Comment 20123

By Larry Di Ianni (anonymous) | Posted March 17, 2008 at 17:14:29

Ryan, not to belabour the point; however, Gilbert was never instructed by me or anyone acting for the city to do anything but give us his best advice. I do know of only one member of Council who contacted him repeatedly pestering him about his findings and conclusions, and it wasn't me. Gilbert, I will remind folks, was also brought in on the recommendation of those on Council who espoused a less than supportive view of our airport hoping that he would drive a pejorative stake into the heart of that discussion.
I welcomed his presence in Hamilton, having been very impressed with him as President of organizations representing municipalities while he was a Councillor in Toronto. Some say he was the best rep we've ever had.

He wrote a very intelligent report. I agree with most of what he said. You can take many points from the report and I hope that Counil enacts recommendations it deems appropriate. I know we were on the way to doing that in some measure even before Gilbert. I am not sure what the status is now.
I also know that some in the community condemned his bullishness about incineration and energy from waste initiatives. I understand the controversies surrounding these processes but Gilbert was pretty strong on them.

You state: He maintains that we need to stop investing in airports and spend our money on rail instead.

You know my supportive thoughts on light rail; but I take the issue of transportation one step further. We need to support all our transportation modes: air, rail, road and water. Hamilton is ideally situated to benefit from investment in all these areas and we should not shy away from doing so. I think Council agrees judging by the recent vote on the purchase of additional lands for strictly airport expansion. It seems that it wasn't just me driving this agenda, but common sense and the collective good of the community.

Also, the debate about the Airport lands goes beyond just air related uses, as has been stated before.

On Peak Oil, I remember that David Braden gave me a very sobering book to read on the peak oil issue. I didn't dis-believe the concerns expressed at all, and said so publicly on a number of occasions. In fact, climate change, cost of energy, energy availability is something I've written about and understand in terms of impact. I also believe in the carbon tax investment being advocated by Stephane Dion as a way of addressing some of these issues.
The point, though, as even Arnold Schwarzeneger has said (and remember he has won kudos for being America's greenest governor), the world should not stop; it should change and governments must adapt, as I believe all citizens and businesses need to adapt as well.

I recall Ontario's Environmental Commissioner telling me in conversation that the issue of oil is as much about cost as it is about quantity. Right now cost has overtaken quantity as a worrisome factor. I hope we all adapt and react appropriately.

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