GRIDS Unscrambled

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 26, 2006

John Dolbec, the CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, asserted in an email to me that Hamilton is not "putting all of its eggs" in the aerotropolis basket.

I beg to disagree. According to the city staff report (PDF download) that recommended the aerotropolis expansion, it is supposed to generate 52,000 jobs between now and 2031. That's essentially all the new jobs expected over the next 25 years. The report recommending the aerotropolis expansion does so explicitly to provide square footage to accommodate that job growth.

Dolbec explained that the city's strategy spreads the risk by incubating a half-dozen "clusters" for economic growth. However, as Anthony DeSantis, President of the Hamilton–Halton Home-builders Association, pointed out last summer, aerotropolis is "the most important" cluster.

They can't have it both ways: either aerotropolis will be responsible for most job gains, in which case the city's growth plan is unbalanced, or else it will not be responsible for most job gains, in which case diverting aerotropolis investments elsewhere will not devastate the city's growth strategy.

The city can have as many "clusters" as it wants, but if most of the actual jobs are going into the one cluster that depends on the airline industry not contracting significantly over the next two decades, then we're in deep trouble.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By A Burlington resident (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2006 at 16:18:08

Dolbec has to be one of the most brain-dead business leaders in the country.

From the Hamilton Spec article:

John Dolbec, chief executive officer of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said its officials hadn't had a chance to study the report, but "we regard the whole peak oil thing as a red herring brought forward by people who are against airport development."
Yes, John, all of the world-wide geologists, petroleum engineers, investment bankers, evconomic think-tanks and OPEC leaders have all brouught out "Peak Oil" as a plan to stop the expansion of Hamilton's insignificant little airport.

What a dumba$$!

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By Hammer dweller (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2006 at 22:15:20

John Dolbec's comments sound to me like an ill-informed scared croney, which is totally understandable.

Look at downtown with the boosterism filter off, being the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce here is sort of like being the social planner on the crew of the Titanic.

"We are planning advanced economic GRID cluster aero-tropo-neo-George-Jetson long range plan yada yada yada..."

How about the truth: we are going to sell some more municipal bonds, and give the money to our crypto-mafia cronies in LIUNA and the development industry.

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted April 27, 2006 at 22:36:48

In defending the aerotropolis plan at all costs, the brain is incapable of any other processing.

More "group think" at work. Perhaps that term should be modified to "thought incest" since it produces offspring that, well, use your imagination. (since the thought-incestuous have no imagination, that won't be an insult!)

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By Come on (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2006 at 16:37:53

crypto-mafia cronies in Liuna? How about the crypto-klansmen at RTH.

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