Revitalization

Closed for Business?

By Jason Leach
Published December 23, 2005

In a previous issue, we discussed the Maple Leaf proposal and gave various opinions on what happened and what should have happened.

In talking to people and reading different news reports it has become apparent to me that one of the issues being discussed is the idea of Hamilton being "closed for business".

Some have jumped up and down and screamed that Maple Leaf walking away is a sign of our unfriendly attitude towards business.

I disagree. I don't see Hamilton as being closed or unfriendly to business. A quick look at the past couple of years in the business community will show several plant closings - due to upper level restructuring, cheap offshore labour undermining, and bankruptcies and declining market share.

At the same time, however, Hamilton has welcomed several new businesses, large and small, to our city:

As you can see, Hamilton is anything but closed for business. I could go on and on with dozens of other small businesses and several large projects that are in the works.

I mentioned a few controversial ones at the top of the list, not to give those companies a bad rap, but to make a point.

Hamilton is not chasing away every company that shows up with a less-than-stellar environmental record or project. The city has worked with businesses such as Biox and Bitumar to try and protect the environment and quality of life in the city. Residents near both of those projects would tell you that the city failed and they are now subject to various inconveniences and aggravations.

Just because Maple Leaf chose to walk away from Hamilton does not, and should not reflect badly on City Hall. Council has been through similar processes with all of the businesses I've mentioned above, but they didn't all run for the hills when asked good tough questions about their proposals and plans.

It's a shame that at a time when we finally see good things happening downtown and throughout the city, the local media has chosen to pound us with old images of the old Hamilton.

Whether you agree or not, we are turning a corner. And that's despite the best efforts of the media to keep us back in the doldrums of negativity and poor self-esteem.

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

0 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds