Sunday, 26 January 2014

SOMERSET - Let's Learn from Our Mistakes

Recently, I had a great conversation with my dear friend Mr. Lucke. We were discussing a variety of subjects, when the topic of the new Somerset development came up. He made a brilliant comparison that I think should be seriously considered by the people that think the development is a good idea. He wanted me to share it with my readers, and that is why I share it with you today.

For those that aren't familiar with the controversial new neighbourhood development that our wonderful City Council recently approved (two of whom stand to profit from any residential development as they are realtors), where have you been? THANKFULLY this was most certainly not a unanimous decision, but unfortunately it still passed. It should be noted, that if those with vested interests were to declare a Conflict of Interest, as they rightfully are required to do by law, the vote would have failed miserably.

We have heard the arguments from Mayor Fougere, Terry Hincks, Wade Murray, and Jerry Flegel (all of whom have a vested interest in this development in one form or another) that "Hey, look, Uplands has been in existence for a few decades now, and if we said no to Somerset, what does it tell those who live in Uplands?". Well, here's what it tells them. As a human race, we have evolved tremndously since the 1950's and 60's. When we once thought it was not only socially acceptable to smoke cigarattes, we actually encouraged our youth to start smoking. When we once thought it was completely acceptable to smoke cigarettes in dining establishments, offices and hospitls. When we thought it was perfectly acceptable to develop buildings (including HOSPITALS) with dangerous asbestos.

Thankfully, years of public pressure and research has changed this attitude and we have gone so far to now prohibit even the visibility of cigarettes to minors. We completely shut down buildings that were filled with asbestos (and then turn them into schools). We find it utterly ludicrous to think it was once acceptable to smoke and drink while pregnant. Yet, all of these things were not only acceptable, but encouraged in many instances.

Thus, we need to learn from our past. Admit we screwed up with Uplands, don't repeat the same mistake again, and most certainly do not put the most vulnerable of our society into a development that is hazardous to their health simply because it's the only place they can afford. A "caveat" on the property isn't going to prevent the potential health risks and environmental catastrophes that are just waiting to happen, given the close proximity to Evraz and CCRL.


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