Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Globe and Mail: Shadowy deals loom on the waterfront

The Globe and Mail's John Barber whines about a 'shady' deal to develop part of Toronto's waterfront. According to the rumours, Canwest Global would move into a new building on a derilict part of the waterfront just east of the Redpath Sugar refinery.

This is a subscriber-only article - but if you aren't a subscriber - this and other Barber columns are surely no reason to plunk down your hard-earned $$$ to pay for access.

The Globe and Mail: Shadowy deals loom on the waterfront

The tone of the column reflects the typical Toronto-leftist mistrust of anything to do with the private sector. It doesn't occur to them that the city exists because of private enterprise. The leftist vision sees a Toronto of grand public buildings, public housing projects, and parks.

It doesn't occur to Barber and other leftists that:

1. A vibrant private economy is needed to fund all these goodies.
2. Private companies need to negotiate contracts in private.

Barber is not alone in complaining about the prospects of an office building/studio being constructed. A local residents association bemoaned that they would prefer an aquarium. (..Yes - please put the aquarium right there, and while your at it we'd like this type of landscaping...) Boy - I'd love to see these self-serving residents hit with a special assessment to pay for their wish list.

The real problem with the rumoured deal is that the city must subsidize the venture in order to make the site competitive with suburban locations. Given the city's astronomical commercial property taxes, this is the only way to retain jobs. (No these are not new jobs coming into the city - but rather jobs that will move from locations such as the Post's current premises on Don Mills.)

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