Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


NEWS

Report gets council's consent

Cigarette warning labels get graphic

Millennium money worries student group

Hockey funds score harsh critique

Mayor gives positive prognosis

Networks gain $13 million from feds

The flu blues

Briefs

Bass Ackwards

Mayor gives positive prognosis



By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

London Mayor Dianne Haskett gave the city a sunny economic forecast Wednesday, at her annual state-of-the-city address.

Haskett focused much of her speech on London's current drive to economic success in the downtown core and the city's future on the cusp of a third millennium.

The key to London's future lies in fostering a pro-business attitude, Haskett said, citing various plans the City has undertaken to bring financial sunshine to London's ailing downtown core. The Convent Garden Market, plans for a new arena and the Main Street Committee, a group challenged with the task of re-vitalizing the area, were examples of this commitment, she said.

"I think the members of this community seem to agree the year 2000 is meant to be a year where we become more aggressive," she said.

Lindsey Elwood, chair of the London Downtown Business Association, said Haskett was very accurate with her visions for the city. "I think she was right on with her assessments," he said, adding the LDBA's Main Street working committee was well under way towards identifying projects the downtown core would see later this year. "They're preparing budgets as we speak," he said.

Haskett explained a strong core of businesses in the area would bode well for economic prospects throughout the rest of London. The City's current triple-A credit rating from investors was also a solid foundation from which to work.

Don McCallum, vice-president of communications for London's Chamber of Commerce, said he was pleased with Haskett's leadership. "In the beginning [of her first term] she wasn't working with the businesses, but now she is," he said, adding new landmarks such as the Covent Garden Market and the downtown arena were evidence of her co-operation with business. "Those are things we need," McCallum said.

Haskett re-iterated her intention not to run for office in the fall mayoral election, but was more than satisfied with the work she had done to date. "I'm extremely pleased with the positive feedback I've received," she said.


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