Windsor mayor to focus on diversification and attracting investment

Fiat Chrysler isn't leaving Windsor, but the mayor wants to act like it will in 2025 to start preparing.

The new council was officially sworn in for the 2018-2022 term Monday night

Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens says the city needs to start planning as if the Fiat Chrysler plant will close in 2025. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

Windsor could be the next Oshawa and it's time to start preparing for that reality, according to mayor Drew Dilkens.

That was Dilkens' main message during his inaugural council address at St. Clair Centre for the Arts Monday night.

He said even though Fiat Chrysler has given no indication that they are leaving, "we must think about it, we must talk about it, and we must plan and prepare for this possibility."

"We need to start planning as if we've just been given notice that 2025 is the year this plant will close."

Diversifying industry and continuing to attract investments to Windsor are two key points Dilkens mentioned as ways to ensure people who could lose their auto jobs down the line, are able to shift to something else.

Quicken Loans coming to the city and a major German manufacturer's first North American headquarters were two examples Dilkens gave as some of the success the city has seen when it comes to pursuing new sectors.

Even so, Dilkens said there needs to be more done.

"We are getting our message out, but we simply have to put more resources into this effort to be successful."

Tap the player below to watch the entire inaugural city council meeting.

He also briefly mentioned building regional transit and working to solve problems in mental health and addictions.

The first formal city council meeting will be held Dec. 17.

Four new faces — Fabio Costante, Gary Kaschak, Kieran McKenzie and Jim Morrison — will be joining other re-elected councillors around the table.