Comment 90680

By viennacafe (registered) | Posted August 08, 2013 at 22:34:20

Here comes the broken record: The Municipal Act is broken.

There was a letter to the editor of The Spec, recently, where the letter writer maintained that Hamilton was luckier than Detroit because Mike Harris got it right by imposing amalgamation on cities. I was struck by just how ass-backwards that observation was.

The suburban dominance of Ontario's urban landscape is like a pillow over the face of progress. It literally smothers urban innovation. Put another way, the suburbs are first and foremost agents of a status quo that prioritizes roads, subdivisions, and conformity. It is a status quo that looks outside to the shrinking global economy for jobs and economic opportunities rather than toward building dynamic and robust local economies. For the suburbs, people exit communities with their money in the morning and return to their communities with stuff made in China and factory processed food in the evening. Communities are not where they live and work but where they sleep.

All of these issues raised over and over and over again by people who live the urban lifestyle and who feel frustrated by what they know to be good and true can never be resolved at a municipal level dominated by suburban councillors who share no community of interest or sympathy with the thoughts, aspirations, and values expressed above.

And it must be recognized that these issues are not at all unique to Hamilton. The same acts are being played out in cities all over Ontario everyday day in and day out.

Unless those people who share the ideas and aspirations expressed by the author begin to reach out to other like minded souls beyond the borders of their own urban cores to begin the development of a urban political movement with the capacity to impact provincial elections, this urban groundhog day experience shall never be interrupted.

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