The Leduc-Nisku EDAtorial
Leduc Blog
The Metro Mayors Alliance and Regional Collaboration
June 30, 2016
Barbara McKenzie
In the world of municipal government and economic development the focus has always been on how to grow the industrial tax base of a community. In the past this has caused competition among communities in the same jurisdiction for the same pieces of business.

Recently, the group of nine mayors of the municipalities in the Edmonton Capital Region that make up 95 per cent of the population created the Metro Mayors Alliance and commissioned a report to consider how the Edmonton region could be globally competitive.

The report was released in early June and concluded that working collaboratively to build on our strengths would enable us to be globally competitive. In the economic development area this means working together rather than competing to attract business and understand that what is good for one community is good for all of us.

What does that mean for the Leduc region? We already have a strong, regional economic development body, now we need to leverage its power and find efficiencies in the system so we can collaborate more effectively and leverage each community’s unique assets and position in the region.

Leduc County and the City of Leduc have already laid much of the ground work for this cooperation and it extends to many initiatives across the Leduc region. From the economic development point of view we recently looked at each one of our communities to find its strengths and potential unique positions. We developed a mind map showing how we can build a stronger region by leveraging those assets and creating unique clusters across the region to better utilize the resources we have and the supply chain we have built. Initiatives such as the Aerotropolis Viability Study give us an impressive foundation to build collaboration and economic diversity in clusters where we have a distinct economic advantage. 

The final question out of the Metro Mayor’s report is really about can and will we be able to achieve regional collaboration, can and will we be able to stop competing with each other, and can and will we build a globally competitive Edmonton.

I believe we can and I believe we have the leadership in place to take us there. For now, I leave you with this: how do we build a strong and more diversified economy in the Leduc region and transition from an oil and gas based economy to an economy that can feed the world’s energy and food needs for the future?