Monday, June 30, 2008

More (second) thoughts

My cautiously tentative support of this stadium thing seems to be is withering as the hours go by. Everything Mr. Asper said to some of us Point Douglas residents (several of whom lived south of the CP tracks), that made me excited had nothing to do with the stadium itself. A finished river trail, new residential, commercial, and recreational development is great--who in Point Douglas would oppose it?

My friends and I were out on our bikes tonight, when we ran into Wanda Koop and her family (whom one friend/neighbor I was with knows) on the north end of Waterfront Drive (which was surprisingly busy with pedestrians and cyclists). She is quite dismayed by the prospect of a stadium, and fears that her residence/studio--an old warehouse which she has for five years worked at restoring--would be threatened by a new access to the Disraeli Freeway.

Tidy houses on Grace Street in south Point Douglas - Photo by Christian Cassidy

It is not development in south Point that she opposes--it's obvious from her personal and financial interest in the area that she believes there is much potential there, but she believes that a stadium would completely undermine not only the nice renderings of riverfront condos and shops that Mr. Asper made public on Friday, but what progress has already been made there, thanks largely to people like her.

Funny thing is, if residents like Mrs. Koop start vocalizing their opposition to a Point Douglas stadium, the city's philistine rabble (many of whom are licking their chops at the thought of a faster Higgins and wider Louise Bridge) will ostracize them for being cantankerous building-huggers. Let's see the reaction from the residents from ANY other neighborhood in the city. No where else could David Asper have sat and had a civil conversation with residents who believed his football stadium would displace them, or at least that it would dramatically change the nature of their neighborhood.

At least Mr. Asper came to talk with them: the elected 'representatives' that are too busy cheer-leading (or too senile) to get the facts straight, would never bother with such a banal task. You think Sam Katz would volunteer an hour and a half from his Sunday afternoon to talk to a dozen "inner city residents"? You think Harry Lazarenko has set foot in north Point Douglas in the last five years? You think the people in south Point have ever talked with Mike Pagtakhan--the guy who suggested a theme park-like "artists village", where Jordan Van Sewall's house, after 126 years near the corner of Rachel/Annabella Street and Fonseca/Higgins Avenue, could be moved to some more expendable locale?


Blogger PolicyFrog said...

For comparison, look at the absurd over-reaction that residents in River Heights and Fort Garry have whenever developers propose small-scale condo projects for vacant land in those neighbourhoods. People freak out and respond as if...someone was looking to build a football stadium next door or something.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RG, you were played.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually what I meant to say is that your initial instincts may be closer to what you feel.

Don't forget, there is a huge hidden cost the taxpayers will have to take right away to make this happen. thats above and beyond uprooting the ones who have made a go of the area for years.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam Katz = Fail

1:01 PM  

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