Politics

Shame on City Council

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 17, 2006

Hamilton City Council is so retrograde in its thinking that our city seems stuck in the mid-twentieth century.

In its desperate efforts to trim costs and pay for the Red Hill boondoggle, City Council decided not to pass a new anti-idling by-law, preferring a $40,000 public education campaign but no enforcement. The public health costs of idling are straightforward, clearly established, and wholly preventable.

At the same time, the city also voted to continue spraying pesticides on city property. In Ward 1, a $15,000 pilot project is testing alternate methods of controlling weeds, but this comes years after the dangers of cosmetic pesticides have already been established and many other municipalities have already long-since banned their use.

The Supreme Court ruled five years ago that municipalities have the right to ban pesticide use. What on earth is Hamilton waiting for?

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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