The Magnas and Mag-nots

If Mayor Dawe considers calling Magna’s departure disappointing “the understatement of the year” as reported in The Auroran here: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=10738 then without contest the “overstatement of the year” for 2012 has to be Mayor Dawe’s claim that Aurora is the “home of innovation” as per his tweet here:

Aurora is far from being considered by anyone, other than our Mayor, “the home of innovation”, and it looks like one of the only innovators the town can, and have pointed to for so many years have chosen to leave for a more ideal location.

With the Mayor of King boasting about how proud they are to welcome a “highly regarded and globally significant corporation such as Magna” to the King community, Mayor Dawe was playing down the significant loss by saying “Obviously we would like to see them stay, but they need to do what is right for their business as well.”

What we can take from all of this is that Aurora is in no position to provide a globally significant corporation such as Magna what they need to do their business.

This isn’t just any business, Magna posted record sales of $9.46 billion in a single quarter last year, an increase of 6% over the same period last year:
http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/08/08/magna_international_posts_record_sales_in_quarter.html

In this Error Banner piece: http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/5629068-magna-coming-to-king-twp-bringing-with-it-625-new-jobs/ Economic development officer Jamie Smyth speaks of what makes King Township the ideal location for Magna:

“King City’s extraordinary location, including being minutes from accessing the 400 series of highways, a 30-minute drive to Pearson International Airport and only 18 miles to downtown Toronto, along with a lifestyle and quality of life, in King and York Region second to none, has definitely factored into Magna’s decision to consolidate the global headquarters in King.”

Let’s review:

Minutes from accessing the 400 series of highways, check

30-minute drive to Pearson International Airport, check

only 18 miles to downtown Toronto, check

So the only thing that appears to have factored into Magna’s decision to consolidate the global headquarters in King over Aurora is King Township’s quality of life being second to none in York Region.

So much for town staff reports telling us that every single decision is supporting an “exceptional quality of life for all”.

End of 2017 is only 2.5 years away so I’m not as confident as Mayor Dawe that the town has “lots of opportunities to be out beating the bushes and find out whatever potential clients we may have”.

Arnold Glasgow said “One of the tests of Leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.”

Where is the recognition by our town’s leaders?  It’s not as if the Town had a shortage of opportunities to be engaging Magna and understanding the issues the globally significant corporation was facing.

Maybe if the town was more proactive instead of having “a brief conversation with them a number of months ago” relying on the principle of inertia to drive business retention strategy we wouldn’t find ourselves in the Mag-not column.

Magna’s departure signifies how hollow the important principles of “sustainability” and “innovation” are executed by our elected officials who drone on endlessly about being “exceptional”, when what they really mean is they’re satisfied being second to one.

As reported in the Star Magna is doing just fine without its founder:
http://www.thestar.com/business/2012/10/08/magna_doing_just_fine_without_its_founder_olive.html

One has to wonder if Aurora will fare equally as well without having Magna to use as its crutch.

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