Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Results of Last Night's City Council Vote

With a pro-development and development community-backed mayor holding the reins of power in our city, it's open season on woods and wetlands in London, Ontario. You know, those pesky parcels of land where trees take up space that could be so better utilized for shopping malls and where ponds only welcome aquatic wildlife, purify our water supply and maintain our water tables. No matter. What city needs more oxygenating green spaces anyway? Let's give the developers the right of way to pour their cement, pave over significant wooded areas, and derisively laugh at us all the way to the bank.

One councillor has tried to broker an imperfect peace, though. He may have appeased Council, but judging from the buzz I hear Londoners are generally not happy about how this all went down. I don't believe that I am exaggerating when I say that some councillors last night have lost the trust of the public for once and for all. A new call to action seems to be emerging from the twitterverse that suggests Londoners may have the 2014 municipal election already on their radar and plan to gear up to elect councillors that will listen, pay attention and be genuinely hyped to make this city a kinder, greener, healthier, smarter city for ALL to enjoy - not just for the enjoyment of developers with deep pockets.

Now it's up to the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority and the MNR. Unfortunately, Council's vote last night has put the cart before the horse. UTRCA and MNR should have been respectfully consulted before an approval was passed. Personal agendas and the pompous prattling of the uninformed should have taken a back seat to the logic and reason of science, intelligent analysis and inquiry. But it didn't.

And had the parcel of land been properly zoned in the first place, that is to say, by taking into account that the woods and wetland might be significant and by conducting an environmental assessment to determine significance, we wouldn't be where we are now.
Welcome to London.

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