Niagara Region chair Alan Caslin is officially in the running to keep his position for another four years.
Caslin put in his nomination papers today for the municipal election — the first ever election in which the position of regional chair will be decided based on a resident vote rather than being decided by regional councillors.
He said it’s been a decision he’s been thinking about for a long time, and after getting support from his family and friends he decided to put his name in.
There is a lot he wants to do still, he said. Right now Niagara has “finally found a stride,” and it’s important to “keep that momentum going.”
“In this term between 2014 and 2018, we’ve seen unprecedented growth in Niagara,” Caslin said, pointing to $1.3 billion in investment in construction activity and building permits, a drop in unemployment rates, and attracting a General Electric manufacturing facility to the region — creating around 300 jobs.
He said the Region tracks the increase and decrease in jobs throughout the region during the council term, and that there is a net increase of 12,700 new jobs, noting the region currently has the lowest unemployment rate its seen since April of 2000.
He has also mentioned an Amazon competitor who is interested in opening up shop in the area.
“We’ve got some significant commitments from the province, including the GoTrain all the way to Niagara Falls. From the feds we’ve got the 2021 Canada Summer Games … we’ve built some foundations that we now need to keep the momentum going and see some of these projects to fruition,” Caslin said.
“I think it’s an exciting time to be in Niagara, and it’s a place that’s growing. It’s actively economically prosperous.”
He said he’s grateful to have led a team of “such a competent and valued council and staff,”
“I’d be humbled with the opportunity to do it again.”
Some of the things he said he’d like to focus on next term are a new strategic plan for council and talking to the province about the mid-peninsula corridor, as well as some other “business interests” he would like to cultivate.