Hamilton city council's decision to continue court fight against Canada Post is pure politics

Opinion Jul 03, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

What is the proper price to prove a principle?

Hamilton councillors are infamous for using taxpayers’ money to challenge other levels of government based upon an aggrieved slight.

Look no further than the city’s 10-year legal battle against the federal government over the Red Hill Parkway. Eight years since the roadway was opened, politicians have repeatedly refused to give up the legal fight despite spending upwards of $3 million.

And last year, the city lost a $900,000 lawsuit filed by a Hamilton lawyer over a tobogganing hill, prompting politicians to curtail using city property for sledding.

So when Ontario Superior Court Justice Alan Whitten overwhelmingly sided with Canada Post that Hamilton’s roads bylaw had no authority over the crown corporation, councillors screamed foul.

Hamilton’s lackluster contention that the bylaw was only there for safety reasons, and the city had the right to protect what was installed on its own roadways plainly did not persuade the Justice who, admittedly, indicated early in the hearing the it would take a superior argument to undermine the Crown agency’s federal jurisdiction.

Last week council approved spending $75,000 to use an outside lawyer to launch an appeal against Canada Post. Their argument was Canada Post was usurping the city’s legal authority to protect its residents and that Hamilton is the only jurisdiction to corral the brazen federal agency.

But Hamilton’s political charge is more like tilting at windmills, blindly fighting the good fight on behalf of other Canadian municipalities, constituents and residents and against a federal organization that seems indifferent to public sentiment.

While it may be nice to challenge the constitutional limits of both Hamilton and Canada Post’s authority, in court the city’s argument, as Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson bluntly stated, “failed miserably.”

Some councillors are saying this isn’t about politics, but safe guarding the health of residents. But of course it’s about politics.

Hamilton is following on the heels of local NDP politicians who have stated if they win the federal election in October, they will use the federal government’s authority to stop Canada Post from ending door-to-door delivery.

It just seems that Hamilton politicians are too eager to launch this quixotic quest to reform Canada’s Constitution, and force a federal agency to bend to its will. The city has failed previously in the Red Hill imbroglio. Does the city really need another example of fighting shadows for the sake of personal glory?

Hamilton city council's decision to continue court fight against Canada Post is pure politics

Opinion Jul 03, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

What is the proper price to prove a principle?

Hamilton councillors are infamous for using taxpayers’ money to challenge other levels of government based upon an aggrieved slight.

Look no further than the city’s 10-year legal battle against the federal government over the Red Hill Parkway. Eight years since the roadway was opened, politicians have repeatedly refused to give up the legal fight despite spending upwards of $3 million.

And last year, the city lost a $900,000 lawsuit filed by a Hamilton lawyer over a tobogganing hill, prompting politicians to curtail using city property for sledding.

So when Ontario Superior Court Justice Alan Whitten overwhelmingly sided with Canada Post that Hamilton’s roads bylaw had no authority over the crown corporation, councillors screamed foul.

Hamilton’s lackluster contention that the bylaw was only there for safety reasons, and the city had the right to protect what was installed on its own roadways plainly did not persuade the Justice who, admittedly, indicated early in the hearing the it would take a superior argument to undermine the Crown agency’s federal jurisdiction.

Last week council approved spending $75,000 to use an outside lawyer to launch an appeal against Canada Post. Their argument was Canada Post was usurping the city’s legal authority to protect its residents and that Hamilton is the only jurisdiction to corral the brazen federal agency.

But Hamilton’s political charge is more like tilting at windmills, blindly fighting the good fight on behalf of other Canadian municipalities, constituents and residents and against a federal organization that seems indifferent to public sentiment.

While it may be nice to challenge the constitutional limits of both Hamilton and Canada Post’s authority, in court the city’s argument, as Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson bluntly stated, “failed miserably.”

Some councillors are saying this isn’t about politics, but safe guarding the health of residents. But of course it’s about politics.

Hamilton is following on the heels of local NDP politicians who have stated if they win the federal election in October, they will use the federal government’s authority to stop Canada Post from ending door-to-door delivery.

It just seems that Hamilton politicians are too eager to launch this quixotic quest to reform Canada’s Constitution, and force a federal agency to bend to its will. The city has failed previously in the Red Hill imbroglio. Does the city really need another example of fighting shadows for the sake of personal glory?

Hamilton city council's decision to continue court fight against Canada Post is pure politics

Opinion Jul 03, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

What is the proper price to prove a principle?

Hamilton councillors are infamous for using taxpayers’ money to challenge other levels of government based upon an aggrieved slight.

Look no further than the city’s 10-year legal battle against the federal government over the Red Hill Parkway. Eight years since the roadway was opened, politicians have repeatedly refused to give up the legal fight despite spending upwards of $3 million.

And last year, the city lost a $900,000 lawsuit filed by a Hamilton lawyer over a tobogganing hill, prompting politicians to curtail using city property for sledding.

So when Ontario Superior Court Justice Alan Whitten overwhelmingly sided with Canada Post that Hamilton’s roads bylaw had no authority over the crown corporation, councillors screamed foul.

Hamilton’s lackluster contention that the bylaw was only there for safety reasons, and the city had the right to protect what was installed on its own roadways plainly did not persuade the Justice who, admittedly, indicated early in the hearing the it would take a superior argument to undermine the Crown agency’s federal jurisdiction.

Last week council approved spending $75,000 to use an outside lawyer to launch an appeal against Canada Post. Their argument was Canada Post was usurping the city’s legal authority to protect its residents and that Hamilton is the only jurisdiction to corral the brazen federal agency.

But Hamilton’s political charge is more like tilting at windmills, blindly fighting the good fight on behalf of other Canadian municipalities, constituents and residents and against a federal organization that seems indifferent to public sentiment.

While it may be nice to challenge the constitutional limits of both Hamilton and Canada Post’s authority, in court the city’s argument, as Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson bluntly stated, “failed miserably.”

Some councillors are saying this isn’t about politics, but safe guarding the health of residents. But of course it’s about politics.

Hamilton is following on the heels of local NDP politicians who have stated if they win the federal election in October, they will use the federal government’s authority to stop Canada Post from ending door-to-door delivery.

It just seems that Hamilton politicians are too eager to launch this quixotic quest to reform Canada’s Constitution, and force a federal agency to bend to its will. The city has failed previously in the Red Hill imbroglio. Does the city really need another example of fighting shadows for the sake of personal glory?