There has been a lot of discussion about the City’s Amazon bid since Councillors Shoemaker and Grandinetti’s #AmazonNorth motion received the endorsement and support of City Council. As most are likely aware, the submission was developed by the City working with the EDC and SSMIC and it has now been submitted. There is a cool website which you can visit here https://amazonnorth.ca (we need to recognize Jeff Greco and the team at Cavera for putting together such a great website).

Quite aside of whether or not we are considered further, there are a number of takeaways from this effort that I believe are worth reflecting on and I want to focus on these:

1. Teamwork:  Everyone involved in this process and the community at large can be proud of the bid document that was submitted. It came together quickly, was very well done and the result of the City, the EDC and SSMIC all rowing in the same direction. As I noted above, we had some private sector assistance with the website that was exceptional. This is a good showcase of what the City and its partners can do when they work together.

2. Positivity:  One of the great outcomes from this bid is the conversations that it has created. There was, as with most things, an opposing perspective that suggested we shouldn’t have spent the time or effort. However, it appeared to me that perspective became the smaller part of a larger conversation that grew around why we should have submitted a bid and that conversation was rooted in a lot of positive comments about our community and our potential. We have a lot to be proud of here in Sault Ste. Marie. We live in a tremendous community of strong people and a rich history that is an epicenter of political and environmental stability. There are a lot of great reasons why people would want to live here and companies should want to locate here and we need to make a more concerted effort to talk about that and celebrate it.

3. Effort: It is easier to make a case why #AmazonNorth won’t happen then it is to make the case why it could but that did not deter Councillor Shoemaker and the committee from making the case and making it very well. We should recognize and applaud this effort because, as a community, we have to be willing to make the more challenging case and take on what may appear to be out-sized tasks. Hitting singles and doubles is important but so is swinging for the fence. We can do both and there is no good reason why we shouldn’t.

Special thank you to Councillors Shoemaker and Grandinetti for drafting the motion and to them and Councillor Myers for assisting City, EDC and SSMIC staff on developing the bid package. Job well done. Let’s keep at it. Stay together as a team, be positive and swing for the fences once in a while. We won’t lose if we do.