of London over breakfast yesterday morning to a packed hall of members of the London business community.
The event, held at the Royal Host Hotel, was the mayor's annual State of the City address organized by the London Chamber of Commerce.
Haskett talked about many of the economic developments in London in 1998 and told the audience how city council plans to build on those successes in 1999.
Although Haskett's speech was almost an endless listing of success stories, she remarked she could have added more to her speech. "Time has not permitted the inclusion of all the success stories."
Some of the main items highlighted by the mayor were the revitalization of the downtown core, celebration of the 125th anniversary of Old East London and the continuing work on the Wellington Gateway.
Except for a reference to research, Haskett made little mention to the role she foresees the university as having in the city in 1999.
"Various partner groups, including the hospitals, university and London research institutes must unite and lobby intensely for greater opportunities in research and development, fully realizing the economic impact, including jobs, that these will generate," she said.
Overall, Haskett's speech was received well, although only a handful of councillors were present to support the mayor.
Rob Alder, councillor for Ward 2, said he noticed the small turnout of councillors but explained some have other responsibilities to attend to. He added he was glad he was there.
"I think she covered a lot of territory," Alder said.
He stressed the importance of the university to the community since it is one of the largest employers in London. "It is something that happens each year and was not specific to 1998," he said.
The mayor agreed. "I feel we already have a good partnership with the university," Haskett said.
Joe Swan, another councillor from Ward 2 who did not attend yesterday's event, was a little more critical of the mayor's speech. "I've heard the speech before," Swan said.
Swan did agree city council has worked hard in the past year, but he believes there are a number of important issues to be addressed. "I think what you heard was all the good news messages."
Ian Armour, president of the University Students' Council, said he was glad he attended the event. "We were a little bit disappointed that there wasn't any reference to what the university has done this year."
Armour added he believes the university's relationship with the city is a positive one.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999