By Ben Bull
Published July 31, 2009
Ottawa City Councilor Clive Doucet comes to the defense of cities in today's Star. Arguing that we missed an opportunity during the current recession to provide long-term sustainable investment to our municipalities, Doucet laments:
It will be remembered as a time of fabulous lost opportunity. Both Canada as a federation and Canada as a collection of local jurisdictions were perfectly situated to take advantage of the recession.
We had healthy local and national bank accounts, the best in the West. There was money to restructure our cities and our national economies to deal with resource shortages, price escalations and a different sharing of global economic productivity, and what did we do? We not only missed the boat, we drove off in the wrong direction.
Citing the need to invest in our creative industries and sustainable infrastructure Doucet goes on:
The lack of understanding of the nature of the recession by both the federal and local governments is stunning. Our national surpluses are being gobbled up by "stimulus funding" and we are assuming years of new debt, but there will not be a single, national flagship investment to help us turn the corner toward the new economic and environmental reality.
There will be no new high-speed rail service between Windsor and Quebec City. We will still rely on an overloaded and extremely costly 1960s highway called the 401.
Doucet understands the importance of cities. If only our provincial and federal levels of government did too.
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