Image
 

Welcome and Meeting Called to Order Cathy Henry
Welcome to everyone as we begin the celebration of Rotary Foundation month.

National Anthem led by Jeff

Toast to Queen and Canada led by John T

Peace Invocation led by Brian H

Members enjoyed a few moments of fellowship and lunch before the meeting reconvened at 12:30 p.m. 

Introduction of our guests and visiting Rotarians - Cathy Henry
Walter Sendzik – Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce
Henry Becker – Downtown Club

Sergeant-at-Arms by Paul Monaghan
All gave Happy Dollars

Birthday and Rotary Anniversary Recognition
No birthdays this week

Anniversaries
Jim and Nancy Howes – 52 years November 4th
David and Cathy Henry- 44 years- November 6th

Rotary Anniversaries
Joe Pfeiffer- 15 years- November 10th, 1998

50/50 Draw 
Mike Gionet drew the Jack of Spades

Image

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

New Members - it is with great pleasure that we fulfill the club by-laws by mentioning our three new members for the third time
Lisa Kelso -Marketing Management
Marie Balsom -Communications
Marilyn Kanak -Registered  Nurse
A very warm welcome to you all- your induction ceremony will be held next week- Monday, November 11th, 2013 during our Club Assembly. We are honoured that John Teibert has agreed to be the MC for this part of the luncheon meeting.

District Conference - Cathy - A thank you note has been received from Tara Johnson-one of our Ryla students that we sponsored for the District conference- she thanks us all very much for the opportunity to immerse herself in all things Rotary and meeting up with old friends. She enjoyed herself immensely.

88th Eastern Rotary Cities Dinner - Cathy - Rochester, Sunday, November 3rd, 2013
Over 600 Rotarians, spouses and  exchange students- attended the Eastern Cities Dinner last night- in a salute to Women in Rotary - the pioneers up to the present- all women were recognized-including all female presidents of 2013-2014. 22% of Rotarians in North America are female- 15% in the rest of the world. Our own June Manning was mentioned on the wide screen as our club’s first female president- I had the honour of having my picture taken with Anne Matthews- the first female RI member of the Board of Directors,- fellowship was very apparent throughout the room- members of the Lockport and Webster clubs introduced themselves to me and asked that they be remembered to you all- they will certainly miss hosting our Tour du Lac team next year and wish us well in all our future endeavours. The District governors that were in attendance were asked to mention one program that they were most proud of in their respective districts and our Trees That Feed project was highlighted for  District 7090.It was an honour to talk to table 43 Rotarians and guests about the success of the project. They were also very interested in our book marks and want to  utilize the idea for their respective clubs. The Exchange student sitting with us was from San Paola, Brazil and issued a special invitation to visit her  at the RI convention in 2014-2015.

Joint 3 Club/Assistant District Governor meeting Cathy - Our club is hosting the joint luncheon next year – the date is Monday, April 7th, 2014 at Johnny Rocco’s banquet hall..It has been suggested that we open up the luncheon to all Niagara clubs . As a thank you gift to the speaker- it has been recommended that we donate an amount to Polio Plus in Mr. Papastrvou’s name.

Club Assembly - Cathy - Monday, November 11th, 2013
Your Board of Directors will be updating us all on their respective Directorships- their goals and successes to date

Remembrance Day Ceremony - Cathy - Jim Hooper will be representing our club as the 3 Rotary St. Catharines clubs lay a wreath at the cenotaph.

Foundation dinner - Cathy - The Foundation dinner will be on Friday, November 8th at Salvatores in Buffalo. 

Explore Niagara rally - Cathy  - unfortunately, PerformanceCars will not be sponsoring us next year so we’ll need to look for a new Regional Sponsor.

Bingo - John Teibert

Paul Harris Awards Luncheon - Rob Welch
November 25th- Golf Club

Happy Hour - Arie - Our next Happy Hour is Nov. 6th  at Wildfire on Ontario St. @ 6:30pm.  Please let Arie know if you can attend.

Christmas Luncheon - Cathy - Monday, December 16th, 2013- your Membership and PR committees are requesting that you save any coats, jackets, mitts, gloves etc that you may be changing and bring them to this luncheon- we will then deliver them to Community Care

Food Bank - Najeeb has started his food bank again so if anyone would like to bring non perishable goods to donate they can be brought to any meeting.

NOTL Holiday House Tour - Cathy - The NOTL Rotary Club is hosting their annual holiday house tour on Friday, Dec 6th- Saturday 7th, It also coincides with the “Burning of Niagara” – when the American troops left NOTL in 1813. Tickets are $25.00 each and can be accessed on line.

Early Leavers - John D


INTRODUCING THE GUESTS SPEAKER
- Cathy Henry

GUEST SPEAKER Walter Sendzik, CEO Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce;

We need a vision for a Big Niagara

Noted national columnist and author Jeffrey Simpson often writes about a "Big Canada" and a "Little Canada." The kernel of the idea is that Big Canada is full of potential as long as it harnesses the power of the sum of all its collective parts. Meanwhile, in his words, Little Canada is the parochialism that pits provinces against each other and against Ottawa, appealing to the lowest common denominator of local prejudices.

Simpson's view of the Canadian conundrum left me thinking about Niagara's own state of affairs. Indeed, few can argue that in Niagara there is a Big Niagara and a Little Niagara mentality.

Big Niagara is about positioning the region within a new, rapidly changing global economic environment. 

It's about reinforcing strengths, seeking opportunities and speaking with one voice. It's about looking up and out. 

Tackling the big issues -- poverty, unemployment, a crumbling health-care system, a lagging economy and putting in place bold plans for a brighter future.

Little Niagara is about parochialism.

It's about a Niagara that is rooted in a 20th century mentality -- 12 municipalities pitted against each other fighting for their own self interests, and fighting against regional government.
 
It's about duplication of services, over governance and a "me-first" attitude.

Take the economy.
 
Niagara is perfectly situated within the fourth largest economic corridor in North America.

It's one of Canada's most important trading routes. 

It has an abundance of agricultural land and green space.

It has a strong manufacturing and tourism footprint. 

It's home to Niagara College and Brock University.

And yet we have a recently re-built regional economic development office and five municipal economic development agencies that compete for inward investments.

In a Big Niagara, there would be one economic development agency for all of Niagara. It would be charged with guiding investments, supporting business and strategically planning economic growth across the region.

The same applies to the region's social issues. 

Poverty is real. 

It's on your street, in your schools and your workplace. 

A growing skills gap in the labour force and the lack of new business investment have created the second highest unemployment rate in Ontario.

In Little Niagara, people fight over the development of a school that has potential to be a part of the solution to breaking the cycle of poverty. 

Instead of focusing on how this one idea needs to be part of a larger, more integrated plan to address poverty, it's about stopping something before it starts.

Health care in Niagara is contentious, but it illustrates the polarization of Little Niagara versus Big Niagara. 

The system was, and still is, broken and unaffordable. It has to be addressed. 

Little Niagara wants to go back to a time when each community had its own hospital, but that system is beyond affordability. 

The fighting needs to stop and plans need to be developed that ensure Niagara's aging health-care system is completely re-developed. The new hospital in St. Catharines should just be the start of a new health-care system in Niagara -- not the lightning rod of public debate it has become.

Now Little Niagara is fighting about where a new hospital in South Niagara should go.. we just can’t get it right… 

We need think collectively – as one unit – one group – and do what is the best interest of the Niagara community. 

Look at governance in Niagara. With 125 elected officials representing 400,000 people, Niagara is one of the most over-governed places in Canada. The parochialism that is holding back Niagara is firmly rooted in an outdated governance model. 

To borrow from Simpson, this model feeds the lowest common denominator of local prejudices.

If Niagara is going to not just survive, but thrive and prosper, we need a vision for a Big Niagara, and we need the leadership to rise above the din of those of who still believe that a Little Niagara is the best way forward.

At the Greater Niagara Chamber – we are working with business and civic leaders to create a Big Niagara for our economy….

And it starts with understanding that Niagara is one economy – we are NOT 12 separate economies – we are one economy. To put it in context – a good friend of mine reminds me every time he goes to China that there are villages in China that are bigger than Niagara.. 

Niagara is in a global fight – for business, for talent, for innovation and for investments. While the global economic recession has had an impact on Niagara’s economy, the local economy was struggling before 2008. 

For the better part of the past decade, Niagara has bore the brunt of global shifts in large-scale manufacturing and a downturn in tourism that has yet to return to pre-2001 levels. The foundations of Niagara’s economy have shifted, and it is time to create a new economic path for the 21st century.

While Canada been able to manage the global recession better than many other countries, and Ontario has held its own during this period of economic turmoil, Niagara, much like other regional economies in North America that once had a strong manufacturing base, has struggled to find its footing. 

With chronically high unemployment, lack of upward mobility for young people, an inefficient governance structure and an uncompetitive marketplace to attract new investments, Niagara is jeopardy of losing another decade of economic growth. 

As a means to create a path forward for Niagara, the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce facilitated the development of the Niagara Economic Summit, held on May 9, 2012. The Summit brought together hundreds of business, government and civic leaders to start the discussion about moving Niagara forward. The consensus from those that attended the Summit, and from subsequent discussions and forums, is that an economic action strategy must be developed that is pan Niagara (Big Niagara if you will) in scope and vision.
 
Niagara is at a crossroads. The economic realities facing Niagara cannot be addressed by operating in silos, by working in opposition, or by competing within. The global forces that are completely changing economies around the world will not wait for Niagara to find its collective way forward. 

The next five years will be crucial for Niagara. Over the past five years, the Canadian and Ontario governments have partnered with the Region and local municipalities to modernize infrastructure in Niagara. Important investments have been made at Brock University, Niagara College and the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre that have the potential to generate new economic opportunities. The foundations of a new, modernized economy are in place – but we are still falling behind. 

Blueprint for Economic Growth and Prosperity: An Action Plan for Niagara

The Action Plan is based on what we heard from business and civic leaders at the Niagara Economic Summit, feedback from the circulated draft reports from the Summit, through an extensive survey of business people across Niagara, and from the discussions at the Niagara Regional Economic Leadership Roundtable. Through this broad-based regional approach, four areas of action have been identified that are directly linked to Niagara’s economic growth potential: 

 1. Create an Open For Business culture at both orders of government in Niagara. 
 2. Strategically build Niagara’s infrastructure that is based on sound economic principles to support economic growth and diversity. 
 3. Foster a culture of innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship within the business community that leads to increased productivity, exports and new market developments.  
 4. Build a 21st workforce through workplace training, skilled trades, youth retention and attraction and utilizing the skills of newcomers. 

These four areas of action form the basis for the economic vision of the Blueprint for Economic Growth and Prosperity for Niagara. 

It’s an ambitious plan at a time when Niagara needs ambition, courage and conviction to become an economic engine in the global economy.
 
I encourage those of you here today to be a part of this plan and together with your support – we can build a Niagara that can compete in Ontario, in Canada and on the global stage. 

We cannot afford the status quo, we cannot afford to stand still – it’s up to us.. all of us – to create a Niagara that is strong, united and ready for the 21st. century. 

THANKING THE GUEST SPEAKER - Cathy


Quote of the day 

Candy is nature’s way of making up for Mondays-anonymous 

Is there anything else for the good of Rotary?

Adjournment: - Cathy

Have an engaging, successful and happy week.

Cathy adjourned the meeting at 1:25pm