Lots of news in the past week in Barrie.
First, the IBM announcement. It’s a great honour that IBM has chosen Barrie for a major new facility, and I was delighted last week to join representatives of the Provincial and Federal cabinets at the announcement of their new, $210M research project. While the numbers of jobs in Barrie will be only a portion of the overall 145 new jobs at IBM, the project in Barrie has already created more than 100 jobs in construction, and there will be many more created through the research projects that will happen in part at the Barrie data centre.
What is truly incredible about what IBM is doing is the nature of the research. It will be leading-edge modelling in neuroscience, smart cities, clean water, supported by IBM’s supercomputers. The computing power will allow research that hasn’t been possible before, in part through the power of cloud computing.
The next day, Minister Bob Chiarelli was in Barrie to meet with me about our priorities. Bob Chiarelli is the Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, and as a former Mayor of Ottawa, understands what municipalities struggle with from day to day. He has promised help with the Duckworth interchange and was very supportive of our bid to bring a university campus in Barrie.
We also had three openhouses about the transit plan last week. Each was well attended and raised good concerns and questions. We won’t be implementing changes to our transit system until spring of 2013, so there is lots of time to make your voice heard. Details and an online survey are available here.