Comment 95003

By viennacafe (registered) | Posted November 19, 2013 at 23:28:50

"In response to a question about the urban/suburban divide and the fractious structure of amalgamated cities like Hamilton and Toronto, Crombie argued that the amalgamation was already effectively in place under the regional governments that preceded amalgamation, which he criticized as being two separate municipal governments overlapping the same territory."

I disagree with him, here. While certainly regional governments were an additional layer of government overseeing shared services such as transit and police, so what? It worked. The 45' limit Crombie imposed that "bought Council enough time to establish a new zoning plan that would protect heritage and encourage mixed use", would be all but impossible, today.

"According to Crombie, the solution to urban/suburban tension is not deamalgamation but a broad, inclusive politics that recognizes and builds on the shared interests of urban and suburban constituencies and works toward a common goal."

Repeating a comment I made earlier today, elsewhere:

Mike Harris' forced amalgamation of cities has hobbled cities leaving them dysfunctional and locked in the 1980s.

Suburban councillors, all over Ontario, concerned with only pipes, pavement, and police act as inhibitors to innovation in urban cores. From bicycles, to transit, to housing, to urban agriculture, to local economies, human scale development, and social service improvements and innovations, it is most often suburban councillors who stand in the way.

Consider that Ezra Levant reminded his few viewers that Ford is not a downtown millionaire living in a condo both perpetuating a stereo-type of urban elites (unlike the multimillionaire, Ford).

This forced marriage of disparate communities of interest also hurts suburbs. Because so long as cities are stunted, the suburbs need not evolve. They remain trapped in a time warp defined by an economic paradigm that no longer exists except in the imagination and rhetoric of small 'c' conservatives and those who fear change more so than failure.

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