A letter from a neighbour: about that Convent…

3 03 2011

Dear Councillor Hobbs,

I would dearly love to see someone, somewhere take some leadership on this issue. Try hard. Make an effort. Do their best.

Instead of saying how hard things would be (a levy) or explaining why things can’t be done, could you please, please, please just look at what can be done and then kill yourself trying to do it.

This process has been a disgrace since way back when.

It starts with groups that get tax breaks (in this case the nuns) being able to sell to the highest bidder with no regard for the community that subsidized them all these years. And that, bottom line, is the fault of the city for not putting guidelines in place saying “pay now or pay later”. You can avoid paying taxes for years and years but that means when you sell we’re first in line and for a reduced price too, thank you very much.

However, that wasn’t done and there are no signs it will ever be done.

Then there’s Ashcroft buying property upon which they know there are restrictions and then completely ignoring those restrictions and pissing and moaning when anyone suggests they’ll be enforced. Againa though, like in the case of the nuns, it comes back to the city to do something about this.

If nobody’s going to tell people they can’t have tax breaks for nothing and if nobody tells developers they have to stick by the rules, then why should they? The city needs to show some leadership.

At the moment, the only people I see showing any focus, determination or leadership are the management of Ashcroft and THAT IS WHY THEY WILL WIN. They’re fighting the best fight. They’re doing the best job.

Show us you can fight too. Show us you can do your job. Whatever anyone thinks about Christine Leadman’s overall performance on this project, she demonstrated she was willing to try throwing some creative twists into the mix and didn’t mind at least TRYING.

You need to try because even if you believe Ashcroft should be able to break all the rules and build whatever they want and it’s OK to lose a unique and interesting piece of our heritage, many of your constituents don’t and anyway, the rules are still the rules and you should be fighting to enforce them if for no other reason.

Show us what you can do. We’re watching. And counting the days until the next election.

Sincerely,

Tudor Robins

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3 responses

3 03 2011
Donald Dunn

I applaud your comments. We can only hope it is not too late. Yet Ashcroft is only one developer. There are 7-10 high rises going up right on or near Wellington/Richmond from Holland to Broadview, including 2 across from Ashcroft. The situation is totally out of control.

3 03 2011
Marie

Excellent letter and comment. I understand the goals of intensification but we have to be careful that we don’t end up with too much of a good thing. Do we have an understanding of its limits? Do we know when to put hte brakes on? Will we only know when we’ve gone too far? and destroyed the best of our neighbourhoods?

10 03 2011
Marnie Beaubien

Thanks for writing this Mr. Tudor. I am anxious to see a positive story from our councillor to work how we can make this work for the community.

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