The property was referred to as a CN Terminal plaza and centre appraised at some six million dollars. The yearly civic tax on it is over $280,000. What it doesn't say it that the land is really worthless in its present state because it is severely contaminated.
Gee. You're landowner stuck with a useless piece of property. It's not making any money. It's not likely to. The spread of the automobile and the shift to large malls has made it obsolete. And it's costing big time in taxes. What to do? OOOOOH! I know.
You start a whispering campaign - isn't it a shame that Main St. is not as popular as it used to be? Wouldn't it be nice to revive it? Then....
OOOOH! We really need a new hockey rink. Yes. And the city should build it by borrowing a hundred million dollars. and it will make money because hockey rinks draw stores and restaurants. (Right. Like the present one.)
Good try. But not a big enough seller. OOOOOH. I know. Don't call it a hockey rink. It's an events centre - AND - with a room where old folks can sit down.
Yes. That's it. And it will be a huge money-maker. (Of course, it it's such a sure thing, why are the present owners letting the city build it? I mean, they already own the land. And they say the rink/events centre is sure to be an economic boom. So why not build it themselves, and keep all that money? I guess they're just big-hearted.)
Well, let's be real. It's not going to make money. What has happened is that the landowners get rid of a piece of property that is almost impossible to sell. They get full price. And they get off the hook for over a quarter million a year in taxes. And they don't have to spend the millions it will take to clean it up.
And all you need to do it is have a cooperative city council and a propaganda newspaper that doesn't ask questions. Then, with the whole western world on the brink of financial collapse, we will borrow a hundred million. I mean, if it could draw just those Americans who are living on food stamps, there's fifteen million customers right there.
Will it be built? I doubt it. The name of the game is to sell a worthless piece of land. Do that, and it's mission accomplished.
Oh, there might be a smaller hockey rink built. After all, the owner of the hockey team needs a cheap place to rent - so helping him is a civic duty - like making sure everybody gets a turkey at Christmas.
By the way, doesn't the owner of contaminated land have an obligation to clean it up? I've asked that question of the minister of the environment many times. But he's a busy man. You wouldn't believe how many pencils he has to sharpen, how many boots he has to lick.
The bottom line is that the owner of the land is off the hook for the cleanup - and gets to carry off the full price as well.
Moncton would be better off with the Mafia running the city. Mafia prices are far more reasonable.
Mr. Coon is upset that, as a party leader (Green Party) not yet elected as an MLA, he does not get an observer's seat in the legislature. After all, the new Liberal leader, also unelected, was immediately given such a position. But Mr. Coon obviously does not understand the New Brunswick system of democracy.
You see, Mr. Coon, the Liberals and the Conservatives of New Brunswick are actually the same party with all the same principles - of lack of any. Both are under the same ownership. New Brunswick is a just-pretend democracy. And you can be a part of it.
Just kiss Mr. Irving's ring (or whatever) and you, too, can have a turn in being premier.
As for today's paper, really...what can one say? The good news is that premier Alward is in Ottawa today to see Stephen Harper. The bad news is that he'll soon be coming back.
There is an op ed piece by Ian Cavanaugh, the CEO of Ambir Solutions. The nicest thing one can say about this is that it is an obvious ad disguised as an opinion column. Ever hear of Ambir Solutions? Know what it does? Me neither.
It speaks of organizations like KITE and NB Women in IT (which certainly sounds intriguing). I'm sure the average reader is as familiar with those terms as he or she is with the larger organization, IT. Whatever it is that Mr. Cavanaugh and Ambir Solutions do, I hope it has no connection with communications.
And I do wonder at the competence of an editor who would not demand changes to such an unintelligible piece of writing.
Alan Cochrane offers us an op ed piece which simply repeats the message of an excellent story that appeared in the paper yesterday - the one dealing with violence to women.The only thing wrong with that is that Mr. Cochrane has nothing of his own to offer to the original story. Indeed, his column is so vague and soppy that it weakens and even misses the point of the original story.
The editorial is a masterpiece of doubletalk. While its theme is that cities must keep their debts down, the writer uses it to come to the conclusion that we should borrow heavily to buy some contaminated land to build a hockey rink on.
The only thing worth reading in the whole paper is Alec Bruce's column. This one, though about Britain, is an important part of something that is happening all over the world. A major British newspaper has been caught being abusive of its power, improperly intrusive in government, lying - a sort of big-time example of what the TandT would be if it weren't for the fact that government and newspapers in New Brunswick are both owned by the same people.
Anyway, there is a scheme going around to impose legal controls on all news media. I know. I know. In New Brunswick, that wouldn't make any difference. But a free press in Britain has generally done a good job The problem is the occasional bad boy who distorts the news. I
But if we ever allow government to pass laws placing restrictions on newspapers, it will be a cure worse than the disease. (In fact, the publisher at the heart of the British scandal is Rupert Murdoch who is also owner of FoxTV. His influence in government is so great that any government legislation affecting newspapers would make them all as bad as his.)
This is part of a much bigger problem. Take a hard look at the world. Capitalism is in collapse. It's not because of the capitalist system. It's because, as we can see in New Brunswick every day, the abuse and distortion of capitalism by the very people who claim to represent it. Throughout the western world, the greed of those who (quite wrongly) call themselves capitalists, has so funneled money only into the pockets of the rich that of course there are few customers left to buy their goods.
As well, it was not the people on food stamps or living off welfare who destroyed the banks in the US. It was the corrupt and even illegal behaviour of the capitalists who ran the banks - and who then put the American people into hopeless debt forever. And not one of them has ever faced a court.
Add to them those corrupt politicians and defence industrialists who have bled the country dry.
Western capitalism is in collapse because of the perversion of it and because of the greed and, it must be said, the stupidity of its leading figures.
With that collapse there comes a need to impose severe controls to prevent civil unrest. the sort of unrest we are just beginning to see in nations like Greece. It is a repression that has long been common in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia. Now, we're increasingly seeing it in a US in which the president can imprison and even assassinate people with no charge or trial, a US which now has a domestic espionage system which is the largest in the world, and free to investigate the most private affairs of anybody without warrant, and to compile massive files on virtually every living American. This is a police state. This is what the word means.
Now, though it isn't in the TandT, the UN is getting into the act. It wants to control all use of the internet through a body that would meet in secret. Its laws would affect all member states of the UN. For a start, that means a law desired by China (which almost forbids the internet) would become law in Canada - so long as China could round up enough support. And that support would not be hard to find. Russia, Saudi Arabia, Libya, the US..... Yes, the US. The social media are a threat to the controlled message sent out by most of the press. There is already support for such laws in the US - and in Canada.
The social media have given us access to information and opinions. Those in power, including those in the so-called 'democratic' world, don't want us to have that access. So the threat is a very real one.
But don't worry. Just stick to reading the TandT, and you won't even know it's happening.
Remember - tonight (Tuesday) at 7 is the meeting of the current events group at Moncton Library.
Below, I will try to post a copy of the city report on Highland Square that I began with - and a superb letter to the editor on fracking that the TandT refused to publish. (sorry to give you so much reading.)
|Location:||1222-1234 MAIN ST||County:||Westmorland|
|Current Assessment:||$6,020,400||Current Levy:||$280,815.54|
|Property Description:||CN TERMINAL/PLAZA&CENTRE||Tax Class:||Fully Taxable|
|Taxing Authority:||City of/Cité de Moncton|