Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10: The Great Moncton Plan...

Today, the Moncton Times and Transcript has another "SPECIAL REPORT" on the great plan for the development of Moncton. There was nothing in it that was not in yesterday's "SPECIAL REPORT". That is, there was nothing in it. (except for the drive to revitalize downtown for business, shopping, cars, and homes - more on this in the next paragraph.) We also learn that the council planning committee studied examples of great cities, oh, just all over the whole world including, God help us, Charlottetown, PEI.

Well, if downtown is going to be all busy and bustling, and with a dense population living there, why on earth are we moving Moncton High out to to the 'burbs? And why would we put it in a place of low density population? Exactly where does all this fit into the plan? Never mind the bilge about how Royal Oaks is a wonderful place where students can sit on the grass. How can we justify that move in the light of plans for a dense population in downtown Moncton?

I shall pass lightly over the idea of building a downtown as a densely populated and commercially lively area designed for walking while at the same time encouraging cars. No city in the world has ever managed to do that. No, not even Charlottetown. The reason downtown is not densely populated and commercially lively today is precisely because of cars.

However, I understand the reporter's problem. She was writing about the plan which is to be be found at planmoncton.ca.

In fact, there is no plan at that site. What's there is an outline of what should be considered in a plan, an  outline so amateurish it could have been designed by an elementary school class. It is all fluff and chicken bones, so vague as to be meaningless - and with no sense whatever of what is likely to happen in he next fifty years - or even five.

Good graphics, though.

On another issue of great public interest, fracking season is almost here. Gee! Lucky the TandT and the gas companies have been getting all the information out to us for the last six months, and the government has all its regulations and inspectors ready.The TandT has just been packed with stories. Well, maybe not packed. But there were some - I think.

I wonder if the govenment will issue a statement on its new and tough regulations. Maybe they could get it presented by experts who drew up the pesentation for  planmoncton.

With Israel openly looking to bomb Iran as soon as the American election is over, with us guaranteed to suffer a fuel crisis as a result, with Russia and China quite likely to intervene in such a war, with Canada and the US certain to intervene, and with the conseequences likely to be quite terrible for all of us,,,,,,,,,. there's some mention of it on a back page of NewsToday.

There is, nowever, space for a major story, front page, on how much Canadians have sex in the shower. Albertans lead. Of course. Alberta's a cold place.

Speaking of the news reports on Iran, you'll notice that most either say, or strongly hint, that Iran has a nuclear bomb programme, and that it is a world threat. They also hint at evidence for it. I have yet to see a news report in the TandT that American intelligence and military figures have said, quite recently, in public appearances before congressional committees that they don't believe Iran is developing a bomb. Nor, if it did, would it matter.

For some intelligent and well-informed opinion on this, read Gwynn Dyer's column on the op ed page.  Always read Dyer to get some idea of what is actually happening.

For paranoia and hysteria, read our newspapers which highlight stories like the British pm saying that if Iran gets a nuclear bomb, it will aim it at London. Newt Gingrich disagrees. Speaking recently to an audience in North Dakota, he said that state would be Iran's target for its bomb. Right. Knock out North Dakota and you conquer the world.  News stories are commonly used to spread propaganda. Columnists like Gwynne Dyer bring a touch of sanity to a world that badly needs it.

Norbert has his usual rant.about the blessed perfection of privatization and the evils of government ownership - this time in relation o liquor selling. Norbert, I have news for you. What we call business methods and organization were copied from a civil service model developed in the seventeenth century.

Until then, the civil service of the western world was dominated by the aristocracy - who were quite incompetent. Monarchs, starting with Louis XIV, replaced them with intelligent and trained people from the middle class. Remember "intendants" from your history classes?

What is happening now is an attempt to turn the clock back. Our new aristocracy of wealth (and birth) wants to impose itself back into control of government. And it's pretty well done it in New Brunswick.
That has proven to have great dangers. The American bank failures are only a minor example of the dangers.

But that's another and a long topic.

1 comment:

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