Ferguson says tourism could create needed jobs in Brooke-Alvinston


David Ferguson says Brooke-Alvinston has to use social media to being promoting itself and attract new residents.
The former head of the Lambton Federation of Agriculture is running for mayor in Brooke-Alvinston. He believes one of the biggest problems in the region is a lack of jobs – a void that could be filled in part by encouraging tourism. Ferguson says wants to look at other communities to see how they attract people for day trips and then apply those lessons to the newly opened Sydenham River Nature Reserve south of Alvinston. “It’s one of the best kept secrets,” he says. “How can we tap in to what we have here to attract people?”
Ferguson adds the municipality has to do more promote its high-speed internet as a way for start up companies to obtain the business services they need at a much lower cost that larger communities.
And he says Brooke-Alvinston is uniquely situated to be a commuter community. “For many people in Toronto it is common to travel to work for one hour. Here you travel for one hour, you could have a husband in London and a wife in Sarnia or Chatham.”
Ferguson says the marketing of the community could be done without spending a lot of taxpayers dollars. He says smaller communities use social media to promote themselves. Ferguson believes Brooke-Alvinston could tell stories about the communities, every couple of weeks. “People who read it on Facebook and you get people who follow it, and they have friends who have friends who have friends and it is all linked back.”
The stories could be used to promote local artists or history and to bring people to spend money in Alvinston.
Meantime, Ferguson is hopeful the province’s announcement Oct. 5 to rescind a plan to increase fire certification may solve some of the issues with the Inwood department where 16 firefighters resigned.
Ferguson plans to meet with fire chiefs to find out what the rules are and whether they will be workable for small municipalities. “Remember, the province is not just putting those rules out there to make things harder they’re there to protect people.”