Comment 17637

By Alex Patterson (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2008 at 10:33:05

More big box stores. Hooray. Just what Hamilton needs. It isn't as if that sort of development is going on at the old Centre Mall site, or Waterdown, or Clapison's Corners, or around Summit Peak, or Meadowlands....

The big box store is a marvelous invention. It allows a large transnational corporation to build a warehouse as a store, staff it with uniformed, low-wage employees, and drive small businesses out of town, with their multi-acre-free parking lots sucking business from an enormous radius (witness Meadowlands and the downtown). Economies of scale, in terms of space, corporate capital resources and bulk purchasing, and due to their near-universally lack of unions, they simply blow small shop owners out of the water. Because they aren't small businesses, or locally owned, there is no local decision-making-power (and thus no local accountability), and profits sail away just as far.

Why are we encouraging this type of development? Why is the CPP investing in the Centre Mall redevelopment? Why is McMaster (*not*, counter to its own delusions, a for-profit company) financing this? Why, in one of the few parts of the city where small businesses have a chance to flourish (Locke/downtown/Westdale) is this even being considered?

Either we own the businesses in our community, or someone else does. It's that simple.

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