What’s the point of voting if what really counts is money? It’s as though casting a ballot is really giving away a franchise rather than empowering a governing committee to act on your behalf.
Take the 40-year-old community that has grown up, not in isolation, but in a semi-urban setting that has created its identity of low-rise housing and parks in harmony with the environment.
A river runs through it. Here be salmon and here be trout. Here be rabbit and here be deer … and squirrels and robins and cardinals, chipmunks and even pesky insects that bite in the summer warmth.
Many years ago, before we flooded in from the Caribbean and Asia and Eastern Europe and South America, those who lived here decided to establish the riverain territory a conservation area. The main office of the Conservation Association is in a bungalow along the riverbank and another is in the recreation centre of one of the riverine communities.
Maybe it is the influx of us from abroad or the migration of the old-timers fleeing the arrivants but communities have sprung up north of ours and in attempts to beat the highway and freeway traffic during their morning and evening commute, the main road through the old community has become a bypass express way. The video clips accompanying this piece shows the contrast between the community and the invasive traffic flow during the morning commute.
The City Council, rather than consulting the community about addressing the traffic issue, has been acting on a recommendation of a technocrat to convert the two lane access road into a four lane dual carriage way–a proposal, which if accepted, will indelibly change the character of the neighbourhood from a pastoral residential community into another enclave of the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) spreading concrete jungle.
There are communities of the GTA’s more well heeled–along Lake Ontario and in Toronto’s aristocratic enclaves–where the solution is speed bumps on the roadways to discourage intrusive speedsters.
We know the technocrats and elected officials don’t make decisions solely in the interest of their friends or relatives who would benefit from contracts. We’d only expect that from city halls where the mayor is identified as abusing or has admitted alcohol or cocaine useage. And the courts in June 2013, cleared long-standing Mayor Hazel McCallion, of any conflict of interest in a collapsed development scheme that involved her son.
But we don’t count along the Credit River. Except maybe as votes for a seat on City Council; or if we miss a tax payment to City Hall; and then you don’t even have to speak up to be recognized.