OMB Blocks Wal-Mart in Stratford

By Ryan McGreal
Published May 19, 2010

Hamilton likes to roll out the red carpet for giant, parasitic box stores like Wal-Mart, which are proven to destroy more jobs than they create as they poach business from existing business districts; but some communities have more self-respect.

The London Free Press reports that the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) just sided with the Town of Stratford against a SmartCentres/Avonwood plan to create a big box development anchored by Wal-Mart on the eastern edge of town.

Upholding the town's plan to locate commercial business in the downtown and west end, OMB Chair Colin Hefferon concluded that the big box plans "are neither in the public interest nor represent good planning."

The town's eight-year struggle to stop the retailer has already cost $800,000, but SmartCentres/Avonwood still has 15 days to appeal the decision.

(Thanks to Councillor Bob Bratina for forwarding this story to local media.)

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 wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By trevorlikesbikes (registered) - website | Posted May 19, 2010 at 13:02:36

This is awesomesauce. I'm moving to Stratford...i hear they have a festival or something.

My dislike for Walmart is only exceeded by my dislike for disrespectful motorists.

Do yourself and you fellow man a favour and boycott walmart.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2010 at 17:45:33

Walmart, if allowed to continue it's expansion unfettered, will ultimately be the most important force in determining the success or failure of any company that manufactures goods for sale. They wield enormous influence/pressure over manufacturers - forcing them to sell at a certain price, or face the wrath of wal-mart not stocking their product. Heck, they even compel manufacturers to make packaging choices that will benefit wal-mart.

What happens when a company disagrees with Wal-mart? Lego found out, and all wal-marts stopped selling lego products for a period of several months. Lego caved and was finally allowed back into wal-mart.

When one retailer wields that much power it should concern us.

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By alrathbone (registered) | Posted May 24, 2010 at 00:47:51

"When one retailer wields that much power it should concern us."

It's at that point its become a defacto monopoly, and the market has ceased to be free.

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