Special Report: Pan Am

Open Letter to Council: We Support You

We are not here to bully or threaten you. We are here to show you the passion, desire, and vision we want for Hamilton and to help you make it a reality.

By RTH Staff
Published August 02, 2010

Dear Hamilton City Council,

The Our City, Our Future campaign started with a remarkable groundswell of public support for the West Harbour location of the Pan Am stadium.

Years in the planning, the West Harbour represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate waterfront development and downtown revitalization, along with gaining GO train and LRT development, that we have deserved as a city for a long time.

It is a chance to bring us in line with many other cities in North America that we have looked to for inspiration for many years. It's our chance to became a city of inspiration as well.

A West Harbour stadium is an appropriate use of our scarce Future Fund dollars and is supported by a variety of local leaders in the private sector. Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of the West Harbour stadium earlier this year and we had, for once, a rare moment of local consensus about our city's future.

This broad consensus was born not out of threats or bullying - from within or from without the city - but rather of the positive desire and passion for Hamilton that we all share.

We are writing to reaffirm that we support you.

Thousands of Hamiltonians have joined the Our City, Our Future campaign to say that we support Council's decision for the West Harbour, which is still your official endorsed position on this issue.

The Province has confirmed and reconfirmed that they will support your decision on where to build the Pan Am stadium.

We support you to stand up to the shallow threats of a single stakeholder. We support you to push forward with what is clear to thousands of Hamiltonians: It's Our City, Our, Future, and Our Money to invest.

We support you in making what will likely be a defining decision in your political careers - a decision that, looking back, will be a turning point in the revitalization of our city. Many years from now, when the individual personalities have been forgotten, your legacy will still be visible to hundreds of thousands of citizens 365 days a year.

We support you because you are our elected City Council, and not the Tiger-Cats or the CFL.

We are not here to bully or threaten you. We are here to show you the passion, desire, and vision we want for Hamilton and to help you make it a reality.

Threats are for those who are in it for narrow interest, for the short term. We are all the caretakers of Hamilton's future and we are with you for the broad public interest and for the long haul.

It's Our City and Our Future. Let's build it.

On August 10, vote to reaffirm the West Harbour as the site of the Pan Am Games stadium to be financed by money through the Future Fund.

29 Comments

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By Be T (anonymous) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 19:41:58

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By Ancopa (registered) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 19:47:11

This "insular community" represents a broad swath of the city, and is composed of people from all walks of life. Many "people of this city" are also a part of the RTH community. Deal with it.

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By NewHere (anonymous) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 19:48:07

This city is a joke the way this has turned out. But I still love even though it's a joke. ;)

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted August 02, 2010 at 20:16:17

Be T,

As an east mountain site supporter who feels that the entire city is on your side, you should be pushing the ticats to open their own website for commenting by all.

Then we can finally see the true colours of the majority of citizens, right?

Or is the problem simply that only a small "insular community" within Hamilton has internet access?

Comment edited by seancb on 2010-08-02 19:17:39

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By lorne (registered) - website | Posted August 02, 2010 at 20:19:14

The letter eloquently conveys the passions of many, many Hamiltonians. Nicely done!

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 20:21:12

This "insular community" is on the same side as the chamber of commerce and most other business and community groups in this city.

After looking at the supporters on the Ticat site I would say the only the support the Ticats have are from people they directly control or the ones they have fooled into thinking that they actually have something positive to offer.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 20:31:06

Here is an example of what Hamilton's direct competitor cities are doing to revitalize downtowns.

"Improving downtown infrastructure is a must...That includes everything from street lighting and public bench upgrades to road improvements designed to slow traffic and improve the pedestrian experience. But it also means investing in event infrastructure to lure visitors from within and outside the city."

Comment edited by arienc on 2010-08-02 19:32:00

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By Be T (anonymous) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 20:49:32

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 21:11:58

Be T,

It's called down voting and it causes your comment to fade from view. You can turn that option off if you go into your profile and switch it off. That way the comments that are down voted will not fade. The reason it is here is to make trolls like you fade from existance.

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By Be T (anonymous) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 21:15:11

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By JMorse (registered) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 21:22:10

@ Be T

You're not actually saying anything. Why don't you join the discussion with something sensible to convince us how wise you are.

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By Robbuie K (anonymous) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 21:35:29

Be T, the only problem is that the pro WH site can be found at http://ourcityourfuture.ca/ . Comments are fully functional and there are a few EM supporting emails on it.

So, basically, get lost. Cheers.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 22:16:50

Wonderful article. Great sentiment and well expressed.

I think we all really do want to love Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats...

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted August 02, 2010 at 22:50:51

Bravo! Congratulations on a letter that's positive and wonderfully written. I hope members of City Council will appreciate the thoughtful positions taken by so many West Harbour supporters and juxtapose them against the disrespectful, presumptious and insulting tone of CFL Commissioner Cohon's threatening letter. There is simply no place for threats in civil discourse, especially empty ones.

My challenge to Bob Young, Scott Mitchill and Mark Cohon is simply this; tell us exactly which city it is that has the welcome mat out for you?

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By Smack dab in the middle (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 00:01:53

White Star Group has it dead on. Especially their latest updates on their web site. I like their remediation of brownfields attracting private investment for commercial/residential/arts/recreation mix-use development. Glen Hamilton said it correctly on his blog "If architect firms and developers could be summoned to make a beautiful stadium structure proposal and surroundings that enhances that limited, valuable, exclusive, shore line property, as per previous blog comments I made about shore line beautification and somehow meet the needs of Downtown and that historical sport institution, the Ticats, that would be heaven. I think its possible and I thought the White Star concept got close."

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By Incpetion (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 08:29:25

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By z jones (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 08:45:02

Boy, the trolls sure are out in force the past couple of days.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted August 03, 2010 at 09:40:35

A great letter.

I remember voting in the last election for the current mayor and my current councillor. I do not remember voting for, nor asking for the opinions of, Scott Mitchell, Michael Fenn, Mark Cohon, Ian Troop, or Bob Young.

The tone and content of the RTH letter provides a poignant counterpoint to the tone and content of the abusive, inappropriate, and completely out-of-touch rhetoric of the Ti-Cats and their provincial government supporters.

I'd ask each of our elected officials to take the pulse of the community. To reflect on what building a city can contribute to the future of Hamilton. To make what will be a very difficult decision, but one that will communicate in no uncertain terms that successfully standing for office also means successfully standing up for the citizens of this city when they are being bullied, threatened, and coerced by people who don't even live here, let alone who haven't made the commitment to serve their community as elected officials. They are serving their own constituents/shareholders, but let's not confuse our greater good with their greater revenue.

It's going to be an interesting week ahead.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted August 03, 2010 at 10:08:57

seancb look at what you do here, shut down any comment that doesn't support your point of view. Way to keep it real.

You know what sir/maddam, the great thing about this site is that no comments are deleted. Your opinion is welcomed, but will be voted down and greyed out simply to show that the community here rejects your point of view. Any other site will simply not accept it/delete it. The Go East Mountain campaign could use to be a little more 'open' to comment.

Sometimes it's not even that people are against what you are saying per say, but how you say it. Negativity wasn't as openly accepted it seemed, using foul language or putting down others, although this stadium debate seems to have 'taken off the gloves' sort of speak.

I have only been a member of this RTH community for a couple of months now, but this is site is less about bashing others, and more towards focusing on how we can find a common ground to solve the issues at hand even though we may not totally see eye to eye on certain matters.

It would be nice if Newspapers had this kind of discussion for every article they publish, and not just a 'Have Your Say' feature for the articles they feel should be discussed further.

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By anon (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 10:26:20

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY INCEPTION: You guys are idiots. Council should build a stadium for who? The rats? Get it through your thick heads: the cats are NOT going to the West Harbour. So, now how smart are you?


Seriously, where are the TiCats going to go? Is there some other city we don't know about that has a CFL stadium ready to go? The Ti Cats will play wherever the stadium is built. They don't have enough money to build their own stadium and there is nowhere else for them to go in the near term.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 10:29:06

You mean cities aren't lining up to buy the Ticats a $100 million suburban stadium?

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 11:44:54

z jones: Exactly.

If London were to build a stadium...where would they put it? Downtown.

If K-W were to build a new stadium...where would they put it? near Downtown.

Ottawa is building a new stadium to rejoin the CFL...near Downtown.

No city in Canada would offer a dime of public money to build any kind of mass entertainment facility in the suburbs - except perhaps Hamilton. As today's Globe article stated, mid-large sized cities are all looking to rejuvinate their downtowns by making them event centres.

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By Grande (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 12:12:32

The Halifax Tiger Cats doesn't have the same ring to it.

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By Robbie K (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 14:47:21

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By Imperial (anonymous) | Posted August 03, 2010 at 22:20:28

This letter is spot on RTH folks. We need to support each other through some of these more difficult decisions in our city's history. Tough choices for elected officials, developers, citizens, etc. We all need to challenge ourselves to make the tough choices right now. They've done the homework, the experts have spoken, loads of citizens have spoken > now its time to make a call and thats what we've elected them to do.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted August 04, 2010 at 10:09:53

There never will be a Name of Town Tiger Cats because they don't even own their own name. We do.

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By not a stadium supporter (anonymous) | Posted August 04, 2010 at 11:06:41

At first I was all for the West Harbour site and if pushed, that is still my preference. But what I would really like to see is all this money that would go to a stadium instead go into the city itself. Clean up all these toxic nightmares being uncovered, spend it on helping revitalize the city and helping its people, something a stadium no matter where it is built will do little directly for.

If anything is pushing me back towards supporting the harbour site it is the tiger Cats ultimatums. I mean come on what besides dissapointment have they brought our city for years. Even if they were winning, this does little for the rest of the city. And for this "gift" we are supposed to dump all our money into ticat hands? Look at thei location for their store! it is downtown but unless you know where it is you will probably never find it because it is off the main road on a street with virtually no traffic and with no promotion.

I went there the other day and I was the only person there and the 1 staff did not stop typing the entire time I was there. Yeah I have soooo much confidence in their ability to pick locations. and they abandoned Jackson Square for this???

I have not looked into what corporate Hamilton supports but even if the are under the ticats paws, the business community rarely comes out in the people's interest and since it is greenspace they wish to pave, Hamilton's track record their points to the great probability the city will eventually cave.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 05, 2010 at 13:42:50

and the 1 staff did not stop typing the entire time I was there. - not a stadium supporter

Probably busy filling the websites and message boards with the pro East Mountain talking points provided by the "Caretaker"... perhaps it was Be T? : )

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By maddmatt (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 11:34:29

My own letter to council;

Dear Councilors and Mayor

I am currently at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, supporting our troops efforts to bring democracy and fair government to this developing nation. What example is being set in my hometown of Hamilton when the clear and overwhelming wishes of it's populace are being ignored by their elected representatives in the interest of private enterprise? I, unfortunately, will not be home for this fall's election to express my utter dissatisfaction in the actions of my municipal government. I implore you to stand up and listen to the voices of the majority of my fellow Hamiltonians and support the West Harbour Stadium location. To do otherwise is a slap in the face of the of our citizens!

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