Posted August 07, 2010
The federal government and the government of Ontario have delivered a clear and unmistakeable message to Hamilton: they don't respect us, they don't respect our local democracy, and they absolutely don't respect our right to make our own decisions about our city's future.
On July 31st, our provincial MPPs issued a statement declaring the Pan Am stadium location was a local decision and that they would support whatever site City Council selected.
The truth, however, is that the feds and the province were fine with whatever site we chose, so long as that site was the East Mountain. Then they realized that the community was simply not going to let that happen.
The West Harbour won. We were soon going to be congratulating you on your victory and celebrating a remarkable grassroots campaign that rose up against private interests to defend the interests of Hamilton and all Hamiltonians.
That was the case until yesterday, Friday August 6th at 5:30 pm, when our provincial MPPs sent a message to the City of Hamilton saying that they, and the federal government, would only provide money for an East Mountain Stadium, completely circumventing our decision-making process and effectively declaring our local democracy worthless.
It's ridiculous. It's outrageous. It's un-Canadian and it's intolerable.
As Mayor Eisenberger put it, "The community has spoken loudly and clearly that the West Harbour makes the most sense for the people of Hamilton. It is obvious that the upper levels of government are ignoring the community and have instead listened to private interests. The truth is the West Harbour won. The West harbour won the support of the community. The West Harbour won because it is best for the community. Powerful private interests compelled the federal and provincial governments to move the goal posts. They changed the game so they could win."
It's time to stand up for Hamilton. City Council is still voting on this issue on August 10, 2010. We must tell our Mayor and Our Councillors to pass the Our City Our Future motion, reaffirming our democratic right to make decisions about our own community.
What you can do:
1. Send an email to City Council asking them to stand up for Hamilton’s democracy and pass the Our City Our Future Motion at their meeting on August 10th, 2010. Click this link to compose an email to Council.
2. Express your outrage to your MPPs, Premier McGuinty, MPs, and Prime Minister Harper. Click this link to compose an email to them.
3. Attend the RALLY taking place today at 3:30 pm in Hess Village. Enough is enough: it's time to make ourselves heard.
4. Attend the August 10th Committee of the Whole that starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Council Chambers at Hamilton City Hall. A strong showing of the community at the meeting helps to send a message to Council to pass the motion.
5. Make a verbal statement at the August 10th Committee of the Whole. To do this you need to submit the following form on the City of Hamilton website by the deadline of noon on Monday the 9th.
It's our city, our future, our money, and our rights. If our elected representatives aren't hearing that clearly yet, perhaps we need to speak a little louder.