Ward 3 Councillor Green responds to Waterloo Record columnist Luisa D'Amato, who took issued with a Hamilton Councillor's characterization of Waterloo's LRT system.
By Matthew Green
Published May 01, 2017
Luisa, can we talk for a moment?
I know you were frustrated with the Hamilton light trail transit (LRT) debate and comments made by one of my Council colleagues about Kitchener Waterloo. As a Councillor who sat on committees for countless hours supporting LRT, I can understand your frustration, but I think we need to talk.
In an opinion article published on April 28, "Hamilton politician has some nerve calling any other place unattractive", you took some shots at Hamilton. You attacked our steel industry, our people, and our City.
So I need to ask: does one ad hominem deserve another? Can you call out hypocrisy by participating in it? Two wrongs don't make a right.
Sure, there were moments in our LRT debate where things got rough, and let me be clear, I am not defending the comments made by a certain Councillor who called Kitchener Waterloo's LRT system ugly. As Ward 3 Councillor, I apologize for not calling a point of order; our debates on LRT often lacked couth.
And sure, Hamilton has had bad days. "The '80s were tough, and the '90s were mean," sang the Arkells. Today, we're undergoing a renaissance — a testament to our resiliency, work ethic, and strong communities.
But I don't feel that the comments of one Councillor deserve your ad hominem attacks on our people. You wrote that the steel mills in our North End resemble an "industrial wasteland".
I invite you to look closer so that you'll see that the steel industry you belittled built not only our City but our country. Look closer still and you'll see that those steelworkers have and continue to make countless contributions to our diverse and thriving communities.
For decades, those workers punched the clock, went home to their families, and spent their spare time building community. Even when off the clock, steelworkers never stopped building our City.
But I have to be honest: I take particular exception to your undignified characterization of our working class. You wrote that our downtown core is "decayed" and people are "angry and sketchy". Downtown is a diverse hub where everyone meets. Restaurants are booming, we have a vibrant arts community, and vast development.
I often say that my ward, Ward 3, is to Hamilton what Hamilton is to the rest of the country - a city which you clearly need to revisit.
Hamiltonians are hard-working, honest, dedicated people who love our City. Our burgeoning restaurant scene, our vibrant arts community, and our booming downtown are all the product of years of hard work by residents and neighbours dedicated to building community together.
I believe in our City, and I believe in our people. I'm proud of what we've accomplished, and with LRT I'm proud of what we will continue to do together.
So, as the proud Councillor for Ward 3, I'd like to personally invite you to join me for a tour so you can see first-hand how far we've come.
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