Those Crazy 'Left-Leaning' Community Groups!

By Jason Leach
Published October 24, 2006

Another fine piece of news reporting in Hamilton today on 900 CHML. The issue at hand is the councillor rankings put together by Hamilton's Community Action Network (CAN).

In a decidedly Spectator feel, CHML does a great job of making CAN sound like an offshoot of the NDP party with wacky, left-wing ideas: "No surprises within a left-leaning community group's ranking of city politicians."

The fact is, CAN is a citizens group with representation from every social, political and ethnic background in Hamilton. In other words, citizens who simply care about Hamilton. Some are teachers, others work in steel mills.

There has been a constant attempt in Hamilton over the years to keep people disengaged and uninformed when it comes to local politics. As we've argued many times at RTH, the media are front and centre in the campaign to keep the power in the hands of the rich brokers, with the local citizenry virtually non-existent and certainly unimportant in the whole mix.

The following quote deserves to be repeated here and explained further: "The results are not surprising, since the Community Action Network has opposed everything from the Red Hill Creek Expressway and Aerotropolis to demolition of the Lister Block and the sale of land to Maple Leaf Foods." In other words, this is a small rogue group with no vision for our city.


CHML would be interested to know that Dr. Richard Gilbert had almost nothing supportive to say about the city's aerotropolis model when he gave his peak oil presentation to council. He had plenty of vision for our city, though. In fact, his two hour presentation displayed more vision than Hamilton's council has offered over the past 20 years.

But I guess he's another left-wing nutjob too. The high tech business owners who started up Hamiltonians for Progressive Development (HPD) were also not very pleased with the lack of public consultation or proper planning being put forth in the aerotropolis plan.

Can the owner of a high-tech firm and the previous owner of private firm that won an award from the Financial Post be written off as "left-leaning"?

No scientific survey was ever done, but judging by the voting trends in the 2003 election, almost all of the urban, lower city from Dundas to the Red Hill Valley voted for David Christopherson.

Perhaps we should just blow up anything in Hamilton that isn't big box, suburban sprawl so we don't have to listen to these brain-dead opinions from people who don't matter.

Maple Leaf foods received the largest environmental fines in the history of Ontario for their operations right here in Hamilton, yet we were all just supposed to pretend that there was nothing to be concerned about. After all, a little cancer from contaminated land and water never hurt anyone.

Interesting how Hamilton's media has been very quiet in the past few weeks while Maple Leaf has announced they are getting out of the mass-slaughterhouse business altogether. Hmmm, I guess there are a lot of visionless idiots all across Canada who ran them out of their respective towns and cities too. The nerve!

Finally, the Lister Block. How dare CAN support a councillor who didn't want to see that grand old building demolished. I suppose the architects, engineers and other experts hired by both the city and LIUNA to examine the building were all just part of a massive left-wing conspiracy when they reported to everyone that the building was structurally sound and a very good candidate for restoration instead of demolition.

How dare they not toe the media line in Hamilton and scream "TEAR IT DOWN" from the rooftops in the core. Didn't someone tell them that demolition would be much easier for LIUNA? Who cares if it is a provincially designated heritage building?

Anyone who follows local news or politics in Hamilton can quite easily determine one thing: the media, not local citizens, are the ones with hidden agendas and personal profit to be had with this sort of crazy, biased "reporting" (I use that word loosely).

I hope one of these years (sadly, it won't be this year) the citizens of Hamilton will reclaim their rightful place as the ones who truly matter at city hall. Then, and only then, will our city see the true revitalization and investment that it deserves.

Until then, the few rich will get richer at the expense of the taxpayer.

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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