Comment 61581

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted March 26, 2011 at 12:44:35

I took the time to read this article once again this morning, and I must say that I am extremely disappointed that it is slated to be published in a journal of some standing among a fairly large group of progressive regional & national readers.

The CCPA, Canada’s leading progressive voice for over three decades has developed a reputation for publishing a large body of well researched and insightful articles, reports & studies – which I presume are either peer reviewed, or at best vetted by an editorial board for integrity and depth of subject matter.

While this article attempts to assemble a chronology of events – it suffers greatly on account of its strong bias on the West Harbour location issue.

What I find here to be highly disingenuous is the attempt to bury all biases by making it appear that this article is about an: “interesting case study of how citizens used alternative and social media to mobilize public support and directly engage decision makers.”

While that may be true to some degree, it does very little to investigate this angle any further. Instead this lengthy chronology is used to launch more biased opinions on the West Harbour issue, while blatantly continuing to ignore all facts regarding the WH site – which are apparent to anyone who is willing to spend a little time investigating the location in question.

What comes through is a self-congratulatory assessment of the role that the writer and his supporters played – in exacerbating the already tenuous conditions created by the faulty PanAm games site selection process. Conditions which were in fact created by the very person (our then mayor) whom this group chose to anoint as a maverick of sorts – in what is painted here to be a battle to protect the interests of over half a million people of our city.

What one is left with is a confusing narrative which vainly attempts to establish that the “system” grossly failed the people of Hamilton – while the maverick and the “campaign” of a group of new-media driven supporters – battled against tremendous odds to save the city from being overrun by evil forces.

This could have had an happy ending, if the WH location were to have been selected. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

What follows in the wake of this is the most bizarre caricaturization of the lower city and its two neighbourhoods: The “rightful One” that supposedly lost the legacy, and the undeserving “insignificant other” which became the beneficiary of the legacy on account of the evil forces.

We all know what really went down. Most of “us the people” quickly came to terms with it – implying that lessons were learnt without the need to review lengthy chronologies.

What I believe that the “campaign” has yet to learn is the difference between the right way of doing things and the wrong way of doing thing.

For such “ad hocism” to be relevant to the “diverse” people and businesses of this city – the “campaign” needs to seriously ask itself: Was it really inclusive of other views – other people? And correspondingly, was this really a “good example of an engaged community and popular education” – when the very information they were being fed was certifiably biased?

Peer review is an accepted practice adopted by established journals for good reasons. While I sure hope that CCPA is not left holding the burden of an ill-researched article, this city deserves far better than such cavalier approach to redevelopment.

If the "campaign" is still open to other views, I would be more than happy to explain at length as to why the WH site was and will never be suited for sports.

There are other ways to raise money to remediate private properties on the West Harbour – which will never ask the new media to compromise its first-principles, nor ask it to indulge in a public charade which ends up polarizing the entire community.

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-03-26 13:09:26

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