Freshman mayor of London Ed Holder gave his first State of the City address this morning out of the London Convention Centre.

At the start Holder began by saying that “In a word, the State of our City is ‘strong.’”

From there Holder went on to focus on employment and said his top priority is to “refocus our primary job efforts on filling the openings available today.”

Holder noted that the number of people between 25 and 64 years of age not seeking work was on the rise.

When it came to issues of transportation and Bus Rapid Transit, Holder noted that the fall election could delay funding agreements with upper levels of government and was urging council to identify major projects to bring forward to the provincial government.

He also said that the city needed higher-speed train service between here and Toronto but stopped short of calling it high-speed rail.

In his speech he also addressed five challenges of employment, poverty, transportation, safe city and construction permit/approval delays. 

In a surprising move, event organizers blocked the event from being streamed live online, saying it was a private event and people needed to buy tickets.

The event had been live streamed in previous years.

The speech was delivered to a record crowd of 1,400 gathered at London’s Convention Centre on Thursday morning.

The annual gathering, hosted by London’s Chamber of Commerce, is the largest event of its kind in Canada.

A full video of the speech is available on and a full report can be seen tonight at 6 p.m.