Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hume on Harper's Municipal Neglect

The Toronto Star's Christopher Hume, lamenting the federal government's refusal to allocate adequate stimulus spending to finance the desperately-needed infrastructure rehabilitation of Toronto and other major, Canadian urban centers:

In fact, according to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the civic infrastructure deficit in this country now stands at a staggering $123 billion. Ontario's share of that is reckoned to be among the largest. And we're not talking art galleries, concert halls or opera houses; we're talking sewers, roads, bridges, the sort of basic below-the-radar stuff that most of us prefer not to think about. Out of sight, out of mind, until it starts to fall apart.

To make matters worse, the lameness of the federal response is part of a larger pattern of behaviour; this is a regime that has little real awareness of or interest in city issues. Though Canada has long since become an urban nation, that doesn't seem to have dawned on anyone in Ottawa.

The Harperites are too preoccupied pursuing a right-wing ideology and teaching the despised Liberals a lesson to get excited about looking after the towns and cities where 80 per cent of Canadians live.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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