Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thank you, thank you...thank you.

Every once in a while, faith is restored.

Every once in a while, a little light shines and the darkness doesn't seem quite as dark.

Yesterday, on "Raise the Hammer', this comment was posted in regards to a request for questions for candidates. Clearly, you can go to the site and read it, but I'm going to cut-and-paste it here...because it makes me so damned happy to do so.

By Policy Hack (anonymous)
Posted September 17, 2010 17:46:50

The Confederation Park option as a site for the stadium was dead in the water the moment it was raised. Confederation Park is a rarity among North American cities - a space in which the general public of a municipal jurisdiction can actually access their own waterfront. The land is low, narrow, and not sufficiently large enough on which to build even a "small" stadium (as if there is such a thing as a "small" stadium, as some have claimed). Further, to try to build it there anyway would send a signal to moneyed developers and those supporting the park supposedly as a stadium site, but are in fact more interested in profiting from acquiring the land, that the city is prepared to offer the land for purchase and development. There can be little doubt that high priced housing and/or condos would be the result. A park which currently attracts many thousands of people per year, almost year round, would no longer be available for recreational purposes, opportunities for exercise, or as a natural setting that provides myriad stress-relieving health benefits for its users. Building the stadium at Confederation Park would be counter-intuitive - a poor example of progressive and inclusive public policy, and a public relations nightmare for the current council, who would then have to try to explain why the public funds and the greater public interest was handed over to private business interests.

We went through this once before in 1989 when a consortium of investors secretly tried to push a deal through the city to build a large hotel development on the park. The council got wind of it and duly told the media, at which point developers backed away in anger, knowing that, the moment their proposal became public, it was as good as finished(1). Let's not go back to that - that park, as is, remains an example of effective public policy that serves the public interest on a variety of levels. Leave it alone - there are other options that are far more effective as potential sites for a stadium - and the council know this, which is why Confed park is off the table as a stadium site.

(1) See Robert Fick: The Zero Option - Urban Renewal and the Clearance of the Van Wagner's Beach Community, Hamilton Ontario, 1958-1963. M.A. Thesis, McMaster University: Available at Special Collections, Hamilton Public Library.


  1. Hello Adrian, as you may have read in this weeks Stoney Creek News.

    Councillor Pearson is "very proud of a 900 unit development of condos"

    30 acres of "green land" being wiped out.

    What is your take on this issue?

  2. My short response is 'Apples and oranges'.

    My long response?

    Parks, parkland, historic sites, World Biosphere locations... All fall under various categories of protection.

    I'm not familiar with the acreage in question as covered in the article...but I am familiar with how land east of the traditional boundaries of Stoney Creek have changed. I spent part of my childhood in Winona...and I'm not happy with how that area has been 'used'...nor am I happy with what I see in other peripheral developments of the City Of Hamilton.

    But development as it concerns residential needs is going to happen...seeing as developing our urban spaces (no matter how many experts tell us that we need to be focusing on urban density in order to move forward in responsible ways) does not hold either the fascination nor the cachet that developing from scratch, in virgin areas does. (This is a series of posts into itself.) I might not be happy seeing this development...or any such development...but I have to concede that local governance takes care of the process, and if there are protests, they'll happen as generated by concerned citizens.

    But really, while I get what you're saying, and appreciate the fact that you posed the question, comparing the two situations is a little disingenuous.

    So I'll throw it back to you: How do you feel about the development? Would you have preferred it not have been initiated? Or are you just being contrary because you're going up against Ms Pearson...?

  3. This is what Ms Pearson says in the article:

    “I’m extremely proud of this development,” said Ward 10 councillor Maria Pearson. “It’s going to be the biggest development in Hamilton in recent history. We held public meetings and no one was opposed to the development.”

    If you're construing this as 'Nobody ever contacted me with a negative opinion ever'...then I think you need to refine your response. Again; I encourage you to confront Ms Pearson specifically on this issue. And ask her why meetings weren't held that were more convenient for the average person to attend. I think this would be a wonderful contribution to clarifying things not only on this issue, but on how the constituents of Ward 10 have reasonable cause to feel about their incumbent Councillor.

    However, I still believe you're conflating apples and oranges, using the label 'green space' so- Well, so conveniently, in the way that you do, Confederation Park as a stadium site versus this residential development. I'd suggest you learn to not turn everything into a mash, as seems to be your tendency thus far. Be specific, be accurate...and then be tenacious. All residents of all wards deserve no less of their candidates, of their potential Councillors.

  4. I'm not sure if Blogger is having technical difficulties, but one of Mr. Josipovic's comments didn't come through, though I was sent notification of it. So I'm going to cut-and-paste here to try to rectify the situation. Apologies for this glitch.

    Bernard Josipovic said...

    As I am not against development itself. What I am against is blatant lying. The fabrication of the truth by Ms. Pearson AGAIN is a let down.

    "We held public meetings and no one was opposed to the development.” said Pearson in this weeks paper.

    As my email In box continues to fill with all the residents who opposed the development and their interactions with Ms. Pearson. Emails and letters conversing with Ms. Pearson regarding the issue. Asking to make meetings available to the working class who could not attend meetings at 930am on a Tuesday morning. Some of these emails are over a year old.

    It's sicking to me that someone who leaves paper trails of discussions about the development, has the nerve to publicly state that NO ONE was opposed to the issue. Stay tuned I will be releasing some of these residents emails (with permission) who fall under the "NO ONE" category at the HAMILTONIAN.

    Lastly to answer your question. I would have listened and held a fair meeting. If you vote against a stadium issue because of "green space" then go on and approve the building of one of the biggest developments in Hamilton history in recent years is hypocritical.
    I would have scheduled meetings with residents in the evening when everyone can attend, where I would get a clear picture what is going on in their hearts and minds. Then go about it accordingly. One thing I would not do, is publicly declare that NO ONE was against a development that destroys 30 acres of green space and wild life.

    September 18, 2010 9:46 AM


I'm always interested in feedback, differing opinions, even contrarian long as they're delivered with decorum...with panache and flair always helping.