Sprawl

Mahoney: How Can This Be Allowed To Happen?

By Jason Leach
Published June 18, 2009

The Spectator's Jeff Mahoney is on fire today:

You've heard of Wal-Mart. It's a chain. Around the ankles of locally owned independent business. Around the neck of workers' rights.

Just what we need in Hamilton. More chain.

Need it or not, it's what we're getting. Council voted to give preliminary approval for a new Wal-Mart on Centennial Parkway and the addition of a grocery section at the bit of chain on Rymal Road.

Don't worry. It's only preliminary approval. They'll have to, I don't know, draw up the architectural plans. Let's see now. Gimme that pencil, willya? Hmm. Jot, angle, jot, erase, jot, angle. Ta da. A box. Take that, Frank Lloyd Wright.

It just gets punchier from there.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted June 18, 2009 at 09:54:25

HAHA! Love it!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 18, 2009 at 09:56:02

Too bad he's stuck in the GO section. His arts columns have been getting more insightful too. He and Paul Wilson are by far the Spec's best columnists. It is high time they gave one of them a regular urban column in the main section.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 18, 2009 at 10:04:29

Good idea highwater. He and Paul are the only columns I seek out each week. It appears to me as though they could use a little more space and cover urban affairs more often.

I should add, lately I've been enjoying Terry Cooke's pieces as well, but I'm not sure how often he writes. Only seems to be once a month or so.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 18, 2009 at 10:23:27

Terry Cooke's been good lately too. Unlike the majority of our political/media/business leaders, he has enough sense to see where the future lies, but I think he only writes about once a month. I think Jeff and/or Paul would be better fits for a regular urban column as they could put urban principles in a local context and put a human face on them, with Cooke as a policy wonk to back them up every so often. ;)

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted June 18, 2009 at 10:24:56

Yes, it is a good article. Yes just exactly how is this going to lift the working class out of poverty? Worker's rights, what is that? It seems that our local leaders do not seem to care if our own workers have rights either. What a sad day for this city, where the elite have their rights, can give themselves raises, bonuses, perks and list goes on, yet the working poor have no place else to go, except maybe into the treets, when their wages no longer cover shelter or food.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 18, 2009 at 10:26:04

highwater wrote:

He and Paul Wilson are by far the Spec's best columnists.

Right on. Wilson is the closest thing we have to an urbanist like the Star's Christopher Hume, and he's arguably a stronger writer. He's certainly better at discovering and sharing Hamiltonians' stories in the context of how our neighbourhoods and communities are doing.

He and Jeff are far too talented to be left languishing in the entertainment section. I rather suspect the paper's editors are afraid that if they move Jeff and Paul to the main section (where they belong), the remaining bits of content in GO will scarcely be worth browsing at all.

jason wrote:

lately I've been enjoying Terry Cooke's pieces as well

Cooke is really firing on all cylinders. It's always gratifying to see a savvy, intellectually curious politics junkie in action, particularly when he doesn't feel obligated to toe any party lines.

As far as I can tell, he writes bi-weekly, alternating with the consistently entertaining Paul Benedetti. Like Mahoney and Wilson, Cooke is a bright light in the malnourished and otherwise barely-readable Weekend Reader.

At least it used to be padded with interesting syndicated pieces from the Economist and the CS Monitor; now it's a glorified, stand-alone editorial/op-ed page - albeit punctuated by occasional in-depth investigative reports (another Spectator strength).

Even there, I can't think of anything that really compelled me to dig in since Denise Davy's great series on the abysmal child mental health sector in Canada.

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