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Mayor’s State of the City address focuses on growth

Growth was the focus of Mayor Al McDonald’s state of the city address to Council on Tuesday night.

It was the first in-person session of Council since March 17, 2020. 

McDonald started by thanking residents and the city’s partners for doing their part in keeping the community safe throughout the pandemic. 

But growing the city was the overarching theme. 

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“That was our mandate and our focus was to create jobs, build houses, bring business and industries to the city and we’ve been very successful,” McDonald says. 

He’s proud of the accomplishments of this council, pointing to new jobs and businesses setting up in the city. 

“I’m thinking of Canada Meat Packers, Norgalv, ThinkOn, the new software companies that are into town and the great paying jobs that are available,” McDonald says.  

He also discussed challenges like mental health, addictions and homelessness, and tackling them head-on. 

“These are prevalent social issues and we were not under any illusion that we would solve every issue,” McDonald says. 

However, he points to the safety and well-being plan being adopted, a program to provide outreach in the downtown area, and more. 

McDonald, who is not seeking re-election in October, encouraged the next council to complete the innovation hub and open up the 600 acres of land at the Airport Industrial Park. 

“If we truly want to be successful and keep our children and our grandchildren in North Bay we have to create the jobs, and those two initiatives do that,” he says. 

Other topics in McDonald’s state of the city address included the city’s “rock-solid financials”, environmental protection initiatives and active transportation. 

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