FOB: Brant, Six Nations partner for progress
Brantford - Adidas Canada and BGI Retail are figuring prominently in the the Brant 403 Business Park early progress, but the county's Green Energy partnership with Six Nations may be a main ingredient in the venture's long-term success.
That could also be the case with the county's second venture, the Sharp Road Business Park just off the Oak Park Road-403 interchange.
“There is a promising future in that partnership,” says David Johnston, the county's general manager of economic development and strategic investments.
“Since we signed the Green Energy Economic Accord, its benefits are just becoming visible, but we will see more of them.”
The partnership was forged nearly four years ago when Brant County council and the Six Nations elected band council signed the accord in a flashy ceremony in September 2009, and the two went on to join the Green Energy Hub with surrounding municipalities.
“We are on a new road,” Brant Mayor Ron Eddy said at a signing ceremony for the accord.
“I call it the Green Age,” Chief Coun. Bill Montour said as he held his pen.
“Six Nations and Brant County can work together to be green leaders. Younger generations are counting on us to put the bricks and mortar into place to make it happen.”
The terms of the accord commit the partners to:
The accord also dovetailed well with the county's long term economic development strategy driven by the key four-pillar sectors: agricultural, advanced manufacturing, green technology and logistics.
The elements of that accord have endured, Johnston said, as Brant goes about the development of the Brant 403 Business Park and the Sharp Road Business Park, a few kilometres to the east.
Right now, Brant and Six Nations are working together on four solar panel projects under the Ontario government's microFIT program. Three are in the Brant 403 Business Park and one is in the Six Nations Oneida Business Park.
“We at the county are also assisting in other applications involving Six Nations that could come to fruition soon,” said Johnston.
Those projects come as a result of a pact Brant and Six Nations put together to direct investment. Among its elements:
“It's fair to say that the accord and other documents speak to the respect shown by both parties,” said Johnston.
“We recognize that land claims and issues around them have to be left to senior levels of government, but we can work together until they are resolved.”
As an example of the accord's prospects, Johnston noted that Adidas has agreed to a solar energy project.
“This is the first time in all their plants that Adidas has engaged in solar energy technology, and they are quite enthusiastic about it.”