Pity The Poor Developer And Denley: WHOPPER WATCH

 

whopper.watch .12.26

 

“Imagine a world this simple. Say a particular site was zoned for a 20-storey residential building and a builder presented a plan for just such a building, a plan that been certified as structurally sound by a professional engineer. Shouldn’t the city, so desperate for housing, just say yes?”

Randall Denley, Ottawa Citizen

 

I don’t know about you but when I go to bed at night my little prayer, after I’ve put away my toys and set Teddy Bear on the shelf for his beddy-bye, is to wish the best for my friends and relatives, give thanks for my three squares a day and hope that all things turn out well for my city, my country, the world and the whole universe.

And like the Citizen’s Randall Denley, I give a special thanks to the long-suffering developers who get everything they want and millions (sorry, billions) of dollars in profit, government handouts and free football and hockey stadiums. We poor citizens get a transit system that doesn’t work but costs billions (and is routed to maximize profits for developers … some day) and holes in the road.


Developers can contribute to urban sprawl in the countryside, ugly high-rises on arterial roads and now small apartments in soon-to-be-destroyed neighbourhoods that take hundreds of thousands of dollars away from the life savings of nearby homeowners.

In other words, the developers have got the rural areas, the suburbs, major thoroughfares and established and new neighbourhoods. They’ve got everything. The whole city. But they want more. And then lightweights such as city planning committee chairman Jeff Leiper favour intensification because Ottawa, single-handedly, can save the climate. Sorry councillor, but it’s about profits.

Then we have Denley. He was a former and unsuccessful right-wing politician, who never met a developer he didn’t like, who never met a pro-development politician he didn’t like (special kudos for Mayor Mark Sutcliffe) and who works for a pro-development newspaper that depends (if it survives at all) on the development industry for a large part of its revenue.

So now you know where Randy is coming from in this column and others … if you didn’t know already. I betcha the Citizen columnist even includes, like me, the developers in his bedtime prayers. God bless ‘im and ’em.

Look developers get almost everything they want (and the ‘almost’ is very small) but they want more so Randy wants more for them.

Sorry oh-mighty-scribe Denley, but there are lots of people who need more and, most assuredly, they are not developers. Denley’s position on development shreds his credibility and hurts a once-proud newspaper.

And the hold-up on construction in this city and elsewhere is not civic red tape … it’s developers waiting for interest rates to fall before they start to build so they can maximize profits.

How much more maximization do developers need, Randall Denley?

That said, when the going gets rough, we know you’re there for them.

Ken Gray

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4 Responses

  1. John Langstone says:

    One number Denley quotes in his article is the 151,000 unit pledge by the City. Thing is that the Official Plan population forecast is less than this number. So developer friendly Denley thinks the industry should be building empty housing? No surprise to me that we aren’t building at the 151,000 rate.

  2. Theresa says:

    Ken, I agree with everything you’ve said. So can we change this situation? If so, how? In the meantime, my teddy bear says hello to your teddy bear — but, try as she will, she — and I — just can’t bring herself to bless the developers, even in jest.

    I should also make the point that when newspapers are owned by big corporations like CanWest Global, their columnists (without naming any names) are most likely going to reflect the points of view of other big corporations, aka their buddies. That’s why independent and publicly funded news media are so important as sources of information.

  3. Ron Benn says:

    Theresa, the old adage “he who pays the piper calls the tune” comes to mind. As Ken points out, a major source of the diminishing revenue stream for the Citizen comes from developers. They buy large blocks of space to advertise their current portfolio of properties for sale. The perception is that the development industry is “calling the tune” because they are “paying the piper”.

    At issue is whether governments funding the media will lead to the same result. There is a perception, one that is promoted regularly by Pierre Polievre, that the CBC lacks independence from the federal government because the CBC’s budget is sourced primarily from that government.

    Whether either case is true is of little consequence in the minds of many, for their perception becomes their reality.

  4. Theresa says:

    Ron, you raise some good points. Readers need to be eternally vigilant about biased reporting, and I suppose that it’s hard for reporters who work for a government-funded media site to promote non-government-supported points of view. ‘Twas ever thus. It would really depend on how controlling the government-appointed overseers of the media site are. My own view of CBC is that it’s one of the few news sites that doesn’t extol rampant capitalism and extreme views, so it’s a haven of sorts for me. Some media sites are funded entirely by their readers, and these readers generally have more pro-environment and pro-societal well-being points of view, which are supported by these media sites. Other media sites are funded by radical organizations (and likely anti-government companies and individuals, including billionaires) and are the go-to source for other readers with those leanings. These sites constantly denigrate “mainstream media” and government broadcasters in an effort to create division and suspicion. I really see CBC as a media site that tries to bring our country together. We, the public, cannot be like those bystanders who just watch an assault take place and refuse to intervene. We need to speak up and promote honesty, courtesy and inclusion in our country, in how we treat others and respond to the information we read/hear.

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