With the Mayor charged, city council Grid Locked and record levels of poverty and unemployment things look pretty bad in London. Being a pessimist I could endlessly go on about a city I increasing find this self aggrandizing hog town heading to Detroit levels of abandonment. It is easy to get frustrated in this city and very hard to find the positive but there is positive.
The Citizen Corp that is trying to get reforms in local politics and many other volunteer groups are working to make London better. At some point these groups need to organize to reclaim city council from the cartel of archaic special interests who think in 1950s terms of sprawl and the car as thy God. London will not attract 21st Century business with a 1950s infrastructure or mindset.
London can look to other cities in North America and see they are far worse off. Detroit is shrinking, Californian cites are being claimed by wilderness, New Orleans and surrounding area still haven’t recovered from Katrina and I could go on. London hasn’t been hit from natural disasters like New Jersey, but the policy agenda we are on could lead to a disaster no less devastating for London’s future.
Another positive for London is that our infrastructure isn’t crumbling as bad as in Quebec cities. As of late no city officials in Ontario have had to resign because of bribes. No crime linked construction companies are cheating us out of our tax money, as far as I know. This could change if the Charbonneau Commission finding point beyond the Quebec mandate.
Yet as bad as American cities can be or Quebec’s situation is they have it good. Just look at southern Turkey, Syria, Israel, Palestinian Areas, Somalia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Japan, Haiti and far to many other places to list. Disasters like earth quakes, radiation leaks, tsunamis, famine are hurting cities around the world. Then there are the cities engulfed in major organized crime or are the front lines in wars. London has a jet fly over people look up, they don’t run to bomb shelters.
My biggest frustration with London is the cow town attitude that there is no need to look beyond town limits. Combine that with arrogance that London is a great city that deserves admiration or respect and you get an irritating mix. London is four hundred-thousand people on a planet of seven billion, take comfort in that. Nothing London can do will result in a war or global depression. We can change the world but only by being connected to it.
The Mayor Fontana situation is unfortunate. Guilty or not Joe Fontana needs to focus on his defence and a Mayor needs to focus on the city. I am not a supporter of Joe Fontana but the whole timing of the charges may have significance. Parliament asks RCMP to investigate at same time Conservative MPs and a Minister are being investigated for election irregularities. Why now? Throw in Minister Kenny using tax money for partisan research, the endless Conservative ads for programs that don’t exist, tampering with the evidence given to committee by the Auditor General, the Parliamentary Budget Officer having to use courts do to his job and endless other examples of suspicious behaviour by the Harper Government. You see a pattern or should I just make a tinfoil hat.
Even if there is no conspiracy and no guilt or there is a conviction, this whole episode is a distraction. More bread and circuses to distract from the real issues in London businesses are closing, people are hungry and the social safety net straining from lack of resources and to much demand. Mayor Fontana was not addressing this before the investigation was revealed and I doubt he will if all this get cleared up. That isn’t just Fontana’s fault, all London needs to stop worrying about pettiness and focus on making London better for all.
And I just saw a Tweet referring to CPC trying to spin Mayor Fontana situation as all of us Liberals are corrupt. Yes, because holding London city hall is the mandatory first step to a National victory in the next election. First we keep London, Canada is next and then the Milky Way Galaxy will go Liberal. CPC seem to think Canadians are nothing but bacterial cultures in a petrie dish.
Back to the cheering up; only one more sleep until the Vanier Cup!!! Go Mac Go!!!