Comment 41727

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted June 08, 2010 at 16:45:41

Wow.If somebody told me about that Spec article, I'd have trouble believing them. Tell us the truth, Jason, you made up a fake Chamber of Commerce article and sent it into the Spec, right? Please?

That article is exactly like decades of crap I've read before, in my hours-long sojourns to Special Collections at the Library. The Spectator promised us for decades that we'd leave Toronto in the dust as the most economically vibrant city in Southern ontario. Most of this was based on shipping facts, since we were (and may still be) receiving a lot more through our ports than any other inland city (certainly a fair bit more than Toronto or Chicago). Decades of "goods movement" studies carved up the town with highways and other "business-friendly" policies only managed to get us used up and thrown away like an Indonesian Export Processing Zone. We're in exactly the same boat as most of the American Rust Belt, and while everyone's always quick to point out that health care and other "high-tech government jobs" (WSIB, pollution remediation at Randall Reef, etc) are now our major employers, nobody seems to want to admit how truly unhealthy it is. Cleaning up toxified industrial sites and treating cancer are crucially important, but they're no more a sign of real progress than an addict going into rehab. It's certainly a step up (and very necessary), but it neither creates a vibrant community nor economy. And it costs enormous amounts of money (the Randall Reef cleanup now looks like it'll cost over $100 million, without a penny of Stelco), which COULD be helping us build a better city.

The Chamber of Commerce, and all the other business lobby groups can rattle off as many numbers as they like. If anybody here has any doubt that industrial toxicity affecting quality of life here is a main factor in our city's piss-poor image, take a bus to Toronto and ask anyone on the street.

How many decades of work is it going to take to clean up our city's industrial legacy? And why are the victims stuck with the bill?

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