Thursday, 16 May 2013

Mayor Jimmy Really Doesn’t Get It

The following twitter exchange exemplifies Mayor Jimmy's petty reaction to criticism.

I suppose I should be thankful I have not been blocked yet, like so many of the mayor's critics.

Jim Watson ‏@JimWatsonOttawa
Pleased to join @Eli_Ward5 and @AllanHubley_23 and Cyril Leeder at Tanger Outlet ground breaking in Kanata
pic.twitter.com/RXzKKT46gZ

Richard W. Woodley ‏@the5thColumnist
@JimWatsonOttawa @AllanHubley_23 @Eli_Ward5
paving farmland and clearcutting forests sure makes our mayor happy and proud #developersrule

Jim Watson ‏@JimWatsonOttawa
@the5thColumnist and where do you live? Oh yes, a former farmers field.

What can I take from this but the suggestion that somehow anyone who lives on what used to be farmland or wilderness has no right to oppose the inappropriate development of farmland or environmentally sensitive lands. That is a pretty neat trick to basically take away the rights of anyone who lives in a city, in this case the city of Ottawa, to oppose the development of farmland or environmental lands. After all, most cities, including Ottawa, started as rural agricultural areas and before that was wilderness.

But no, because we might live on what was once farmland or wilderness does not take away our rights to be concerned about and oppose inappropriate development.

Mayor Jimmy may want to label us as crazy environmentalists who should all live in cabins in the bush but we are not against cities and development but rather understand that boundaries need to be set, and rules need to be followed, to allow for appropriate development, and appropriate development is not defined as whatever developers want.

Does Mayor Jimmy really expect home buyers to determine what lands are developed by their purchasing choices made after the fact. Does he really think that would work. That people will not buy houses that are already built because they think they should not have been built there, knowing their decisions will not bring the farmland or wilderness back. Does he really think he can transfer the responsibility for proper decision making by the authorities who actually have power to the virtually powerless consumers of these mega corporations' housing developments.

It is the responsibility of the political authorities at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to set limits and establish priorities to protect agricultural land environmental lands. And as more land becomes developed and agricultural and environmental lands become scarcer it becomes more important to protect them. We need to strengthen, not weaken these protections. We need to be more vigilant, not less vigilant, in enforcing the rules.

Politicians, like Mayor Jimmy, need to take these responsibilities seriously and not dismiss criticism in a petty way simply because it is expressed by people who actually live in the City of Ottawa, the people they are supposed to represent.

1 comment:

Libra44 said...

As our understanding changes, our responsibilities should follow accordingly. When homeowners choose from location A or B, they are presented with commercial and lifestyle information. Seldom will they have or even have reason to suspect the need for studying the historical or environmental significance of either location. And once the environmental destruction is complete, is the onus on homeowners to refuse to occupy the buildings?

It seems counterproductive to expect ordinary citizens to be burdened with this extra research on top of all the other considerations that accompany home ownership. But unless our elected officials are willing to apply sane and realistic limits to destruction of irreplaceable ecosystems and ancient artifacts, it seems that we, the taxpayers, must assume the responsibility of not patronizing developers who profit from this destruction. It is a very heavy and unfair load to pass on to ordinary citizens.