Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dec. 10: The Idiocy goes on.

Now the editor wants the city of Moncton to put money into practical projects like a downtown events centre. This "could be done without breaking the bank". Is that writer for real? This events centre/hockey rink would have meant borrowing 84 million a year ago. More now. And it would not revive downtown. It if could cause any such revival, the present hockey arena/events centre would be surrounded with boutiques instead of grass and buttercups.

The reason downtowns died is because of our reliance on automobiles. That really grew with post war prosperity - and shopping malls came because of  the cars. Shopping malls work because they're designed for cars. If we want to revive downtown, we have to get rfid of the cars that destroyed them - not briing in even more cars with a centre and a huge parking lot. Obviously, the writer has not thought in any informed way about what reviving a downtown means. Moncton can  have a lively downtown or it can encourage more car use. It can't do both. A cheap, relable (and visible) public transportation system would be a big step in the right direction.

Moncton council should also have a list of priorities. We have a city with beautiful parks - nost of them accessible to most people only by car. Few children own cars. And if they did, there wouldn't be enough parking space for  them. Where are all the safe and enclosed play areas that local children can safely walk to?

Moncton is a city whose idea of intellectual activity is reading tabs at the supermarket checkout. Adult literacy is poor. Discussion of issues and ideas almost never happens. Opportunities to see live theatre of any merit, and live music composed before 2009 are rare. If the city fails its adults in these respects, it's even worse in any intellectual stimulation for children. There are plenty of children with first rate brains in this city. It's not the schools that fail them. It's the atmosphere of the whole city. And City Council could do something about that.  A city council is supposed to set priorities for all the people, not just for those who own hotels, restaurants and hockey teams.

Serving the whole range of needs of people is practical. And it will "move Moncton ahead" a lot faster than a new hockey rink will.

Below on the edutorial page is a column by the Canadian Taxation Foundation. I think it misunderstands the statements made at the "economic summit" initiated by Don Drummond of the TD bank. They did not recommend raising taxes, at least, not on anybody who counts. Of all those business execs and university presidents and AIMS "researchers", nobody suggested raising taxes on either corporations or wealthy individuals. But, hey, somebody has to pay for that new hockey rink. The HST is ipopular with the rich precisely because it hits the average tax payer and the poor so much harder than it hits the rich.

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