Here are some snapshots from a busy month or two that really paint a wonderful picture of the Spirit of Windsor – which remains strong.
Starting off with a Saturday morning visit with grade school students at Polish School to talk about City Hall and local government. Like many immigrants, I too attended Saturday morning classes to learn about the language, history and culture that forms part of my heritage.
The students didn’t know I was coming, which made the hour long Q&A so impressive because the questions were really, really well informed and pretty tough! Also, I really think they nailed the silly selfie!
I also had a great time at the Windsor 180 conference – which brought hundreds of young people ages 18-34 together to connect and engage our City to make it great!
What better way to spark a revitalization than to be present at the launch of a technology incubator right in the downtown. It’s a small but symbolic endeavour that brings together a publicly funded non-profit and a private entrepreneur in a very innovative public-private partnership that we’d like to see more of in our City.
Of course, diversification is so important! Which is why we were proud to bring Hacking Health Windsor Detroit to our region – the first ever cross-border Hacking Health in the world that teamed up 250 doctors, nurses and programmers to dream up, design and build mobile applications for the health care sector. Over 30 partners were involved including 6 major hospitals and 6 major universities from both sides of the border. Diversification. Cross-border Collaboration. Economic Development. Here’s a photo with the Senior Trade Commissioner for the Consulate General of Canada in Detroit.
And here is another great photo that really captures the collaboration of a Hacking Health. Check out the quote on the wall!
Cross-border collaboration is so key to our economic development and also key to protecting our quality of life through environmental sustainability. That is why it was important for me to participate in the 11th Annual General Meeting of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) – a truly cross-border collaboration of 120 mayors and local governments around the Great Lakes basin that balances economic and environmental concerns. I registered for this conference as a Windsor City Councillor but was happy to travel on my own dime as I feel very strongly our City ought to be at the table of this important cross-border organization. Here is a photo of Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope addressing the audience after Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Diversification and cross-border collaboration is also the reason why I was excited to be present at the launch of the Cross-Border Life Sciences Hub – a partnership between Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital and the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation. Here’s Essex County Warden Tom Bain addressing the gathered.
The last month has not only emphasized cross-border initiatives, but also wonderful cross-cultural experiences such as celebrating Sikh Heritage Month in April at the Windsor Public Library.
In addition to great cross-cultural experiences, it was wonderful to take in the Battle of the Bands at St. Joseph’s High School where hundreds gathered to listen to grade school bands battle it out for City supremacy. Sounded fantastic!
We have some incredible youth in our City – but we also have some incredible volunteers across all ages whose commitment to our City really should be celebrated. That’s why it was an honour to attend a Volunteer and Staff Appreciation night for VON – our blue angels.
It’s not all fun and play. It was also time to get down to some serious business, which is why I was pleased with the turnout at our Banwell Road Environmental Assessment (EA) which put forward the blue print for a complete development of Banwell Road including the critical EC Row interchange.
What better way to cap off this month of cross-border and cross-cultural experiences than celebrating fireworks in front of the Spirit of Windsor – which is strong!