WEEDC Expecting Highbury Growth

Heinz factory in Leamington. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation CEO Sandra Pupatello is confident in the growth potential for Highbury Canco in Leamington.

“Ultimately we anticipate, as we continue to work with Highbury Canco, that that business will grow and it will be bigger than Heinz was,” says Pupatello, giving the corporation’s 2014 update to Essex County Council on Wednesday night.

Leamington Mayor John Paterson shares Pupatello’s confidence in Highbury Canco’s future.

“It certainly seems like [Highbury Canco] has their eye on the future and I think that future is going to get here a little earlier than they were originally thinking,” says Paterson, adding the update from WEEDC marks an improvement in communicating with county council.

WEEDC is showing 600 total jobs created in 2014, but Pupatello says there’s stiff competition in attracting new business.

“Very, very aware of our competition worldwide and certainly in North America,” says Pupatello. “We have ongoing discussions with all the relevant players. For those that offer incentives, other jurisdictions are defnitely beating us out on the incentive front.”

WEEDC also highlights in its 2014 report an application to the Ontario Power Authority to support existing businesses and delegations to the region from Mexico, France and Austria.