Larry Di Ianni on Red Hill

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 13, 2007

Haven't had your fill of your favourite former mayor? Fear not: Chris Ecklund, a Hamilton-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, has begun hosting a weekly column by Larry Di Ianni on his website.

Demonstrating the expressive, unfiltered power of the internet, the column affords Di Ianni a platform to say exactly what he thinks about current political events.

His column this week concerns the official opening of the Red Hill Valley Parkway, and Di Ianni bars no holds in his account of either his role in bringing the road to fruition or the nefraious doings of his political opponents.

Putting Terry Cooke's comparatively dainty treatment in a recent Spectator to shame, Di Ianni castigates his "most ardent opponents" who "lurked in the darkness of cyberspace and secret meetings".

He echoes Cooke on his intrepid defence of "the vast majority of Hamiltonians' intention to see the road constructed" and lambastes his opponent in the mayoral election of 2003 for "foolishly" going against "the rightness and necessity" of the highway. (Not to mention foolishly failing to, er, raise nearly as much campaign money.)

It gets juicier. In a teaser paragraph that dangles tantalizing tidbits of gossip about the inner political wranglings behind the highway, Di Ianni mentions that were he to write a book, a chapter would feature the "evil genius behind the Friends of the Red Hill [sic] strategies".

But fear not: rather than drag his tails through all that muck, Di Ianni would rather focus on the future, as the highway itself inexorably does.

In his coup de grace, after writing a column about the highway, he urges, "Move on Hamilton! There are more important things to do than to debate a reality whose time has finally come!" (But presumably there aren't more important things to do than to gloat about it.)

At Raise the Hammer, we too try to dwell on the future: the immediate future of burgeoning deficits, sharply reduced municipal capital budgets and higher property taxes; and the longer-term future of volatile oil prices in the $200/barrel range, fuel supply instability and chaotic weather.

We think about those people in the future who will themselves be tempted to look back and assess the investment choices we made at the height of our power. We think about what they will conclude as they scratch their heads and wonder just what on earth we were thinking.

Then again, we also try to support adaptive reuse wherever possible. In that postive, forward-looking light, I propose a contingency plan to give the project a new name in light of likely future developments: The Red Hill Valley Skateboard Park.

Special thanks to the cyberspace lurker who secretly brought this column to our attention.

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 Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted November 15, 2007 at 00:09:32

It would be refreshing to have just one expressway proponent with balls.

Someone who could say "the highway will do this, this, and this..." and sign it.

Then commit to monitoring and validating the claims. Only then can you be proved wrong or right in the future.

Larry? Terry? Any real men out there?

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By seagull (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2007 at 01:28:52

Are you kidding me Anonymous? Houses almost always lose value when highways are built next to them. Other than Desantis who gets to sell a billion dollars in new houses a short drive from the onramp, how is this remotely going to benefit Hamilton. All those people next to Red Hill are going to be screaming when their 'Parkway' is all gridlock, all the time with plenty of smog to boot.

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By everywhere365 (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2007 at 20:56:06

Too bad even some of our own friends or family has mixed opinions on these issues.

Half(each maybe on our side....no more highways....other side, great for business & growth.

My observation, for> rely on cars. smoke, drink and maybe obese...(?)

...against > cycle, eat healthy, maybe vegetarians/vegans, dead against tobacco & alcholhol and of course....the automobile, bus it....oh yeh! i could go on and on but can hardly wait to see what this Red Hill(HELL)Exp will actually do for our future.

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By Worker (anonymous) | Posted November 19, 2007 at 04:05:57

All Iknow is that for the last 3 years I have to drive around Hamilton to get to work, my car has put out exhaust like crazy driving on the QEW to the 403 then back up the hill to Ancaster or I had the option to come up the hill in Grimsby and drive down Mud street to catch the Linc and make it to the 403 to get to Ancaster. This expressway has just cut off 15 minutes in each direction meaning almost 25 Km or 50 Km a day which also means I am now putting out a lot less smog in the big CLEAN town of Hamilton, saving gas and wear and tear on the car. Once winter hits this looks like the it will be the most safe route up and down the hill as all the others are much sharper grades. The traffic will be the concern for all as if it backs up and becomes a parking , it isn't going to be much good for anybody, so we'll see how that goes.

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By NotLarry (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 11:47:08

Had enough of Di Ianni? Have a peek at The Official "Anyone But Larry Di Ianni" Site: http://notlarry.com. Have a read, then pass it on to your friends.

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