Drew Dilkens

Drew Dilkens

Drew Dilkens is proud to represent one of the most modern, diverse and affordable cities in North America. Drew Dilkens is a lifelong resident of the City of Windsor, he was elected as the city’s Mayor in 2014. He has a Bachelor of Commerce and a law degree from the University of Windsor. He also has a Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University and received his Doctorate of Business Administration from the International School of Management in Paris, France. He and his wife, Jane Deneau, have two young children. His monthly column in Biz X, “On the Mayor’s Mind” relates to topics of interest to the citizens of Windsor ranging from economic development and budget to city services and sports tourism.
Mayor Drew Dilkens, 20 Year Strategic Vision

Mayor Drew Dilkens – 20 Year Strategic Vision

“We can have a bright future, but to get there we need to shape and plan our tomorrows.” —20-Year Strategic Vision, Windsor City Council

City Council is committed to Windsor being the absolute best that it can be. To see our community thrive, we laid out three main goals for the 20 year strategic vision, more jobs; addressing our City’s reputation; and improving quality of life for our citizens.

These carefully chosen objectives are building blocks that help make and keep cities great.

A city is, first and foremost, a home for its residents. Like any home, a city needs infrastructure, stability, security and functionality; but it also needs colour, warmth, vibrancy, laughter and love to be a place where we can grow, and where we can proudly open our door to welcome visitors.

To be strong, a city must be more than its streets and sewers; more than its buildings and services. A strong city is a dynamic place of civic pride and a hub for innovation, culture and creativity. A strong city has a “we can make it happen” attitude, a diversified economy, and meaningful opportunities for employment. It is a place where caring neighbourhoods, green spaces, multiculturalism, tourism and healthy living are all key priorities.

Windsor is a very strong city.

Through decisions, investments, initiatives, partnerships and planning, 2016 was a year of growth, development, achievement and celebration.

For the first time in 15 years, Windsor’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent; one of the lowest jobless rates in the country. The focus and investments made with respect to economic development are paying off. Fiat Chrysler’s continued growth and investment here is critically important. The push to help provide access to quality employment opportunities also plays an important role in this positive shift.

Both the City and County committed to raising our local 10 percent contribution required to fund the new Windsor-Essex Hospital System, sending a clear message that we are united in support of a shared vision, and demonstrating that Windsor wants to attract the best and brightest healthcare professionals to our City. This project will transform our regional healthcare system, spur economic development, create jobs and benefit all of us in countless ways for decades to come.

The “Rio Olympics” illustrated how past, present and future investments in our sports and recreation infrastructure allows athletes to train in Windsor and find success at the top levels. Focusing on Sports Tourism as an economic driver that can also change the stories that are told about our City, we played big in 2016 and kept Windsor on the world stage.

Large-scale international events like the upcoming “13th FINA World Swimming Championships” (25m), along with local and national competitions of all sizes, give us the opportunity to show the world what makes Windsor a world-class destination.

Our city is now known to excel at hosting sports competitions while providing unforgettable experiences for participants. We see solid proof of this in our successful bid to co-host the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires, and in being shortlisted to co-host the 2019 World Juniors with London.

20 Year Strategic Vision continues HERE

Drew Dilkens, Mayor, City of Windsor,FINA World Swimming Championships, Healthcare

Transforming Healthcare In Windsor-Essex

Transforming Healthcare In Windsor-Essex


In April 2016, Essex County Warden Tom Bain and I sent a letter to the Honourable Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, advising him that our region is ready to move to the next phase in planning for the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System.

Following receipt of overwhelming approval by both City and County Councils on an agreed upon cost-sharing plan, it was important for us to give the Minister our commitment to take the necessary steps and raise the mandatory local contribution of 10% of overall project costs. This was an opportunity for us to clearly state that our community has united in support of a shared vision — One System. One Focus. One Community. Countless Strengths.

“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” — Winston S. Churchill

I am proud of our elected representatives and administrators from the City of Windsor and County of Essex for showing true leadership, making bold decisions and reaching consensus on these important community support measures.

I am not surprised to see this support and assurance from our councils. We know that our existing facilities are out of date and hard-pressed to meet current healthcare needs — let alone our future service needs. In short, we know this project is needed for our region.

Our new single-site acute care hospital will be a 1.6 million square foot, 10-storey, state-of-the-art facility that includes emergency/trauma services, cancer centre, obstetrics, pediatrics, regional cardiac services, critical care, inpatient units, surgical services and outpatient clinics. The new hospital will open with nearly 500 beds, and will modernize regional healthcare delivery in Windsor Essex.

The new single-site acute care hospital is only one piece of this larger healthcare revitalization in our region. The Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Tayfour Campus will see redevelopment of the existing site to add a new 60-bed acute mental health wing, which will give patients direct access to mental health assessment and treatment 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, along with the addition of dialysis services and the expansion of diagnostic imaging.

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Drew Dilkens, Mayor, City of Windsor,FINA World Swimming Championships, Healthcare

Windsor’s 20 Year Strategic Vision Approved

In my inaugural speech back in December 2014, I indicated I would be asking Council to undertake a 20 year strategic vision exercise.

After a nearly year-long development and consultation process, a 20 Year Strategic Vision has been approved that will serve as a cornerstone for Council and City administration when making decisions with respect to programs, services, and infrastructure, and provide the community with an avenue for input on the future of the City.

John Naisbitt’s quote above is indicative of the reasoning behind the strategic visioning exercise. The City has numerous long-term plans and reports that have been developed, ranging from individual infrastructure projects, such as the Central Riverfront Implementation Plan, to the Parks & Recreation Master Plan, which guides the direction of the park system and its operational management. These plans, however, cannot be left to sit on a shelf. Plans require a vision to help direct their implementation and to ensure that they remain relevant to today’s needs.

Twenty years may seem like a long time when you compare it to our four year election cycle or the rapid pace of technological advancements, but there are many projects that require years of planning.

With the data available to us today, we have the ability to forecast things such as when the space in our landfill will run out, an issue that will cost significantly more to deal with if we do not start planning for it now. A 20 Year Strategic Vision is also in line with the long-term planning practices of other cities such as Edmonton, Toronto, Copenhagen, our sister city Gunsan, and Vancouver, Washington, which have all engaged in long-term planning exercises of 10 to 25 years.

As a new Mayor, and with a Council that has several new faces, it was important to me to develop a common goal that could be used as a rallying point for the rest of our term, as well as a reasonable picture of where the City is headed over the next 20 years to help guide our decision making.

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Drew Dilkens, Mayor, City of Windsor,FINA World Swimming Championships, Healthcare

FINA World Swimming Championships


Representing Canada, Hosting The World,FINA World Swimming Championships

Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Athens, Moscow, Shanghai, Manchester, Dubai . . . what do these cities have in common? Most people, when asked, would probably identify them as famous cities, or maybe even world class cities. Let’s add Windsor to this list. Now what do they have in common? They are all host cities of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).

Windsor may not have the population of Toronto, or Vancouver, or Montreal, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the expertise, the facilities or the civic pride to represent Canada on the world stage. The FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) is the largest international swimming-only competition in the world and is an extremely prestigious event Windsorites should be proud and excited to be hosting.

The Championships will attract up to 1,000 of the world’s best swimmers from over 175 countries, many of whom will also compete at the “Rio Olympic Games.” These athletes, competing for 46 gold medals over six days, are expected to attract more than 35,000 spectators and to showcase Windsor to millions more around the world.

In addition to the FINA World Swimming Championships from December 6 to 11, 2016, Windsor has also been chosen to host the 2016 “FINA World Aquatics Convention” December 3 to 5 which includes the “FINA Gala Awards Dinner,” the “FINA Swimming Coaches Golden Clinic” and the “FINA World Sports Medicine Congress.”

These events will attract an additional 700 to 800 delegates from the global aquatics industry as well as senior representatives of National Swimming Federations, high performance swimming coaches and sport scientists from around the world.

It is anticipated that FINA’s “4th World Aquatics Convention,” the first ever in North America, will be the biggest yet, due to Windsor’s strategic location and readily accessibility for all involved in the world’s largest aquatics marketplace.

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Drew Dilkens, Mayor, City of Windsor,FINA World Swimming Championships, Healthcare

Windsor Celebrates Chimczuk Museum & ACH

On February 18, 2016 I had the honour of cutting the ribbon at the new Chimczuk Museum in downtown Windsor, officially opening this incredible facility to our citizens and visitors.

The Chimczuk Museum is a premier destination that houses permanent exhibits on the history of the Windsor area, the Original People’s Culture and Legacy, and the development of our City. There’s a Children’s Gallery and Learning Space that pops with innovative hands-on activities, bold colours, and artifacts to inspire wonder in the imaginations of our citizens — of all ages – for generations to come.

The new museum is one of three sites that comprise Museum Windsor. Its partner sites include the Maison François Baby House downtown, and the Duff-Baby Interpretation Centre in Sandwich Town.

This newest addition to a cultural hub growing in our City’s core represents the realized dream of Joseph Chimczuk, who wanted an appropriate venue to share our rich history; and the councillors, staff, consultants, builders, designers, historians, volunteers, and public partners who share that dream helped to give it life.

This also represents the next step in a vision to develop an arts and culture corridor.

It is a vision that began with a question: how can the City of Windsor champion the arts, celebrate culture, and showcase heritage NOW?

It is a vision that began with a desire to ensure that when we finish work or school, and have dealt with the demands of our lives, there is something special waiting: an exhibit, a gallery, a theatrical production, a stellar meal . . . an experience!

I asked myself what we are doing, as a City, to realize that vision today.

The answers came quickly.

The City of Windsor recognizes the important role of arts, culture and heritage to our City’s growth and development, and invests in the infrastructure needed to support and showcase our creative community.

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