Saint John mayor pitches Port City to Toronto business leaders

Saint John Mayor Mel Norton is headed to Toronto Monday to promote economic opportunities in the Port City

Mel Norton says advantages include lower operating costs and competitve wage structures

Saint John Mayor Mel Norton is headed to Toronto Monday to promote economic opportunities in the Port City.

Norton will present to a select group of business leaders from across North America at a luncheon being hosted by former premier Frank McKenna and Maple Leaf Foods president Scott McCain.

Norton says he can't think of better business incentives than lower operating costs, overhead savings, and competitive wage structures.

“We want to send a message to folks in Toronto that Saint John is ready to play on the national stage," he told CBC News.

"We're back to do big things in a big way, we've got a tradition in New Brunswick, and Saint John specifically, of being able to do everything — from the country's largest refinery to the only LNG [liquefied natural gas] terminal.

"And we want to tell folks in Toronto that if they want to do business in a place where they can increase profit, save costs, and work in beautiful setting, this is the place to do it," Norton said.

The list of attendees includes: Stephen Wetmore, CEO of Canadian Tire, as well as New Brunswick business leaders such as Jim Irving, co-CEO of J.D. Irving Ltd., Arthur and Sandra Irving, and Derek Oland and Andrew Oland of Moosehead Breweries.