Monday, June 12, 2006

Nothing new

This clip of a 24 Hours news broadcast from September 1989 was dug up recently, and is a story on the relationship between the City of Winnipeg and land developer GenStar, and the plans to expand GenStar's Linden Woods Community®.

Watching this reminds me that things haven't really changed at all: it's the same incompetent business practises from the City; the same lies (accompanied by a 'study' put together by ND Lea, of course) from developers; and the same promises by their elected working horses who insist that something so financially, physically and socially damaging will be a good thing (current family and housing minister Christine Melnick, for one).

The profits, they all say, go back to the city. Though I was only eight years old in 1989, I would guess that Winnipeg's transit, libraries, trees, parks, streets, sewers, community centres, etc. did not improve much since then. I don't imagine downtown and the old city neighborhoods became healthier, more prosperous places thanks to Linden Woods either. Will they be improved 17 years from now, when Linden Woods Jr. sprouts up west of Waverly Street? Will the kids of Point Douglas have a place to swim again? Will multi-storey buildings replace surface parking as the most economical use of land downtown? Will Assiniboine Park not look unkempt anymore?

The City can't see the outcome of the future, but it can learn from the mistakes of its recent past if it chooses to.

Watching this clip also makes me wonder if voting for Al Golden wouldn't have been such a bad idea after all.


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