John Dolbec, CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, would have me believe that “local
firms won’t be able to compete” if the Niagara-GTA Corridor is not built. He
says 40 per cent of the local economy is at risk. Really? So our biggest competitive threat
is the length of time it takes to drive from the GTA to the United States?
The last time I drove from Hamilton to the U.S. border, it took 90 minutes. At what travel
time does 40 per cent of our economy stop competing? I recall the chamber told me all the
planes flying to and from the aerotropolis would handle the time-sensitive goods and provide
the easy access to U.S. markets. Are the promised jobs from the Niagara-GTA corridor in
addition to the promised jobs from the aerotropolis?
PC Leader Tim Hudak and Dolbec want to pave a huge amount of the best farmland in North America
and devastate portions of the environmentally significant Niagara Escarpment to solve their
problems. I expect their new road would also carry U.S. goods north to the GTA. With our
farmland gone, do they also want to replace our agricultural capability with trucks of
vegetables from Mexico and California? Is the inevitable loss of jobs in our agricultural
sector included in their analysis?
The promised new jobs are just too expensive, coming at the cost of our farmland, our existing
agricultural jobs and our environment. Use the acres of land within our city limits with
ready access to existing infrastructure and skilled people who want and need jobs. And
only 90 minutes from the U.S. border. Just move your businesses there and you will save
the 60 minutes it takes to drive from Toronto to Stoney Creek.
The dire warnings are alarmist. The promises of long-term jobs are not real. The farmland
is real. The Niagara Escarpment is real.
October’s provincial election cannot come fast enough.
Jim Sweetman, Dundas