Comment 54200

By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted January 01, 2011 at 05:30:55

@ wentworthst

Thanks for the thanks. You are too generous: I was beginning to partake of festive cheer, and you probably had to read it twice because of my garbled syntax.

Again, I'm not endorsing Burlington/Halton's development strategy or describing its economic philosophy as unproblematic so much as illustrating why I believe that Burlington's political and business leadership is unlikely to see a "free stadium" as unproblematic, and why I believe that council will likely decline the offer.

Admittedly, I used the "Filet-o-Fish" lightly, but not with the intention of dismissing the value of entry level service industry jobs. I too worked in my fair share of schlep jobs during my school years, but they are clearly limited employment options, and certainly do not require government intervention to exist.

I would agree that it is not so much a matter of attracting "high-paid workers" so much as, in the words of Craven, "high-paying jobs". In fact, Burlington's focus in the West Burlington Revitalization Study and in its Future Focus series of vision documents, is to increase the live-work options within the community (a large portion of Halton's professional population commutes to Toronto, as the three GO stations suggest), and to do so with as little public investment as possible. That notion stands in direct contrast to a project that could require $100m+ of public money, yield dubious benefit to the community and the taxpayer and perhaps even adversely impact the quality of life of Aldershot residents. (Four decades of strip malls along Plains Road speak to the limitations of carefree planning.)

The option I described earlier, while using Craven's 9,000 figure (ie. 30 companies with a workforce of 300) would, as I pointed out, potentially provide close-to-home employment for a third of the ward population, and ideally enough diversity within those 30 companies to engage various strata of the job market. That would be an outcome welcomed by politicians and the public alike. I remain unconvinced that a stadium would create anything close to that reality, and I gather that Burlington's council is no more optimistic than I am.

Happy New Year, one and all!

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