There were 3 excellent articles in the Jan. 12th. NGT, an op-ed by Nadia Gray, a letter by Bev Arcand, and an editorial by Brandon Mayer, all questioning the approval by Council of the 168 apartment units proposed on Reuben Crescent.
The failure of this Council to gather more information on this project before approving it is unacceptable. We could all be forgiven for assuming that this Council does not have the backs of the community that it is supposed to be representing.
This project does nothing to help solve the affordable housing problem. The demographic that the developer is targeting are those earning $35 an hour or more, a figure more than twice the minimum wage, putting it out of the range of those who need it most. This Council also allowed the developer a reduction in the accepted allowance of affordable housing, and then added insult to injury by approving a 10 year limit on this agreement. On top of all this, there is the massive increase in density that Council also approved. Just whose side are they on?
I was at the information meeting that the developer held in December. The building design that he is proposing is an exact copy of one that he has already done. When I saw a picture of the design, I was absolutely appalled. They were all dark brown boxes. Someone said they looked like army barracks, and I agree. There was absolutely no attempt to make the design compatible with the architecture of our downtown. So is this what we are getting, allowing the developer to design our community?
I can’t say that I am very much surprised by all this, after the debacle that was, and still is, the Correction Centre that the Ford/Clark government wants to foist onto our community. This same Council came out parroting the benefits that the Provincial government said would come to our community, without checking if these so-called “benefits” were actually accurate. It took the community to actually debunk these claims, and we still, after nearly 2 years, have not had any of our questions regarding this project answered by either level of government.
From where I sit, this is all starting to look like we have a Council that is unwilling to go to bat for us with a Provincial government that is passing more and more draconian laws to take away our right to decide what our community should look like.
So for those of you who sat on your thumbs in the last 2 elections, this is what your apathy was wrought. A non-responsive Council , and a Provincial government that simply does not care about anyone or anything except looking after their developer buddies. You have been used by a system that paints all politicians as crooks, and so many of you believe that, that you stay away from the polls. And that is how Provincial governments get elected by a mere 17.78% of eligible voters. To succeed, democracy has to be nurtured by us all. I am reminded of the old adage “Evil men prosper when good men do nothing”.