“Awaken the Giant” – Frank Pullia

THUNDER BAY – A comprehensive Plan to Revitalize Thunder Bay

Port Arthur Prosvita – October 21, 2010

My fellow citizens, let me start by saying that all those that are running for office should be commended for their effort.  To be chosen to represent the people in your community for any political office is truly an honour. My heartfelt wishes go out to all those who have placed their name forward.

When I announced my candidacy for Thunder Bay’s Mayor on September 9, that decision was prompted by 3 fundamental issues impacting our city:

1.      The outflow of people from Thunder Bay
2.     The pressing need to create jobs for our citizens, and
3.     You have told me that Thunder Bay needs a new direction and a better way of doing business.

During my 7 years as a City Councilor, and throughout this campaign, I’ve highlighted the strengths of our community, much to the credit of many organizations and people who also share my passion to create a brighter future for our citizens.

I have also explained why leadership and vision is needed, primarily to ensure that Thunder Bay shares in the rest of the province’s growth and prosperity, and gives all our people, genuine hope for the future.

I have analyzed our current state of affairs, taking into consideration the concerns and priorities of the many people I have talked with during the last 3 years and throughout this campaign.

As a result of these consultations with the people of Thunder Bay, I have developed a comprehensive plan to guide our City into a prosperous and rewarding future, a plan that has clear, achievable and measurable objectives so that you will have a way to determine the success and accountability of your leaders.

This plan will ensure that this city and region starts really moving forward. Thunder Bay has an exciting future, and the time has come to AWAKEN this giant potential and realize that we CAN be the most livable city in Canada.

We WILL… awaken the giant.. by charting a course for the future of this community, a future full of promise and possibilities, and one that puts people first.

1.       We will do so by uniting the new Council behind one vision, ensuring that mutual cooperation and respect are the fundamental premises on which we stand in serving our community.

2.       We will do so by creating new economic opportunities and growth, and create.. good paying jobs.. on which to raise a family.

3.       We will have .. financial accountability.. to ensure that we, the taxpayers, are getting value for our tax dollars, and the municipality is able to maintain the services and infrastructure needed for a GREAT quality of life.

4.       We will play a leadership role in the region, and work in full partnership with the provincial and federal levels of government, especially in ensuring COMMUNITY SAFETY for our citizens.

5.       We will initiate a process of renewal for our community through open communication and inclusion for all the people of Thunder Bay.

This plan is action oriented, and will allow us to achieve these goals and reach our true potential.

We will be creating new economic opportunities through the:

1.         DEVELOPMENT OF AN ECONOMIC BASE,  by

  • Establishing a “Thunder Bay First”  policy that ensures, all things being equal, local expertise of employees, consultants, contractors, suppliers, etc., have the first opportunity
  • By respecting our administration and city employees, and providing a supportive and stable work environment
  • And by working smart so that decisions by City Council reflect the best interests of the city and its citizens.

We will be creating new growth through the

2.          ATTRACTION OF INVESTMENT – we will do this by

  • Reducing red tape wherever possible to get things moving and really be able to say: “Thunder Bay is open for Business”
  • By creating one-stop shopping for investors
    • By promoting and marketing our city through University and College Alumni, and using the latest social media technology to reach new markets and people.
    • And by creating incentives for the business community to expand their businesses, and build our tax base to ensure that Thunder Bay’s commercial and industrial tax rates.. remain competitive.. and help us attract investments.

We will awaken Thunder Bay Giant Potential through the

3.         DEVELOPMENT OF OUR EXPORT POTENTIAL by

  • Enhancing our business and trade relations with the U.S. and the world through a focused approach to International business
  • By expanding Thunder Bay’s High-Tech and Life-Science sectors
    • And by developing a “Team Thunder Bay” like the OIL SAND CONSORTIUM approach to reach out into new markets and create new business and trade opportunities

We will make this city a centre of innovation and excellence

4.         through RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND HEALTH CARE by

  • Supporting our Technology Centres, the University and College in all their endeavours
  • By further enhancing our ability to attract and retain doctors and health care professionals
    • By supporting the hospital and the Northern Medical School, and making Thunder Bay the Mayo Clinic of the North
    • And by making sure that our elders are provided the best possible care in our Homes for the Aged

We will awaken and realize that we need to embrace all members of our community. Thunder Bay is a community of communities and that makes us strong. The time has come to initiate the..

5.         DEVELOPMENT OF A FULL SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY by

  • Building meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and understanding
    • Creating win-win social and economic alliances in Financial Areas, Native Arts and Crafts, Eco-tourism, Education, Health, Housing, and other areas of mutually supportive opportunities.
    • And by promoting the First Nations inclusion and full participation in our community

We will give hope and new possibilities for employment to our

6.          WORK FORCE by

  • Working closely with the North Superior Workforce Planning Board, the College and University to develop and enhance the skill-sets needed in a changing economy
  • By developing proactive programs to match labour resources to employers’ needs
    • And by expanding employment opportunities for all sectors of the labour market including those workers facing layoffs due to downsizing and restructuring

We will start a process of renewal and optimism through the

7.          ENHANCEMENT OF TOURISM by

  • Beautifying the city and expanding the walking and biking trail system
    • By developing the waterfront for the people of Thunder Bay and linking the two cores and Intercity through a walking, skateboarding and bicycle path.
    • And by developing regional promotion and marketing partnerships in concert with our tourism partners

My fellow citizens, our vision fully supports

8.          COMMUNITY SAFETY & QUALITY OF LIFE by

  • Establishing a citizen Task Force to ensure that proper attention is given to the marginalized, homeless, those with addiction or alcohol problems, and others who are in need of help, because we cannot say that we are a healthy community if the less fortunate are left behind.
  • By supporting our Police, Fire, and Emergency Services personnel to ensure that they have all the tools they need to make our city as safe as possible.
  • By making a commitment to work with the many agencies that are dedicated to the well being, health, and safety of our children and youth
  • And by supporting the arts, culture and film industry because they not only enrich our lives, but make our city a vibrant and exciting place to live in

We’ll ensure that all citizens have the opportunity to participate in Thunder Bay’s bright new future through a

9.          STRATEGY OF INCLUSION AND COMMUNICATION by

  • Making Thunder Bay fully accessible for People with disabilities, including the workplace
  • Giving our citizens the opportunity to voice their views on major issues through regular town hall meetings
  • By ensuring that the business of the city is more open to the public and providing a full and comprehensive annual “State of the City” report to the community
  • And by increasing two-way communication with the community and opening up City Hall to the citizens by making the office of the mayor totally available to the taxpayers at least one full day per week.

We have a big job ahead of us, but I am confident that we can tap into the world class talent, resources, and enthusiasm across this great city of ours through the

10.           CREATION OF A MAYOR’S ADVISORY BOARD by

  • Forming an advisory group comprising of retired private and public executives and leaders of our community, to provide advice on long-term strategies for the city, because while we take care of today we also need to plan for the future.

In conclusion,

My fellow citizens, throughout this campaign and many years of involvement and listening to the people of our community, I have heard from all walks of life that Thunder Bay needs, and is ready… for leadership and vision, and a new beginning.

This election is that opportunity and your hope for a brighter future.

Help me make this vision a reality, by voting Pullia for Mayor on Monday Oct. 25 and “AWAKEN THUNDER BAY’S.. GIANT.. POTENTIAL”.

Thank you!

Frank Pullia

For more information visit www.frankpullia.com