I'd long been an admirer of Toronto Star Urban Affairs columnist Christopher Hume. I like his sensibilities, his perspective, his gentle way in stressing a point, even one that he's got a lot of personal energies attached to.
I especially appreciate his video segments. They offer up nicely-crafted, studied takes on issues and situations in Toronto.
Because I'd viewed so many of these online offerings, last evening's talk was pretty much what I'd expected it to be: a long-form take on him expounding on Planning the GTA: The Next 25 Years (although because it was unscripted, it admittedly didn't have the punch his video clips do).
His are informed observations, not made from any sort of promontory of presumed wisdom provided by certain initials after his name. They're the stuff of someone who's actually a part of their environment, someone who's living amongst the change. Reasonable. Seasoned. Arising from the erudition of Everyman.
While he had some solid policy critiques and suggestions, I was compelled to jot down some of his more general thoughts. Here are three of my favourites:
"It would be great to get some people into office who are smart."
"How do you go from 'knowing' to 'implementing'? That's the great challenge."
"I think we have a culture of coming up with reasons why we can't do things."
After he'd provided his opinions on Toronto's waterfront development, it was suggested by an audience member that Mr. Hume make a return trip to Hamilton to see ours. He was quite enthusiastic about this prospect.
I'd take that suggestion one step further and propose that we need to get him back to talk about Hamilton. I'd like to hear what he'd have to say about our travails.
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