Waterloo Region Chair Karen Redman held her annual state of the region address on Friday, using the occasion to highlight how the region is growing, both physically and spiritually.
Redman took to the stage with Clarence Cachagee, founder of Crow Shield Lodge, Communitech CEO Chis Albinson and Dr. Suzanne Kearns from the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics to highlight the changes, with each guest meant as a way to highlight the region’s adaptation and experience with changes.
“Growth in all of its forms is not just important, it is essential. And it is only possible through strong leadership, strong partnerships and forward thinking,” she said.
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Redman also highlighted that the region is looking to address systemic barriers and exclusion in a meaningful way.
“We are learning to listen – to really listen – to community voices and diverse perspectives that surround us.”
At one point during her speech, she noted how quickly the tech sector has grown in the area.
“Communitech had projected the tech industry here would reach 24,000 workers by 2025, but we surpassed that milestone last year – four years earlier than expected,” she noted.
She also spoke of the ongoing expansion at the airport, which is being completed in a deliberate manner.
“Our airport was the sixth-busiest in Canada last year, and we have invested in major expansion,” the regional chair said. “We have an opportunity with our partners to collaborate to leverage this investment and lead the world as a hub for sustainable aeronautics.”