Envision Saint John

6 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL VOLUME 3, ISSUE 7 ENV I S ION SA INT JOHN alignment, that will fuel the region’s economic rebirth. By focusing on growth readiness, talent pipeline and attraction, entrepreneurship, and business growth, the municipalities are expecting ambitious 10-year outcomes to increase the population by 25%, and the municipal tax base by 30-35%. “We also see great value in having our City Managers and CAOs on our board,” Hicks mentions. “Having that leadership at the board level as investors, and actually having them work together, makes us stronger. It’s proven to be very successful.” Not only is the agency’s governance model different, but it also approaches traditional economic development work in an innovative way. By convening platforms, which are forums that engage stakeholders to collaborate on strategic areas of opportunity, Envision Saint John is fostering a collective impact model where stakeholders, partners, and the community are all held accountable for realizing their aspiring 10-year outcomes. Investing in tourism infrastructure and product development are also going to be crucial tools for growth as the agency moves to manage and maximize the enormous value of the region’s many natural assets. “The Port of Saint John, for example, is the next great Canadian port,” Hicks says. “There’s tremendous growth happening there and some major investment as it relates to infrastructure. Canadian Pacific is coming back to the area after 30 years and bringing nearly $100M. That’s really going to position the port for significant growth as it relates to logistics and buildout.” Another prime example from this season is the Area506 Shipping Container Village, a full waterfront experience with a wide array of retail shops, food trucks, a performance space, and waterfront container bar. The venue recently hosted the city’s explosive “Bash on the Bay”,