Bully for us.
We got the Ross Street Underpass referendum through with 26 per cent of the eligible voters, and used thousands of tax dollars to do it: city information sessions, Economic Development Society advertising (our tax money), and more. It was an overkill of information and opinion. It will be interesting to see what it cost us all monetarily when all the accounts become public, and what it will cost the downtown.
More importantly, what does such bullying cost our democracy in the long run?
Climate change predictions from the UN and others give us 2030 as the final target date to hold our planetary temperature increase to the critical two-degree threshold. That this will require an inclusive response from all of us is clearly obvious. We can’t afford doing things in the old ways anymore.
City council and staff could have opened up this decision-making process to all of us long ago, and brought it out of the back rooms and into fully informed, transparent dialogue. There were many better options that could have been considered, including moving the CPR tracks out of the downtown, along with the Trans-Canada Highway. Surely both of these dangerous transportation routes have killed enough of us to qualify as public enemy number one.
During the municipal election, I heard that our new mayor is focusing on a TCH bypass as a major focus for council and staff. As a retired architect and planner, I have an idea for you Mr. Mayor. Spend the underpass money to study building a causeway and bridge out in the bay crossing near the Raven subdivision. By using tunnel materials from a TCH bypass tunnel from south of Canoe, both the CPR and the highway can be accommodated. Problems solved.
Frank Bugala, architect