The invisibility of good public policy

September 23, 2015


When Lee Picolli of Fusion Homes sent me this photo to show that ground had been broken on their Metal Works project, I was very happy for him and his team.  I know there was a lot of effort to reach this milestone.

I was also reminded of the invisibility of public policy – public policy which in this case created the opportunity for Lee’s vision and entrepreneurial spirit to flourish.

It is hard in 2015 to connect the dots to the inspired work of Guelph citizens who helped to develop principles in 2002 that would guide the development of a sustainable growth strategy several years later. I remember one member of Council at the time blustering that these principles would force us all to live in soviet-style apartment blocks!  Yeah, not quite the vision we are seeing unfold today.

It is also hard in 2015 to connect the dots to the many years of dedicated work by planning and economic development professionals who, despite brutal criticism from some quarters, put together the right set of policies and incentives to attract the right kind of investment to our downtown.

Thanks to Lee, the one important dot that did get connected during the official ground-breaking ceremony was the contribution that The Ward Residents’ Association made to the final design. Nice touch.