Comment 40328

By toppler (anonymous) | Posted May 03, 2010 at 13:53:15

Aren't there already programs, such as at Mac's Innovation Park, to support local start-ups? It may be some time, however, before this results in employment growth. And it is very difficult to predict which start-ups will become employers. Politicians hate to be seen as guessing wrong when handing out funds, and with start-ups, statistically speaking, wrong is going to be the probable choice. So politicians are inclined to play safe and make selections based upon experience, which means throwing money at exisiting, successful companies, many who are just passing through.

Also, I'm not so sure that Hamilton is lacking all that much as a community to attract a talented, educated elite, if in fact you look at the amenities themselves instead of listening to what is said about them by so many local residents themselves. Not to stifle local criticism, but I think the city is vastly under-developed as a tourist centre. Many Hamilton-based tourist infrastructure assets are supported by government (the AGH, trails, waterfront parks, museums and more) but I don't get the sense that there are many local businesses building on this infrastructure.

Hamilton is sitting smack-dab in the middle of a major, international tourist region. People come from all around the world to visit Niagara and Toronto. And there are many more attractions to the north and west. I think the city needs a single, big, central attraction, some sort of theme park perhaps, to both advertise the city as it advertises itself, and to encourage tourists to make Hamilton the base for exploring the dozens of attractions that are within 1 hour of King & James. A waterslide down Stelco Tour, perhaps. Or a major theatre festival on the escarpment edge. Or a waterfall tower downtown on the face of the escarpment (at Charlton Ave. E.) or all of the above.

But the push to do such things should come from local entrepreneurs. Otherwise we end up with decisions based upon polical and bureaucratic expediency (corporate and governmental,) such as how to clean up a north-end brownfield, rather than decisions based upon commercial (and employment) potential, such as building a new stadium where people are most likely to see and maximize use of it.

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