City, Mayor Launch Charm Offensive to Attract Moderna Facility

Attracting big business is a big business in its own right, and Mayor Cam Guthrie and the City of Guelph mean business in their campaign to attract the new Moderna facility to Guelph. Guelph’s corporate side has launched a full court press to convince Moderna to come here, and some of the arguments should be fairly persuasive. But will it work?

To recap, the Government of Canada announced yesterday that they reached memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Moderna, Inc. to build a state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine production facility in Canada. Moderna, of course, is the manufacturer one of the three COVID-19 vaccines distributed here in Canada, and this country suffers a complete lack of vaccine manufacturing, which was a big issue earlier this year as vaccines started to roll out. The one thing that was missing in yesterday’s announcement was *where* the new facility will be built in Canada.

“As Moderna expands internationally, we see Canada as an important partner, and we are delighted to be able to help the country ensure local supply and manufacturing capability of breakthrough mRNA technology on Canadian soil,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.

This is where Mayor Guthrie comes in.

“In Guelph we recognize and value the jobs, economic growth and community building that new businesses bring and we’re ready to help Moderna set up their new Canadian facility here, every step of the way,” Guthrie said in a statement. “We offer the best of both worlds: big-city amenities and opportunities with the community spirit and neighbourliness you would only expect to find in a small town—a place where businesses feel at home.”

The pitch is that Guelph is on Ontario’s innovation corridor, offers relatively quick access to both Highway #401 and Pearson International Airport, and has access to a workforce of 3.5 million people who are within an hour’s travel to the City. Also in Guelph’s favour is that we’re already home to several biotech businesses including Johnson & Johnson, Medline and Precision Biomonitoring, as well as the University of Guelph, which is regard as one of the best research universities in Canada, especially in biosciences.

Perhaps it’s also notable that Guelph and its surrounding communities are one of the most vaccinated areas in Canada with 74.9 per cent of eligible people being fully vaccinated, largely thanks to regular shipments of the Moderna mRNA vaccine.

“Guelph hits the mark when it comes to providing an environment for research, innovation and the talent Moderna needs to get their Canadian facility up and running,” said CAO Scott Stewart.

“Businesses who have located here rave about Guelph’s central location, skilled labour pool, and quality of life,” added Guthrie.

See the Mayor make his pitch in the video below.

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