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Sep 10, 2018

Toronto would get Amazon’s HQ2 if it were a U.S. city: Ed Clark

Former Ontario advisor Clark not against a private model for cannabis

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The man once tasked with bringing Amazon's second headquarters to Toronto believes only politics are standing in the city’s way.

“I’ve always said, if we were inside the United States or the United States weren’t in its quite political mood, Toronto would win hands-down,” former Toronto-Dominion Bank CEO Ed Clark told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Monday.

Clark was picked by former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne in Sept. 2017 as an advisor to the province in efforts to convince Amazon to put its new headquarters in the Greater Toronto Area.

Amazon has narrowed its search to a list of 20 potential cities – including Toronto – to play home to HQ2, but progress reports out of the deliberations have not been made readily available.

Clark noted that a CBRE report recently found Toronto to be the fastest growing tech market in North America, which should put the city ahead of its American competition.

“Toronto’s far and away the winner,” he said. “And not only has it added more [jobs] than any other city in the United States, but in fact if you look at net … Toronto’s off the chart as the one that’s drawing in talent rather than exporting talent.”

He also added that Toronto could wind up being the best deal for Amazon.

“It’s still a fantastic story and it’s one of the interesting things about what’s going on. We actually are moving into the knowledge economy,” he said.

“And then they say: ‘What is the cheapest source of great talent?’… Toronto.”