Online retail giant Amazon is set to make a major investment in Ottawa, with a warehouse that will employ roughly 1,000 people, according to two members of Parliament.
Orléans MP Andrew Leslie confirmed in an interview with CBC News that the company plans to take over a giant warehouse proposed for 5371 Boundary Rd., near Highway 417. An application submitted to the city says the facility will be over one million square feet and require 99 truck bays and more than 1,000 parking spaces.
"It will employ approximately 1,000 people, good middle class jobs, and it's going to be a transportation hub," said Leslie, late on Thursday. "We have been working with Amazon for a couple of months now and we are just thrilled that it's all coming to maturation."
3 levels of government involved
Leslie said that provincial, federal and municipal governments have all been involved in efforts to attract the firm.
He said an announcement of the project was planned in the future. He did not have details of any government funding that might have been involved in attracting the project.
Leslie said it's a fantastic opportunity for the city and the site is well-situated.
"We are thrilled. I think this is fantastic news for Orléans."
Francis Drouin, MP for the adjacent riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, said it would be good for the entire region and the site is perfectly situated, with highways nearby and close to both Ottawa and Montreal.
"It will drive traffic away from the downtown core, which is perfect," he said.
Mayor silent on issue
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declined to confirm the news at a press conference on Friday. However, he said it would be great news for the city.
"Obviously we welcome any investment in our community,' he said.
He added that it would be good to have a major employer in the eastern part of the city.
In 2015, city council voted to extend municipal water services to the area and in 2016 council identified the site as an important employment opportunity.
"A lot of my efforts have been trying to get companies to locate in the east end," Watson said.
Pierre Leroux, the mayor of Russell Township, said he also couldn't confirm the news, but said it would be good to have a major employer in the community.
"Amazon is a multi-billion dollar, multi-national company so if they are here it will be for the long term," he said. "The offshoot of everything else will just be incredible for the area."
The company also declined to confirm its plans.
"Amazon is constantly investigating new locations to support the growth and increase the flexibility of its North American network to address customers' needs," they said in a statement. "Amazon is not yet commenting on any specific plans in Ottawa."