Monday, March 2, 2015

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME PAY-BACK?

It looks as though the Beatties (Howard and Valerie) are getting their pay-back for campaign donations and financial support of the lawsuit against The Four Councillors. Remember, it was the Beatties who were among those who funded the Conflict of Interest lawsuit currently winding its way slowly through the court system of Ontario.

Now they want to build a house on their property on Lakeshore Road just 3 metres from the water's edge in defiance of the 30 metre set-back as required by Section 6.47 of Comprehensive Zoning By-law No.129-90. Now, you're beginning to see why some on council wanted to make it easier to change the set-back. It's called pay-back and a lot of other names that we are all familiar with but I can't use due to the lawsuit against me that Jim Thibert filed using taxpayer money. (Not unlike his most recent lawsuit against Ward 5 Councillor Don Lubberts for Conflict of Interest.  All because Donnie called Jimmy out over his plan to get the town to buy a piece of property to sweeten a deal for the sale of the racetrack.)

So, the Beatties expect that their fellow conspirator/fianceer Ward 4 Councillor Marina Butler (owner of Employment Professionals Canada) who also contributed towards the lawsuit, will vote to allow them to build a house close to the water, thus setting a precedent for others to follow. Never mind that homes along the shore in that area already suffer from flooding and other problems due to the high water table and proximity to the lake, thanks to poor planning policies in the past. Valerie Beatty is trying to get clearance based on goals set for the Council's Corporate Strategic Plan (2011-2014), one of which is to "increase public access to our waterfronts."  Sure. Like a twelve story tower looming over the public beach, which severely limited public access will increase public access to our waterfronts. Been there; done than; even got the tee shirt.

Keep track of this one, folks. See if Marina Butler declares a conflict. Odds are she won't. She thinks she's above all that and knows better. I hear that there is a complaint filed with the Integrity Commissioner against her already.  Next, she'll be calling for the end to the integrity commissioner like they did at Regional Council.  So much for transparency and healing that was supposed to be the theme of this council.

Looks like business as usual (meaning back before 2010) for the Town of Fort Erie.

43 comments:

  1. There is a very good reason why the Town has those set backs, in the past without those setback people would build very close to the front of their lot, these building permits were issued before amalgamation, what happened during the mid 1970s, a series of Spring storms and high sustained winds pushed the ice up the beach and on to property that had homes too close to the edge, I remember seeing pictures of concrete and picture glass building literally pushed off their foundations by what they called shove ice, friends of mine that lived in crystal Beach were very irked that our Town paid thousands of dollars in reparations to these foolish homeowners, my thoughts were the insurance company should be on the hook for that. I worked to get the new designation 1 in a100 years storm along with hundreds of other people from Welland to get changes to the old Hurricane Hazel criteria .which was a one size fits all of Ontario.

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    1. I listened to tonight's meeting and there were neighbours who are against the re-zoning. One said that the idea of building on that spot as "selfish" because it would obstruct a pristine view of the lake.

      I have found that listening to council meetings is painful as Marina clearly has no grasp of what to do. Neither do the other councillors. Except Donnie Lubberts. Only he and the mayor asked any questions or appeared to have read their council packages. What a joke the New Four are. Useless, except to pander to their friends on the Chamber and Jimmie Boy.

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  2. CorruptionFighterMarch 3, 2015 at 8:44 AM

    THE 1% KLUB RULE AGAIN!!.............screwing the town over for their selfish benefit.

    Back to the old norm eh ol boys!! one quick glance around here will show anyone of even limit intelligence how well your track record over the years has been.

    You voted for them Fort Stupid.

    P.S..... I hope their neighbors give these lowlifes hell. They deserve it. All of it.

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  3. We were baffled last month when Marina Butler fought to retable a motion that protects the shoreline from unscrupulous developers. Her Cof C bum buddies passed the motion. She is shameless because it becomes clear the purpose was to allow her friend Valerie Beattie to get a Lakefront lot rezoned before the shoreline mapping was completed. It also is clear that a road allowance to the lake adjacent to the Beattie mansion has been used as their private dumping ground and tennis courts. The poor neighbours. If the Town buys the lot it will be a win win for everyone.The Region has a money pot for waterfront acquisition,,,,use it and keep another Beattie eyesore from blocking our Lake.

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  4. Let's put the setbacks in a perspective that Canadians can grasp:

    When you are sitting in a hockey arena, if the person beside you sits forward, you can't see the play. What do you do? You sit more forward yourself, get it, eh?

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  5. A quick lesson in Latin, "Quid Pro Quo" you receive something back for services rendered, but I like the Arabic" Baksheesh"which is putting silver in a persons hand to expedite a favour. But is sometimes called corrupt practises. builders are well known for " kick backs" to get lucrative contracts from council's or polititician's, done a lot in La Belle Province of Quebec or many large cities.

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  6. Seems to me that there are existing encroachments on the road allowance. How has that been allowed to stand all these years?

    I've always wondered how something like this (which occurs often in this town) is approved as a "minor" variance. 30m to 3m? Really?

    When I heard about Butler's motion, the first question that came to mind is; I wonder who's looking to build on the lake shore? It didn't take long to get the answer did it?

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    1. Valerie Beattie is a BFF to Marina.

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    2. That would explain my third point. Certainly a problem and perhaps an early omen of what the future holds but my first points goes back quite a long time and the second seems to be a tradition 'round these parts.

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  7. I've been an observer of this blog for some time. I try to read daily. My thoughts, as I no longer live in Fort Erie, is that the residents believe that just because you are a member of the Chamber, you are considered some sort of expert on business, which is not true. I also noticed that during the elections most of the candidates stated how they "graduated" from post secondary education however Councillor Zanko only claims "she attended" which makes me wonder whether she even graduated. Not a way to start a position, by fudging the truth. If the residents voted for these candidates then they are stuck with them for the next 4 years...after reading these blogs...sounds like its going to be a long 4 years

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  8. We are in deep Doo Doo .It took last nights five hour budget session to convince me that we are truly screwed....even though I suspected it. Mayor Redekop is surrounded by a group of door knobs that make Dumb and dumber genius material
    Some highlites include no questions of the presentation by the Town Treasurer except by the Mayor and Lubberts. One wondered for the first three hours who else was there? A budget that will ultimately cost taxpayers 9% without some cuts deserves to be questioned.
    Gaming Dept with four staff had revenue of $150,000 last year that somewhat covers the Managers salary but were there questions about how can we justify continuing to run a revenue source at a HUGE deficit??
    On to the Racetrack request for half a million.They went to forty days without asking the Town if that funding was secure. Arrogance and assurance that the Cof C Barbies would support it and indeed they both woke up in time to prove stupidity. Zanko spoke different times on how not giving the half million would close the track and put the hay makers and horse shoers and restaurants out of business. Give your head a shake...It costs $250,000 to open each and every race day. Cut 2 days off and save us half a million. And of course Butler who it is said may be in conflict because her company benefits for casual labour at the track{so I am told}was adamant that the half million should be supported. Bless the Mayor who campaigned on no more tax money to JT and stood by on his commitment. Deferred to March 9th to give JT a chance to plead his cause in another performance.
    I save the best for last. Mc Dermott who was napping most of the night woke up in time to make a complete ass of himself and showed he had no idea of what was going on .After the supplementary budget items were addressed and the half million decision deferred Lubberts points out we are still over an outrageous 8%. The supplementary items totaled 3.4% so George pipes up and says to his listening audience that with the work done the 8% is no longer correct and we are now down to 3.4%. The treasurer gives a choke and corrects him that it is only that one section,,,indeed we are still looking at over 8% in total. We wont hear from him for awhile.All in all we are left with a feeling that survival of these dufuses for four years will be a test of the hardy .Poor Wayne

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    1. Thank you Howie for that report. I'm sure it was very accurate as I have seen this myself. All those who voted for these idjits should pay attention to what is happening. Of course, they will soon feel the pain in their taxes.

      Long live the race track - even if it kills the rest of the town.

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  9. To be noted, the Gaming Department has not given the Town back any money for years, they give out Bingo licences to none profit groups , the licence fees collected are around $500.000 thousand dollars ,the cost of running this job program for Russel Wilson and two or 3 assistants costs our Town $500.000 net gain, a big fat zero. Also Town Hall was paid for with a surcharge on bingo licence fees, a so called road tax. $75 dollars who did this? Russ Wilson and our pal Doug Martin.

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    1. With the new e-bingos, there is no need for such a large staff and a corporation head to run it. One person from town hall could manage it now. The province has taken over the bingos (maybe with good reason.) I'd like to see Russ Wilson completely out of any contact with any public/gaming money. He has a very poor record in that regard going back to his days as a customs inspector. He has been at the public trough way too long.

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  10. The Province of Ontario mandates that one person on staff handle Bingo affairs, but our Town likes to provide lucrative jobs and help their friends, (cronies) so the first snout in the trough was Russel Wilson a side kick of our PAL ,Russel was a former Alderman from Crystal Beach and those two have been holding each others hands ever since.

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  11. CorruptionFighterMarch 5, 2015 at 1:14 PM

    this town needs no more than 1 staffer to handle both the EDTC and gaming and any other assorted small side jobs as well.......a person who works at town hall and answers to council ( not that they would get too many intelligent questions from this band of ol boy/CoC plants).

    This would put a lot of money from bingo licences back where it belongs in the town coffers and Dirty Doug's ol pay Russ could find another trough to fill his snout. As well somewhere in the vicinity of 650 THOUSAND to well over a MILLION $$$$ would be saved not having that useless blowhard Jimmie Dirt Bag running his little part time hobby.

    But alas this is Fort Stupid thus we must ALL pay to keep these leeches in a lifestyle that they feel they are entitled to.

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  12. Its really about time for someone to introduce the concept of the Bay Beach land to become protected parkland and put the threat of gross development to rest once and for all. As building goes there is lots of land that can be built on that doesent threaten what little public waterfront property there is left for the people around here. Bay Beach waterfront park with the protections that come with such a designation. OK, maybe a few facilities like a basketball court or two, covered pavilions even an area for vendors and a few food trucks. This town with its long history of summer residents that go south to places where such beachfront facilitys are common (read Florida) should be able to see its way clear to such a designation. Bay Beach Waterfront Park. Its March now and it wont be long before that sandy bit of south facing beach is going to start looking pretty good. Besides, the present council seems to be in a giving mood, (lets leave that one for another posting) so this should be the time to introduce such a motion. Would be a pretty nice legacy for Mayor Red to point back to in future times as well, and for good reason.

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  13. Sharon, it's been 5 days with no visible activity on the blog; are you OK?

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    1. I'm OK. Busy helping a friend move and trying to stay positive in the midst of a miserable winter and an even more miserable new council. I can't help but feeling sorry for all the people who voted thinking that things would improve in Fort Erie and who are now about to face tax increases and "welfare" money being given to a gambling venue. Just remember that Wayne Redekop ran on a campaign promise to NOT give any more tax dollars to the Fort Erie Race Track. Council just voted to give Jimmy the $500K requested with a further commitment to $250K next year. Meanwhile, how many businesses have closed for want of a few thousand dollars to get them over a rough patch? All those employees of the racetrack who are not really full time or the very few who are could have been trained and given new job opportunities for all the money that has been spent propping up the race track. If it can't stand on its own; then let it close. This was all predicted well over 20 years ago in a report about the future of the race track. The horse racing industry is suffering like many other industries in these changing economic times.

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  14. It would not be the end of the world if that racetrack was allowed to die, I used to work right next to the old Garden City Racetrack (harness racing) NOTL what happened, that property is generating more tax revenue than it ever did as a racetrack, Niagara College has the corner and even growing vines, across the road a golf course and hundreds of up scale homes and the fields where the track itself was located, the largest outdoor mall in Canada is now in operation, even a Bass Pro outlet, even Buffalo could not snag one of those. So good things can come, out of a closing.

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  15. The harness track in Sudbury closed as well with very little input positive or negative from the public, outside of a few articles wondering where the free money was in its time of need. The FE track has to get over the senti-mental aspect of its long history. When there are so many other needs for funds all over the area people are wondering where a half million can vanish to when it comes to a horse track that is already getting a pretty sweet sum from the provincial government. Its not really a question of closing the old track, just getting some management staff that are competent enough to make that facility run at very least a break even level. Running horses for a few months of the year just isnt going to cut it anymore. Besides, with a cloud hanging over the place with the present situation, it really doesent draw a crowd like it could. Do you go to some venue to gamble that looks like its being run by a bunch of desperate losers? We sure wouldnt. A few do, but by any measure not enough untill some changes are made.

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  16. Yes, Porgey, but Jimmy likes to spoke his big shot cigars and watch the races!

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  17. Been to some great tracks down south and beyond. This one is starting to look like the Walmart racetrack that might be seen on some sketch on SNL. Tiki bar? Jockies in clown clothes? Fresh Prince of Wales? Its a great venue with a lot of potential. Someone is going to have to find the personnel to make this well established piece of historic real estate really shine.The current management seems to be in way over their heads, or this business would be well in the black instead of using millions of tax dollars to keep some mismanaged horse show open for a few months of the summer.

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  18. Could see that charity gift to the horse track coming from a mile and a quarter away. Not just the insiders quietly confirring with a nod and a wink in terms of a payback to those who got them elected, (indeed who even put the ideas in their collective C of C heads), but the fear of what might happen if they didnt vote in favor of the "gift". The truth be told, after the vote to waste $40 odd thousand on a needless byelection, then the "lets finance a new theatre" moment in council, the die was cast for yet more wastage. What a tone to set when this town has so many other important things to pay for. Makes that money spent on that lighthouse that is essentially on private property, look like money well spent. (the nearby neighbors have free wifi from that facility paid for by guess who). The only thing is whats next?? How much waste is enough? Now that all that dough has been blown will "belt tightening" begin? Projects that should have been front and centre pushed back for lack of funds? Very likely. Thanks Wayne. When someone said the sign on Mayor Reds desk should read "I Was Outvoted" they were not kidding. The one time so far "Lets Work Together" didnt come into play its cost us taxpayers half a million (so far). The slackers at the track and their new landlords across the river must be having a giggle over that one. Go for a run Wayne and think about whats been acomplished so far, and what its cost us in town. No wonder Gates beat him out for the NDP nomination. He was outvoted.

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  19. I too have been to some great Race Tracks ,I lived 50 miles from Baltimore , after work some of my workmates would pile into a car and head to Pimlico track, this is in a natural hollow and quite a site to see,, when going down the slope and taking in the grandeur of it's location .Our track once upon a time was a jewel to behold , several movies were made there, Mickey Rooney starred in a movie being made there , my daughter was working in the snack bar at the time, that old jewel still had a lot of glamour, sadly, even though the slots made a lot of money at that location , little money was spent on the actual facilities at the track, the only thing was that the old dirt on the oval itself being replaced with a new base and sand to shed water, the rest of the place was left to rot. for years a part of the roof had tarpaulins covering a leaking area,, the place is now grungy and more like a dump , Mismanaged ? I think so, a cash cow for the Israeli owned Corporation , now owned by people from Buffalo.It is doubtful without a real team effort , can this old gal be revived. to it's former glory.

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  20. Might want to call that new sink hole of a theatre the Tim Hudak Centre For The Performing Arts. What would be more fitting than the name of some hometown boy that wasted a ton of cash on a lobsided run at the Premiers office, to essentially put both feet in his mouth and blow it at the last minit. Yah , Tims mistake lives on in the hearts and minds of yet another group of money wasters in our council. Seems fitting to name this new mistake after this shlub.

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    1. Some day someone will publish a book/make a movie about how Tim Hudak took two sure election wins and turned them into stunning defeats. All he had to do is act like a human, not a robot, and he could have won easily. Guess he couldn't get rid of the repugnant Mike Harris taint despite the Tories' best efforts.

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    2. The really fun thing about the theatre for me is that no one seems to have considered that it is just down the road from the future Speedway. Unless they build that hall like a nuclear bunker, it will be very interesting if there is a Saturday night string quartet recital at the same time as an oval track "Special Event" (basically meaning no noise limits).

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    3. Actually, Tim's fault was telling people what need to be done and not make unrealistic promises. The people bought the lies ( how many times ) that the liberal kept spewing out each time they got elected and than reneged on those promises.

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  21. 23 Prime is part right. But to say "Im going to create a million jobs", then "Im going to fire 100,000 public sector workers out of the other side of his mouth just made tha Dalton gang look like naughty schoolboys who will "never, ever do it again" look like the choice of lesser evils. Had it in the bag, then the bottom of the bag got soggy and ripped open and everything fell out into the mud. OK, the million jobs sounded like the sign over the parking lot at a Mc Donalds, and a lot of people like junk food, but to get the public sector unions mad at him? And after what you would have thought Daddy Mike might have told him after his experience?? He didnt "make unrealistic promises, he didnt seem to make any promises, just scary comments. And Tim with his degree in economics. Could have been a contender, and a Premier from this tiny burg. Go figure.

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    1. Well the new's papers that were promoting the NDP or Liebrals stated that 100,000 people were going to loose their jobs, the neglected to say that they were going to do this over time by not replacing those that retire.

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  22. 23 Prime has a good point, but thats what makes it all the more of a shame. Couldnt beat the Dalton gang? With their history of waste, dishonesty, and mismanagement? The million jobs plan sounded like a pretty good reason to vote for the party, but then, "going to fire 100,000 public sector workers" sounding like Uncle Mike, (who Tim was always careful not to mention) and his terrible legacy. Stats show he lost in the ridings where the public sector unions hold a lot of power. If he didnt mention that itch to fire a bunch of civil workers we would probly be discussing Premier Hudaks latest agenda, or budget, in Queens park this week. And a nice "point to" when discussing the guys hometown. Go figure.

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  23. With the Speedway being 7 kilometers away I don't think that Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #4 will be inconvenienced. This theatre ranks right up there among the worst decisions made in this town over the past few years and that is a rather competitive list.

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    1. I just checked Google Maps; if I have it right that the theatre is going to be located on the present driving range near Garrison, Turn 3 of the oval is less than 2 kilometers away.

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    2. I'm not sure where Che thinks the Speedway will be (it's SW of the QEW Bowen Rd. exit), but 7 km away "as the crow flies" is in the heart of Ridgeway.

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    3. I'm getting 3.5 km. But either way, I stand corrected. My estimate was off considerably.

      And if Port Colborne / Humberstone Speedway is any indication, you are right about the noise. It's fairly loud at 3.5 km away. Very loud at 2km

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    4. Sounds like someone forgot to do their homework when they decided on this Great Plan!

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  24. Probly not a decision to support a theatre, just the money that was asked for is the question. If the EDTC put foreward a proposal to build such a venue most would say, go for it. They sure get enough money for nothing to cover such a cost. Make it the Theibert Centre. How such a strange proposal, tied to a plan for a new high school, ever got approved will go down in the records as one of the most strange bit of last months mistakes in this towns history. Not some theatre on the backend of some brickbunker highschool (aka 1956 ), but how the town was asked to pay for it. And they went for it. Go fish.

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  25. We have only just begunMarch 13, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    Remember it has only been 3 months that this new council has been in power. What will the next four years look like, considering they seem to respond to special interests groups, a pie in the sky theatre plan that the town will pay for but not own or operate, and the sky will fall if we do not give another half million to the track ( only open for 40 days per year) to an organization that. hasn't been able to keep it's head above water even with almost 6 million dollars per year of taxpayers money. This new an inexperienced council are being lead down the JT trail. Redekop should know now who is running this town, and his initials are JT. But not to worry it is only Redekop's part time job. JT will take full advantage of a usually not there mayor and a council that is so inexperienced that they don't know that the reserves that they are spending is taxpayer money.

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  26. CorruptionFighterMarch 13, 2015 at 9:16 AM

    The local politico's are yet again rolling out the Not4Nascar as the end of all our troubles, much like Bay Beach. Bull Sh1te is the only word to describe this.

    Thousands of jobs! come on, take a look at any track anywhere and you don't have this many. The construction jobs will all go outside town to some big company from Toronto as no one local has the capability and Fort Stupid will be left with another white elephant that spews noise and pollution on the odd weekend and holiday employing a handful of minimum wage security and grass cutters.... AND your taxes will go up again to pay for the privilege of the inconvenience. Someone has to pay for all the infrastructure upgrades and doesn't look like the provincial Liberals are in any hurry. With this council of spendthrift buffons and ol boy/CofC lackeys, you can expect any expensive, retarded idea to be passed.(one exception being poor Donny Lubberts watching this lunacy). They are after all FE's elite with connections to our self professed experts, the business community and a service club(my apologies to the exceptions).

    The icing on this sh1te cake is lower property values. MPAC , the property tax people call it "property stigmatization" as most of the town is within the noise footprint of this massive con job being played on an electorate that regularly votes to screw itself for the financial gain of a few insiders.

    Put your drinks and drugs down for a moment FE and think about.

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    1. C.F., I wish it were just weekends and holidays, but that is only for competitive events; there will be car club track rentals and race driving schools every day of the week (ask anyone you know in Dunnville about the former airport race track there). What there will not be is a full-time research lab (remember the story a few years ago about how the promised $30 million McMaster research centre was already open in Hamilton).

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    2. agreed Anne........also snowmobiles and motor bikes as well.

      Who in their right mind would want to live near something like this?? Most communities would fight it. Not here. Next they will be dumping nuclear waste in our backyards and it will be sold as a good thing as it might create a job or 2.(I shouldn't give them any ideas eh?) This would be a first for the millions we pissed away on the EDTC. All hail King Jimmy!

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  27. About tourism driven developments, how many places are even open late around here even on a summer evening? A few eating places, a few taverns, and some overpriced convenience stores. How much hotel space is there for people to stay in here even at the height of summer? Affordable or otherwise. Theres a reason the Zoos (oops...new user friendly name "Safari Niagara") emptys out after each day of "Safari", would you bring your family to stay in Stevensville even if there was a place to stay? Tourism using the new "car track"? Dont think so. Sorry, not untill theres a reason to actually stay here longer than a few hours.

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