Comment 48649

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 02, 2010 at 08:48:31

There is a thought inducing opinion piece titled "What would you do with $60m?" by Mark Chamberlain in the print version of today's Hamilton Spectator. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an available link to it on thespec.com.

Mr. Chamberlain makes a particularly important observation:

"With all the issues facing our city today, we have for far too long been focused on the best place to locate a $150 million-plus, publicly funded football stadium, of which $60 million plus is planned to come from the Hamilton Future Fund even though the board has made it clear that the fund should only be used if the stadium is located at the west harbour.

The fact that discussions continue should alone be cause for alarm, but even more concerning is there has been no public engagement for alternative uses of the $60 million.

Imagine what this could do for city building."

Mr. Chamberlain later states that there are many possible alternative uses for the $60 million from the Future Fund and he provides two examples:

  1. implementation of the Shifting Gears Cycling Master Plan;

  2. investing the money "into family medicine and training of family doctors while redeveloping our downtown" although he notes that such a facility is now planned for the McMaster Innovation Park because a previous plan to build it downtown was deemed to be unaffordable.

He then provides a litmus test in using these Future Fund monies: "Have we considered the absolute needs of Hamilton? Improved health, affordable housing, public transportation, walkable/cyclable infrastructure and jobs- or a stadium?"

Mr. Chamberlain completes his opinion piece with a cautionary note: "Investment in luxury will be the largest misuse of public funds in the history of our city and will haunt us and our children for decades.

I love football. I love the Tiger-Cats. I love my city more."

And this city needs more people like Mark Chamberlain. His question, "What would you do with $60 Million?" should be asked to each candidate for mayor and councillor during the current Hamilton municipal election campaign.


Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2010-10-02 07:54:09

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