Posted August 12, 2010
Thank you to City Council for making the right decision, for taking a clear side on the issue and speaking for the hopes and dreams of thousands of Hamiltonians. Thank you to business leaders for helping make the business case on our behalf. Thank you to the Hamilton Spectator editors for speaking out in favour of the West Harbour.
But most of all, we thank you, the ordinary citizens who spoke up to defend our city and our future. You put your names and your heartfelt statements on this website. You contacted your elected representatives. You wrote letters to the editor and you called in to talk shows.
You spoke so clearly that a council that does not always listen had no choice but to take notice.
As we close this challenging chapter in Hamilton's history, we are aware that a new one is opening with regards to the Tiger-Cats.
This was never about us versus the Tiger-Cats, or Hamiltonians versus Bob Young, as much as some may have tried to describe this campaign. We have a deep and abiding affection for the Tiger-Cats and for Bob Young and we deeply appreciate all that he has done for Hamilton.
We watched in shock as what should have been a purely positive experience for Hamilton - the Pan Am Games - evolved into something with potentially negative consequences for our relationship with one of Hamilton's oldest and most beloved institutions.
We watched in shock as an incredible opportunity to build a civic jewel on what is now a toxic brownfield turned into a proposal to build a massive parking lot on a greenfield.
When it comes to spending public money, we have a say, and when we have a say and can make a firm decision, we do so with confidence and with a clear eye to the future we want - and that future was nowhere to be seen with the East Mountain proposal.
We understand that all decisions have consequences, and that sometimes those consequences will be regrettable. But Hamiltonians are resilient. We will not waver from the right decision simply because the alternative is easier.
We believe that decisions should be made on facts, evidence, studies and expert opinions, and we were never given any of these in support of the East Mountain, while there were many in favour of the west harbour. In light of this, what choice could we possibly have made?
Only the one that was made - not because we hate Bob Young, or businesspeople, or the Tiger-Cats - but because we love our city, and because we truly believe that this location is in the best interest of our beloved CFL team, even if the current owners of that institution disagree.
We love the Tiger-Cats. We want them to remain a part of this city and we will work hard in pursuit of that goal.
We have all been part of the dawn of a new era in Hamilton. Together we have demonstrated that together we can prevail.
We hope that the message in this victory is clear: we, as a community, have taken ownership of our future. If you are not willing to support that future, our opposition to you will be strong, clear, reasonable and persuasive.
If, on the other hand, you are willing to share in our vision, then we stand here ready to help. Ready to help you build support in the community and at levels of government, ready to help you get the word out, and ready to help lend a hand.
Work with us. Help us make this city great.
So what's next?
We're going to take a few days to relax and get back to spending time with our family and on other (paying!) projects. You'll hear from us again once we've had a chance to reflect on the last few weeks and on what lies ahead.
In the meantime, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any reason.
Our City, Our Future