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Status Update

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) held the corporations’ final operational annual general meeting (AGM) on May 30th, formally announcing its intention to dissolve the not-for-profit corporation as the City of Peterborough and Peterborough County transition to new economic development and tourism models.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT: PETERBOROUGH & THE KAWARTHAS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCES DISSOLUTION

June 3, 2024

CHAIR BURTON LEE PROVIDES UPDATE ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF PETERBOROUGH & THE KAWARTHAS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

It is with profound regret that the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) Board of Directors formally announces its intention to dissolve the corporation following written notice that The City of Peterborough and Peterborough County intend to change the delivery models of economic development and tourism and will not renew the tri-party Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City, County, and PKED, which expires on December 31st, 2024. Consequently, the PKED Board of Directors formed a dissolution committee and made the difficult decision to cease operations by the end of the year in compliance with the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act.

CONTEXT

Since the Fall of 2023, the PKED Board of Directors has been seeking clarity on the municipalities’ plans while proactively pursuing and communicating opportunities for a smooth transition to a new economic development model, with limited disruption of services to businesses, investors, and visitors.

Peterborough & the Kawarthas is poised for unprecedented growth. It will add to the region’s richness, grow the business community, and stimulate economic activity. It will also increase space, infrastructure, housing, and employment demand. While the delivery model of economic development and tourism is in transition, continued focus on the destination and the needs of the regional economy must remain a top priority.

The organization remains committed to regional economic development, and staff will continue to deliver tourism, visitor services, destination marketing, economic development, business retention, investment attraction, and small business support services until the MOU is complete, while the City and County establish a new direction for this work.

As the second half of 2024 approaches, PKED must begin the comprehensive process of winding down operations, which will be a significant undertaking given the organization’s 25+ year history. As the lead Regional Economic Development Agency and Official Destination Marketing Organization, PKED has obligations to a wide range of partners, stakeholders, and service providers that will be impacted. The Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act prescribes clear steps to wind down the corporation, and PKED’s Board of Directors will be vigilant in ensuring a responsible dissolution.

BACKGROUND

The establishment of the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation (operating as PKED) in 1998 resulted from the 1997 GPA 2020: A Vision for Our Future process, an outcome of a groundswell of community and business support toward a progressive vision for regional economic prosperity. The report called for a singular economic development organization that could represent the needs and interests of the City, the County, and the private sector.

DISSOLUTION IMPACTS

That purpose and funding structure are reflected in PKED’s Letters Patent and the tri-party MOU. The decision made by the City and County eliminates PKED’s core funding structure. The organization will neither have the capacity nor resources to deliver economic and tourism services on behalf of the region. As such, the impending dissolution has set forth a series of actions, including the delivery of termination notices to staff and providing notice to vacate PKED’s offices and the regional Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism Visitor Centre located in the Venture North business hub in downtown Peterborough effective at the end of this year.

What remains clear to the PKED Board of Directors and staff is that Peterborough & the Kawarthas is a region worth investing in, and a coordinated and shared vision that considers the needs of business will be vital to the success of any new approach to this important and impactful work.

QUOTES

“As reports on new economic development and tourism models are being considered councils in June, we eagerly await the opportunity to review them and to identify opportunities for service continuity for the businesses and clients that rely on PKED. As a high-performing economic development agency, the health and vitality of the local economy are at the core of our mission, and our team has a vested interest in supporting a mutually beneficial transition.” Said Burton Lee, Chair of PKED’s Board of Directors

“There will be a significant disruptive impact if these plans do not factor in the vast number of existing projects, programs, and initiatives that PKED has developed. The award-winning campaigns and highly recognized Peterborough & the Kawarthas brand are an outcome of our staff’s collaborative and strategic expertise.” Added Lee

“The critical value of our team’s knowledge, expertise, and relationships with local, regional, national, and international partners, businesses, investors, and media cannot be understated. It is our hope that the new models will include positions for our existing team of passionate and dedicated economic development professionals to continue serving the business community and attracting investment to the region.” Said PKED’s President & CEO Rhonda Keenan

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding the dissolution of Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development. Further questions or concerns should be directed to the email address linked below.

Please note: Due to the difficult nature of this situation, some information is confidential or unknown at this time. We would kindly appreciate the public’s patience and understanding during this transition.

These FAQs will be updated and will be adjusted as more information becomes available. Please check back regularly for updates.

WHAT DOES DISSOLUTION MEAN?

The general definition of dissolution is the closing down or dismission of an assembly, partnership, or official body. As of December 31st, 2024, PKED will be closed.

WHAT DOES PKED’S DISSOLUTION MEAN FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM IN THE REGION?

The City of Peterborough and Peterborough County intend to change their economic development and tourism delivery models. The councils will consider reports on these models, and PKED eagerly awaits the opportunity to review and identify opportunities for service continuity.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE EMPLOYEES AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR PKED?

Due to the impending dissolution, PKED employees have been given termination notices, and employment will end in line with PKED’s dissolution on December 31st, 2024. We hope the new models will include positions for our team of passionate and dedicated economic development professionals to continue serving the business community and attracting investment to the region.

The PKED Board of Directors is a group of community volunteers who represent key sectors of our economy. They will be responsible for dissolving the corporation in accordance with the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act. Once this work is complete, there will no longer be a Board of Directors for PKED. 

WHO CAN I SPEAK TO ABOUT THE DELIVERY OF SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM IN 2025 AND BEYOND?

PKED will continue to deliver those services until December 31st, 2024. Decisions about future plans and delivery models for economic development and tourism services in the region rest solely with the City of Peterborough and Peterborough County for their respective municipalities. Inquiries can be directed to local municipal staff or elected officials.

City of Peterborough Council Contact Information

City of Peterborough Contact Us Page

Peterborough County Council Contact Information

Peterborough County Contact Us Page

CAN I STILL CONTACT STAFF AT PKED IF I REQUIRE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OR TOURISM SUPPORT?

PKED staff will continue to deliver services until the end of the Memorandum of Understanding between PKED, the City of Peterborough, and Peterborough County ends on December 31st, 2024. Please visit our Meet the Team page to connect with a member of our team.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE BUSINESS ADVISORY CENTRE, ITS PROGRAMS AND SERVICES?

PKED will continue to deliver support and services to small businesses. Small business advisory services, including information on starting a business, support for business plan development for Peterborough Community Futures loan clients, and training workshops, will continue until the end of 2024. 

The team is working closely with the province and other business support agencies to help transition small business support services in the future. More information about this transition, the Starter Company Plus, and Summer Company Programs will be shared as it becomes available. Local businesses are encouraged to sign up for PKED’s Small Business Newsletter for more information.

ARE THE BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS AND OTHER SMALL BUSINESS TRAINING WORKSHOPS STILL HAPPENING?

PKED’s Business Fundamentals, Social Media Navigator and Digital Marketing boot camps will be delivered throughout 2024. To keep up to date on the workshops delivered by PKED and partners, please visit www.investptbo.ca/events 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE OFFICIAL DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATION, PETERBOROUGH & THE KAWARTHAS TOURISM AND THE PETERBOROUGH & THE KAWARTHAS VISITOR CENTRE?

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism (PKT) is operated by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development and will close when PKED dissolves on December 31, 2024. PKT and the Visitor Centre (as well as virtual and remote visitor services) will continue to operate as normal until the end of year.

IS THE TRI-PARTY AGREEMENT BEING TERMINATED BASED ON THE PERFORMANCE OF PKED, PKT, OR THE BAC?

The purpose and scope of the work undertaken by PKED on behalf of the City of Peterborough and Peterborough County is guided by a tri-party Memorandum of Understanding, which dictates PKED’s governance structure, mandate, services, reporting, accountability, and financial requirements. This MOU has been reviewed and renewed every 4 years, and the CAOs of the City of Peterborough and Peterborough County held seats on PKED’s Board of Directors to ensure responsible oversight and delivery of PKED’s requirements as outlined in the MOU. PKED’s Business Plan and Budget are presented and approved by councils annually.

PKED has a 25+ year history of award-winning, nationally recognized programs and initiatives that have been consistently held up as best practices. It has an effective track record of obtaining additional funding from multiple levels of government as well as private partners to support additional programs, initiatives, campaigns, and projects to supplement the core funding provided by the City and the County. PKED has a strong track record of results based on the requirements of the MOU. Examples of this can be found in our 2023 Year in Review video and at www.investptbo.ca/reports.