The City of Edmonton's Contaminated Gas Stations Task Force is going to be holding public hearings so you can voice your opinions on 50 former gas station sites that the city is willing to let sit as a useless eyesore for a decade-and-a-half while City Councillors collect paycheques and sit in meetings discussing them. [seriously, it looks like the Ground Zero site will be finished before we can finally build on that location the world's coolest half-open patio bar and condo tower! -ed]
There's probably not much of substance that anybody can contribute to here. I mean, what are we expecting?
City Council: We want to do something about these lands. What do you think?
Citizens: We think something should be built there.
City Council: Okay, we're hearing a lot of great ideas here. What's the maximum carbon footprint we should be allowing on these sites?
Citizens: Uh, big, I guess. Are we going to be starting construction yet?
City Council: How in-depth should the environmental impact assessments be? Who should pay for them, the property owner, the developer, or both with the City of Edmonton providing an approved list of assessment organizations.
Citizens: Wait, there are developers? Cool, when will they build something?
City Council: Now we need to look at potential zoning changes. Should land in CNC status have to remain in CNC status, or can we permit redevelopment in CB1 or even IB/IL zones? If the land in question has a CB1 status already, can it be reverted to CBC zones or must it remain in CB1 or CB2 status?
Citizens: Hold on! Aren't we building anything yet? Can you please just build something?
City Council: What? Build something? No no, these meetings are just to establish the City's position on contaminated gas station sites and to advocate to other municipalities, the provincial or federal government, or other stakeholders on behalf of City Council. Also to develop a plan for the City that will encourage contaminated gas station site clean-up, identify barriers to clean-up and ways to address the barriers.
Citizens: Uh, so that means you aren't building anything? Is there maybe some property in Sherwood Park I could look into purchasing for myself?
CBC Commentator Darkhorse21x: I want to create a clean up fund which is contributed to by all members of the Petroleum Production Sector. Use this fund to target sites for clean up. It may take a while to complete but the status quo is unacceptable. Contributions sould be on a sliding scale based upon the number of employees or the relative worth of the company. This way, the industry as a whole can take on the corporate responsibility for past shorts sighted ness and we can move forward.
City of Edmonton: Don't forget to answer important questions on possible opportunities to reduce the maximum allowable height to ensure that...
Citizens: To fuck with you all! Either build something on there or get out of everybody else's way!
Anyways, the City of Edmonton plans to hold a public hearing, for some sort of reason. When? Monday, June 14th in City Hall, at 3pm.
No, seriously, when?
Nope, no kidding: at 3pm on a Monday afternoon, when the only people who would be attending are homeless people, minimum wage shift workers, or students. Now its probably a moot point at this level, but it got me thinking: is this maybe the reason that so many stupid ideas (that socialists are in favour of) get passed off as crème brulée when they really are just big steaming piles of shit? If this public hearing happened to be about something important, you'd find the people in attendance [and chairing! -ed] are not the productive class of society, the men and woman who work hard day in and day out making the greasy commerce wheel go 'round, or generate the industrial capacity that keeps our modern day City on the Hill afloat. No, instead they would be the shiftless layabouts, and the same sort of slime who have time for midweek rallies and protests. In other words, the last people that City Council should listen to.
The more I think about this, the more depressed I get: if you schedule events so that the least productive members of society are the only ones who you get input from, your inputs will be mostly garbage, and your decisions will by default be very unproductive.
Wait, haven't we already experienced some of this?