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whether it is rail products or farm machinery
equipment,” Burton says.
A significant amount of interest has been
shown offshore in Canadian education, so the
municipality is developing a programme in con-
junction with the local school boards and colleges
and universities to increase the influx of foreign
students who are coming into the community.
“For most people, when you say the
words ‘knowledge-based’ they think about sit-
ting behind a computer and analyzing things.
Knowledge-based economies are incredibly
important and that’s where the scientists and
research and development are so significant.
When you’re dealing with food-added value,
you need a technology base in order to do that,”
Hope says.
In addition to the plethora of world-class
crops being grown and processed, the com-
mercial fishing industry is also well-established
in Chatham-Kent and in fact boasts the largest
freshwater fishing industry in the world, with
abundant exports of perch and pickerel to desti-
nations as far away as overseas.
Wind Energy
The geographical characteristics of Chatham-
Kent with an abundance of open, flat land, makes
it an ideal location for wind turbines and energy
generation. In fact, the municipality accounts
for about 25% of all wind turbines in the province
and 12% of the entire country.
“We are producing more than 881 megawatts
of power through wind,” Hope confirms.
A stringent requirement for working with
postsecondary education and creating the
expertise on the maintenance and technology
sides of the wind industry is also at the forefront.
Even with Chatham-Kent’s biogas and biofuels
initiatives, specialized workers are required.
“We are in the knowledge-based end of it,
dealing with the expertise required in those fields
of opportunity,” Hope continues.
St. Clair College, the Ridgetown campus
of the University of Guelph, the University of
Windsor, the University of Western Ontario and
Fanshawe College are all within relatively close
distance and so the educational opportunities
are quite regional in scope.
“With so much being within a one-hour
Mayor Randy Hope
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