The following was submitted by Mike DiCenzo
It was back in November of 2013, when Green Arc Tire first announced that it planned to become an environmental leader and important member of the St. Marys community by opening a tire remanufacturing facility and creating 340 new jobs. The company had high hopes. But much has changed since then, and I feel an obligation to residents of St. Marys and the region to explain what has happened.
For any new business to succeed, it must have a willing host that shares and supports its aspirations to generate new jobs and economic benefits. Any objective observer would conclude that since both the municipal and provincial election, Green Arc has not had the support of the Mayor of St. Marys or the local MPP.
Green Arc not only met but exceeded environmental standards set out by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. The company has been transparent from the outset. Although it was not required to do so, Green Arc complied with the Mayor’s request to share detailed data contained in its MOE permit. Still, behind the scenes “politics” delayed its approval to operate for many months and forced Green Arc to scale back its planned operation and jobs. This uncertain political environment has not instilled confidence in Green Arc’s investors, one of whom owns the building that Green Arc is leasing. Green Arc has a five-year lease at the building, which is now for sale.
While Green Arc works to regroup, questions about the chances of any new business succeeding in St. Marys should be directed at the Mayor and local MPP. What have they done to attract and support new companies in a region where manufacturing jobs continue to disappear? What has happened to Green Arc does not send a positive signal to any aspiring business.
Green Arc’s private investors chose St. Marys to create jobs and showcase environmental leadership through tire reuse. The reality is that all of the best intentions and incredible community support are not enough when a company is at the centre of political posturing. Sadly, it’s an entire community that pays the price.
CEO, Green Arc Tire