Friday, 21 October 2016

The Sprawl Lobby's scorched earth campaign against council

Runaway suburban sprawl puts pressure on
City services & drains resources from
existing neighbourhoods.

Image Source: The Analyst/Twitter
The Sprawl Lobby is engaging in a brutal, scorched earth campaign against our City Council. They're still running the anti-fee, fake populist "Don't Stop Growth" smear campaign. A vast array of forces that profit off of a free ride for developers are "partnering" with the campaign along with the rightwing fringe front group that is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Sprawl Lobby heavyweights like Eric Vogan already made a petulant, self-entitled mess while presenting at City Council in late September. You would think they would have learned some dignity and humility in the proceeding weeks, but sadly they did not.

The histrionics continued at the Executive Policy Committee meeting. Mike Moore of the Manitoba Home Builders Association moaned that the move is "reckless and unacceptable", which seems to mean unacceptable to developers who want a free ride. Vogan was at it again, whining about the move being "an attack on neighbourhoods" and that it "insults new home owners". Meanwhile, stooges on council like Russ Wyatt bemoaned the plan for supposedly vilifying developers, who create "wealth" for the city (ignoring that developers are supplying consumer goods whose values are immensely boasted by City funded services).


"Partners" of the Don't Stop Growth campaign.


Image Source: NoHomeTax
There were also stooges for the development industry who used to be on Council. They cashed in through the revolving door and went on to work for the development industry. These include Justin Swandel, a hardline defender of Sam Katz's unaccountable mayoralty, and rightwing loon Garth Steek.

Steek, a past president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association, even insisted that Council was "lucky" to have developers present.
Past Manitoba Homebuilders Association president
and hard right former councillor
Garth Steek.

Image Source: Sean Kavanagh/Twitter


Yeah, Garth Steek really claimed that City Council was lucky to have special interests presenting at their meeting and trying to stop them from implementing new fees. It truly was a noble honour for the City to have corporate mouthpiece after corporate mouthpiece bellyaching about how awful new development fees are.

The Sprawl Lobby really is gunning against this. They hint at a possible legal challenge. They have sent out mass emails urging people to phone Mayor Bowman to oppose the new development fees. Garth Steek even wants to make the fee proposal an election issue.

Proponents of smart and sustainable growth need to fight against the Sprawl Lobby. We need to contact our City Councillors and  - in the case the City does need provincial permission - MLAs (find yours here) and tell them we need developers to pay their fair share.

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