Letters & Opinion

A Political Punch for Caledon

Humber River Heritage Park
Written by Patti Foley

The Town of Caledon took a political punch last week as Peel Regional Council voted to overturn our community’s decision on which area would accommodate Bolton’s next round of residential growth. Another shock and disappointment for Caledon Council was that one of their own Regional Councillors turned her back on Caledon’s position and instead voted along with a number of Brampton and Mississauga Councillors to abandon our chosen option in favour of another.

After a lengthy 2-year public process that studied the options from numerous perspectives, from 2012 to 2014, BRES (Bolton Residential Expansion Study) “Option 3” had been selected from the 6 identified options. The process had painstakingly researched environmental, social and fiscal impacts. As always, it was about finding the best balance.

It was felt, for example, that Option 3, located on the north side of King St in the vicinity of Humber Station Road would encourage new residents to shop in town, compared to Option 6 (SOLMAR lands) which, placing people at Mayfield Road, the boundary between Caledon and Brampton, might result in more folks crossing that line to visit big box stores and shopping malls. The latter being a lost opportunity to bring shopping dollars into the local community.

Option 3 was also located at the site of the future Go-Station which, while many years out, would be ideal for encouraging people to take transit to work and leave their cars at home, creating less traffic for commuters.

The single Caledon Regional Councillor who voted against BRES Option 3, in favour of Option 6 (SOLMAR lands), justified her choice by saying it was the cheapest one, the “most fiscally responsible”. To this one might wonder if the cheapest deal is indeed the best deal. One would think that the environment, supporting local business, encouraging commuters to leave their cars at home, and so on, has value too.

Since when have major decisions, that impact yourself, your family, your community, for now and well into the future, ever been best resolved by the cheapest deal? In my opinion Bolton is worth far more than that.

Just sayin’

 

Note: You can view the 6 original proposed options here 

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About the author

Patti Foley

Having spent 25 years in Bolton, Patti remains an advocate for Caledon. As a former Regional Councillor and a long-time community volunteer she is passionate about communicating information about its issues, news, events, people, non-profits and businesses.

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5 Comments

  • How would you feel if you were being attacked for making a decision that was fiscally responsible?

    Enough with attacking Annette and one of your own. I agree with her decision – Bolton is dead. Fill it with people. We’re not going to start shopping in the city overnight.

    Unprofessional. Period.

    It was a punch in the face we needed

    • It would depend on what else was at stake. All of the options are for the same amount of popoulation. The vote that PRC overturned was about where we wanted to put it.

    • You’re right, Lindsay, people aren’t going to start to shop out of town overnight. Too many of our townspeople already do! That is why our town is beginning to look like a ghost town with “for lease” signs in almost every plaza, a plaza that is and has been half empty from the day it was built, local businesses shutting down regularly and people complaining there are “no stores to shop in, in Bolton.” If you want other businesses to open in town, the ones who are here need to be supported and enabled to thrive so those other businesses will want to open up here. As it stands, even our big box stores are those company’s “D” level stores because they know the people here do not support their local businesses. People need to realize that local shopping is important, not only for the upkeep of the community, but to also ensure community pride. There is something in it for them as well. Shopping locally reduces your gas consumption, wear and tear on your car, enables those small businesses to thrive so they can provide you with more goods and services, and can afford to hire local help, strengthens your relationship with the small business owner so you can ask for special orders and/or donations, keeps those businesses in business so this town doesn’t become a “big-box store” town. Keeping the small businesses booming, increases the commercial tax base so residential taxes can go down. The people who live here need to understand the importance of shopping locally, and the placement of the new homes can make it easier for them to consider shopping locally rather than leaving town.

  • I’m with you Patty. The cheapest deal is not always the best. I much preferred Option 3 for all the reasons you stated; having shopping dollars stay in Bolton, encouraging use of GO, etc. It is very disappointing to have one of our councillors let us down in this way.

    And as for Bolton being “dead.” – what a defeatist attitude. I lived here my entire life save a few years at university and it is far from dead. We have a fantastic, vibrant town with much going on. Of course there is always room for improvement – the empty shops downtown being an example. But let’s not sound the death knell. How negative!

  • Marotta maintains that the attacks weren’t orchestrated by him, and that he’s not the only person who’s been hurt by Morrison’s planning decisions. For starters, dozens of small businesses in Bolton had gone bankrupt. Any of the 111 ­different landowners in the area of Bolton that Solmar wanted to develop could have been behind the attacks. Naturally, the mayor considered the win an endorsement of her dictum that only Caledon would plan Caledon—although by now, she had come to equate Caledon with herself.