Dr. Q. Bristow. P.Eng.
Ottawa. K1H 5L6
November 7th 2000
I write as a 28 year resident of Billings Avenue, and one of many in the surrounding residential community whose quality of life has been put at risk by the decisions taken on the above items by the Economic Development and Planning Committee. I fully support the letter to you on the train yards item sent to you by the Alta Vista Community Association.
I was frankly shocked at the attitude of the committee in dealing with these very serious matters, but not entirely surprised. It confirms to the hilt the point I made in an article which I wrote for the Ottawa Citizen (copy attached) which by grim coincidence, was published on the very same day (October 31st), that the committee made their decisions. It ran on the city editorial page under the title: "It is time to question the mantra of economic growth".
Recently a Citizen columnist pointed out that many candidates for municipal office have to rely on developers for really significant campaign contributions, simply because, I assume, no other private sector organisations see any benefit to their bottom lines. Obviously they hope that by so doing the recipients will tend to favour rather than oppose development in general. Clearly this is a fact of life and probably always has been, nevertheless, as I pointed out in the article, unless you, our elected representatives, wake up and smell the coffee - and soon, this National Capital will rapidly become a replica of the hopelessly congested and polluted one (London) that I left in 1957 to come to Ottawa, which was then by comparison, a veritable Shangri-La.
Now would be a good time to take a stand, and these items would be good ones to take a stand on. You are all much younger than I am, it is your children (if they continue to live in this city), who will eventually be the beneficiaries of your decisions if they are good ones - or the victims if they are not..