URBAN MATTERS: Two Sault EDC Losses; Maybe Three.

Recently announced the new “Ring of Fire Smelter” will be located in the environs of Sudbury.  The Sault, once the perfect location, wasn’t even considered.  Why?  How aggressively did the current Sault EDC management pursue this industrial economic endeavour?  Securing the establishment of the Smelter would have provided hundreds of new industrial jobs and certainly would support the creation of a new Port facility. 

Again, recently announced, was the creation of a battery recycling facility in the City of Timmins.  Another excellent economic development win for their city and a loss for ours.  The Sault was a far better location for this battery recycling facility as batteries could be gleaned from Ontario and the Midwest States. 

Troubling is the fact that our Sault EDC did not position the Sault to participate in the EV revolution at all; and didn’t even bother to state why we were NOT chosen for these very much-needed industrial jobs. 

By the end of 2025, Algoma Steel stated that seven hundred (700) full-time jobs would be eliminated from the payroll as a direct consequence of the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) upgrades and removal of other obsolete steel manufacturing processes.  A staggering amount of lost good union jobs; rendering the Steel Plant no longer the number one employer in our former industrial City.

Does all the blame lie with the Sault EDC management for not securing the Ring of Fire Smelter here?  The fault may also lie with the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie.  Previous Ring of Fire Stakeholders favoured the Sault’s location for the Smelter at the Algoma Steel Industrial Lands; triggering an extensive outpouring of NIMBYism.   Many groups, organizations, and citizens railed against the establishment of the Smelter here, in the Sault, for many very good reasons. 

So if we have a Sault EDC that is not capable of securing new industries, industrial jobs and a city not wanting industrial smokestacks; obviously, we need a new direction for the Sault EDC.


The Sault EDC outlines areas of economic development that include:  the Film Industry, Agriculture, and of course Tourism. 

There is nothing in the Sault EDC economic development strategy that identifies “Affordable Housing” as a major economic development opportunity for the City of Sault Ste. Marie. 

Sudbury EDC, always being at the right place, at the right time, with the right-ready proposal, for the right Politician has made the connection that there are billions of EDC dollars for “Affordable Housing” that will provide Sudbury the necessary funds for massive “transformational urban development change”.

The City of Sudbury has put a price tag of 300 million dollars for urban redevelopment and the creation of their targeted amount of “Affordable Housing”.  A Sudbury Committee and management teams have put together an impressive 54-point action plan to extricate the 300 million dollars from the Federal and Provincial Governments.  Somebody at Sault EDC should take a good look at it.

The City of Sudbury understands that the Federal Liberal Justin Trudeau Government and the Provincial Conservative Doug Ford Government are desperate for affordable housing and their political survival hinges on it.  This is precisely why Sudbury EDC made the connection between Affordable Housing and economic development through the staggering billion-dollar super-funds of the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), and the phalanxes of other CMHC program funds.

These super-fund programs are transformational for municipalities receiving funding because the money targets these main objectives:

  1. Urban Blight Removal:   It provides funding directly to the municipality to take the lead in infrastructure development.  The funds allow the expropriation and removal of dead asset buildings in city cores, freeing up much-needed infill building opportunities. 
  2. Increase Urban Density:  Create Affordable Housing in existing neighbourhoods and on existing transit lines; allowing denser mixed-use housing.
  3. Convert existing buildings into Affordable Housing.
  4. Social Financialization:  Providing funding directly to Not-for-Profit Housing, Co-operative Housing, and Municipal Housing providers for the creation of Affordable Housing.

Right now, the best economic development opportunity for the City of Sault Ste. Marie is a comprehensive “Affordable Housing Strategy”.  These super-fund program dollars are transformative; not only can these funds help create Affordable Housing; but also go a long way to remove the extensive amount of blighted housing and buildings in our City. 

I sincerely hope that the Sault EDC will make the connection between “Affordable Housing Super-funds” and transformative urban redevelopment, affordable housing, and Sault Ste. Marie’s economic development: or will this be another Sault EDC loss?


Thank you, City of Sudbury website.

One thought on “URBAN MATTERS: Two Sault EDC Losses; Maybe Three.

  1. The backwards city has been putting up roadblocks and red tape stopping businesses from setting up shop for decades, don’t act like it’s a big surprise now. It’s kind of late to worry about it now but if a change is ever desired the first place to start would be getting rid of the current inexperienced immature clueless mayor with all of the wrong priorities and most of the current dead weight Council.

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