Letter from Board Chair Gord Nixon to The Toronto Star

Note: The following letter was submitted to the editor of The Toronto Star in response to an article published on August 7, 2014.

Dear Editor:

Re: “Star finds taxpayer-funded MaRS’ math doesn’t add up” dated 7 August, 2014

I am very disappointed with your recent story about MaRS. MaRS was created by business and community leaders because global competition is fierce and our economy is in a necessary transition.  We know that our prosperity and our quality of life depend on our ability to harness the full potential of Canadian innovation. Those of us involved with MaRS see firsthand the impact it is already having and the momentum that is building around its work with students, researchers, technology entrepreneurs and startup companies. Modelled on approaches taken by leading innovation cities around the world, MaRS has quickly become a model others are emulating because our results are impressive.  Despite the reporter’s unsubstantiated skepticism, we are confident about third-party data that, together with industry standard models, confirms MaRS’ impact on the Ontario economy already exceeds $3 billion, without taking into account many activities which are harder to measure such as delivering entrepreneurship education. A recent independent survey of almost 600 MaRS clients confirmed that 85% said MaRS made a positive contribution to their success.

I know that the team at MaRS are absolutely committed to helping the next generation of entrepreneurs build strong new businesses, and, with them, meaningful jobs for future generations. I am absolutely confident they are succeeding.

Gord Nixon
Chair, Board of Directors
MaRS Discovery District