Mayor Darrin Canniff (Chatham-Kent Economic Development) 

During his annual mayor’s address to the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce on Thursday morning, Darrin Canniff said a key part of his role as mayor is to help unlock the community’s potential.

Canniff told more than 80 people at the breakfast meeting that his ongoing community and business tours across the municipality have shown him most people are optimistic about the direction of Chatham-Kent, Municipal officials said in a press release.

Canniff praised Chatham-Kent’s “world class” standing in many areas and pledged to use what he said are “opportunities” for municipal government to do a better job helping business.

“When business succeeds, Chatham-Kent succeeds,” he said.

The mayor said his priorities include increasing housing starts, finding more space for business expansion and working to identify opportunities to bring high-paying jobs to the community.

“We’re on track for 200 housing starts,” he said, noting that the average had been “about 40” for the past several years.

Increasing infrastructure, investing in a new multi-use sports/arena complex to replace Memorial and Erickson arenas and securing senior government funding are key initiatives.

He said increasing public-private partnerships is an important step in bringing forth ideas.

He urged community leaders to “touch base” with Chatham-Kent youth.

He said he has no problem being known as “Chatham-Kent’s Cheerleader.”