September 25, 2017
I rise today to share with this House a tale of two cities.
The first city has a dynamic, diversified economy, with booming real estate and construction markets, and 10 firms listed among Profit 500's fastest-growing Canadian companies in 2017.
Collectively, these firms—Arcane, Voices.com, Big Viking Games, Big Blue Bubble, Zomaron, Digital Echidna, Diagnostics Biochem, StarTech.com, HRdownloads and Canada Tubeform—grew their revenues more than 600% over the last five years.
The second city was also ranked amongst the top cities in Canada. It came third in the country and second in Ontario for the highest rate of opioid hospitalization last year as well as for the highest proportion of the children living in low income.
While other Canadian cities saw a 10% growth in median income over the last decade, this city saw a drop of the 2.1%. Its median income is now second-lowest among Ontario urban centres. This city reported the lowest labour-market participation rate of any major Canadian municipality with about one quarter of working-age residents not working and too discouraged to look for work.
What are these two cities, Speaker? They are both London, Ontario. These statistics paint an alarming picture of an economy that is leaving too many people behind.
Clearly, we can do better.
After 14 years of Liberal government, London's economy is at a tipping point - more polarized and more unequal than ever before. Ours is a tale of two cities, with some who flourish while others struggle. Londoners deserve a city that is both innovative and inclusive, and prosperous and fair...and a government that is committed to helping achieve that goal.