Comment 77474

By Serendipity (registered) | Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:52:40

Paul Wilson's words are very emotional and one can feel that he still considers the stadium not being located at west harbour a great loss. My stance is the same it has always been - the stadium did not belong at the west harbour. This is not only my personal opinion, it was the opinion of the City, Hamiltonians, and local residents in the North End, Beasley, Barton-Tiffany neighbourhoods way back in the early 2000's when the City came up with Setting Sail, a city-wide planning initiative for the west harbour and an Environmental Assessment was carried out. The whole city was invited to the planning processes.

Staff, council, citizens and local residents voted overwhelmingly to scrap the idea of a stadium (which came suddenly into Setting Sail when we were gunning for a shot at the Commonwealth Games). The reasons why the west harbour and a stadium were not a good fit were many; reading reports from that time explain more fully than I can here.

I think it was unconscionable of someone at City Hall to open pandora's box without mention of the official plan which did not include a stadium at WH. Personally, I found many pro-west harbourites very aggressive and was confused as to why they seemed uninterested in the fact that all Hamiltonians were invited to participate in the planning that resulted in Setting Sail. Actually, Setting Sail was just one of many plans going on in the area prior, during and after the 'no stadium' in west harbour decisions and no one, absolutely no one in the City raised a stink about it. Why? Because the right decision made by citizens and city staff and council determined the stadium a bad fit in 04 or 05. The City engaged the public and they spoke loud and clear against a stadium.

Yup, guess I'm still a little emotional about it too; a lot of effort was put forth by both sides of the last, literally, WH stadium debate and the inevitable happened: the Feds (main funders) understood the validity of the no-stadium decision in the first EA process, culminating into the this day, I believe that's the only thing that brought the stadium debate to a grinding halt, no money, no stadium. However, it was a shame that the Mayor and councillors and David Adames had no regard for the EA and OP from the outset and pressed their desires on a public that had little , if any, knowledge of the years long Setting Sail and West Harbour planning that engaged/involved citizens from all parts of the city.

In the end all that came of the west harbour (apart from recent demolitions) was too many people were forced to leave their homes because less than 4,000 (mentioned in article) supported a stadium in the barton-tiffany neighbourhood.

The whole sad saga of a combined ignorance of past official plans; needless, painful and cruel expropriation (which today sounds almost illegal considering no stadium will go there); and, utter contempt of Environmental Assessments could have been avoided if the pro-stadium in the harbour folks had respected, no matter how much they didn't care for them, but had really respected the very excellent planning and EA processes that the public and city had carried out, completed and declared a stadium in WH a complete dud.

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