This morning's Hamilton Spectator shows classic Andrew Dreschel, his trademark bizarre, scoped perspective dripping with bias.
The issue is rather important: What form will Hamilton's future employment lands take?
Dreschel supports the traditional approach that Hamilton and most other Canadian cities have taken for the last half century: rape virgin farmland to supply the most desirable employment lands for potential industrial johns.
Then allow such companies to go bankrupt and toss aside contaminated brownfield lands like so many diseased whores.
This is the approach that Hemson Consulting verifies, using the apology that there will not be enough brownfield land to accommodate future growth as an excuse to continue to focus primarily on greenfield development.
The reason Hamilton ranks low in livability (pedestrian, cycling routes, downtown economic and cultural vibrancy) is exactly due to resources being directed at suburbs, highways, and new commercial employment lands on the city's periphery.
This is an expensive, inefficient business model with serious negative repercussions to the quality of life and tax burden of our city.
Dreschel and the establishment obviously do not see or choose not to see the negative repercussions.
I will quote Dreschel's final two paragraphs:
Hopefully they'll have sober second thoughts Wednesday. This is a crucial issue. Transforming the city's job creation performance is fundamental to everything in this city. It's not just an economic development issue. It's a social, infrastructure and environmental issue.
Exactly. So then how does he come to this mindless, regurgitated conventional conclusion:
If city council doesn't resolve it and start taking significant action, we will continue to see jobs going down the road to Brantford and Cambridge while we squat in our industrial rubble wrapped in nothing but threadbare dreams.
Brantford and Cambridge are not like Hamilton. They do not have the geography, the lake port, the prime central location or the architectural and cultural capital that we have.
In the traditional view, these are just liabilities: e.g. the Red hill expressway costs $60 million per kilometer to build given that cursed geography.
They can also be assets, but only if people like Dreschel are marginalized, or start to see the whole of reality (tee hee).
A weightlifter should not be training for the marathon. He is not built for it. In the same way we should not be competing with Brantford and Cambridge at a game where we will lose.
In fact, if we were to "successfully compete", we still lose because the negative consequences of our greenfield development obsession will not go away just because the establishment ignores them.
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