LETTER: Are we racing to the bottom to avoid our fear of heights?

Opinion Apr 06, 2018 Ancaster News

Height is defined as the vertical distance from bottom to top. It is also defined as an extreme example — we can experience the absolute height of kindness and caring. Both meanings are on display in community meetings regarding development proposals. However, our fear of one blinds us to the delights of the other.

Much discussion focuses on the vertical height of a building while ignoring the exhilarating heights of achieving societal goals. Goals, which founded on provincial policy and community consultation, form the basis of our city’s official plan.

Building an inclusive community with affordable housing, walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods, reduced green house gas emissions, and a restored natural environment is the ultimate goal of our official plan. Achieving this goal would indeed be the extreme height of city building.

This is why the discussion must focus on community benefit which is pertinently identified in the official plan. If support for our community goals is found wanting, then there is little point looking at the physical aspects. Too often we ask only about a proposed building’s height and parking spaces and ignore how, or if, a development will contribute toward the achievement of a better community. Our official plan does not start with a description of allowable building heights and parking spaces, but all public meetings end there.

Before we rush to the unimportant, let’s spend some time exploring the lofty. Failure to do so will allow developments that are unaffordable, emit green house gas, promote single use neighbourhoods, and impact the environment to proceed based solely on an acceptable vertical distance and the ability to provide spaces for cars.

It would seem a reasonable trade that in exchange for another storey of a building and a few less parking spots, the community gains a building that is inclusive, contributes to affordability, reduces GHG emissions, and promotes walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods.

It is important to remember that the problem with the race to the bottom is that you just might win.

George Sweetman

Hamilton

No reason to tax any gas we breathe

Re: Why are we taxing rare gas that sustains life?, April 5.

Great question from a reader asking why we propose taxing a rare gas vital to our existence on Earth, namely carbon dioxide (CO2).

There is absolutely no reason to tax this gas, or any other gas that we breathe in every second of every day, such as oxygen (21 per cent), or nitrogen (78 per cent). How could this be done, practically — unless you live in Beijing, where fresh air is at a premium and can be supplied in bottled form.

I guess that is where we are headed — bottled “fresh” air for purchase. Thankfully this is not a “tax,” but a consumer “choice,” as is relocating to those areas of the Earth not skewered by extreme weather events, droughts, floods, invasive species, heat waves, cold spells, etc., resulting from “climate change.”

I presume the reader is one of those fortunate few with resources to afford these luxuries.

As for growth in vegetation due to higher CO2 levels, that is true — until it is not — when levels reach such concentrations that growth declines precipitously.

Neal Bonnor

Dundas

McMeekin doesn’t fool anybody with a brain

Re: Two-page advertising spread in the March 29 paper.

Ted McMeekin is lying through his teeth.

The Liberals didn’t provide free medication and free tuition and subsidized daycare.

The taxpayers are footing these bills with billions and billions in borrowed money, with interest amounting to one billion per month.

The Liberals reduced our electricity bill by kicking the cost down the road for another generation to pay.

McMeekin can fool some of the people some of the time by playing the benevolent Santa, but he doesn’t fool anybody with a brain in their head.

Jim McDonald,

Dundas

LETTER: Are we racing to the bottom to avoid our fear of heights?

Opinion Apr 06, 2018 Ancaster News

Height is defined as the vertical distance from bottom to top. It is also defined as an extreme example — we can experience the absolute height of kindness and caring. Both meanings are on display in community meetings regarding development proposals. However, our fear of one blinds us to the delights of the other.

Much discussion focuses on the vertical height of a building while ignoring the exhilarating heights of achieving societal goals. Goals, which founded on provincial policy and community consultation, form the basis of our city’s official plan.

Building an inclusive community with affordable housing, walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods, reduced green house gas emissions, and a restored natural environment is the ultimate goal of our official plan. Achieving this goal would indeed be the extreme height of city building.

This is why the discussion must focus on community benefit which is pertinently identified in the official plan. If support for our community goals is found wanting, then there is little point looking at the physical aspects. Too often we ask only about a proposed building’s height and parking spaces and ignore how, or if, a development will contribute toward the achievement of a better community. Our official plan does not start with a description of allowable building heights and parking spaces, but all public meetings end there.

Before we rush to the unimportant, let’s spend some time exploring the lofty. Failure to do so will allow developments that are unaffordable, emit green house gas, promote single use neighbourhoods, and impact the environment to proceed based solely on an acceptable vertical distance and the ability to provide spaces for cars.

It would seem a reasonable trade that in exchange for another storey of a building and a few less parking spots, the community gains a building that is inclusive, contributes to affordability, reduces GHG emissions, and promotes walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods.

It is important to remember that the problem with the race to the bottom is that you just might win.

George Sweetman

Hamilton

No reason to tax any gas we breathe

Re: Why are we taxing rare gas that sustains life?, April 5.

Great question from a reader asking why we propose taxing a rare gas vital to our existence on Earth, namely carbon dioxide (CO2).

There is absolutely no reason to tax this gas, or any other gas that we breathe in every second of every day, such as oxygen (21 per cent), or nitrogen (78 per cent). How could this be done, practically — unless you live in Beijing, where fresh air is at a premium and can be supplied in bottled form.

I guess that is where we are headed — bottled “fresh” air for purchase. Thankfully this is not a “tax,” but a consumer “choice,” as is relocating to those areas of the Earth not skewered by extreme weather events, droughts, floods, invasive species, heat waves, cold spells, etc., resulting from “climate change.”

I presume the reader is one of those fortunate few with resources to afford these luxuries.

As for growth in vegetation due to higher CO2 levels, that is true — until it is not — when levels reach such concentrations that growth declines precipitously.

Neal Bonnor

Dundas

McMeekin doesn’t fool anybody with a brain

Re: Two-page advertising spread in the March 29 paper.

Ted McMeekin is lying through his teeth.

The Liberals didn’t provide free medication and free tuition and subsidized daycare.

The taxpayers are footing these bills with billions and billions in borrowed money, with interest amounting to one billion per month.

The Liberals reduced our electricity bill by kicking the cost down the road for another generation to pay.

McMeekin can fool some of the people some of the time by playing the benevolent Santa, but he doesn’t fool anybody with a brain in their head.

Jim McDonald,

Dundas

LETTER: Are we racing to the bottom to avoid our fear of heights?

Opinion Apr 06, 2018 Ancaster News

Height is defined as the vertical distance from bottom to top. It is also defined as an extreme example — we can experience the absolute height of kindness and caring. Both meanings are on display in community meetings regarding development proposals. However, our fear of one blinds us to the delights of the other.

Much discussion focuses on the vertical height of a building while ignoring the exhilarating heights of achieving societal goals. Goals, which founded on provincial policy and community consultation, form the basis of our city’s official plan.

Building an inclusive community with affordable housing, walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods, reduced green house gas emissions, and a restored natural environment is the ultimate goal of our official plan. Achieving this goal would indeed be the extreme height of city building.

This is why the discussion must focus on community benefit which is pertinently identified in the official plan. If support for our community goals is found wanting, then there is little point looking at the physical aspects. Too often we ask only about a proposed building’s height and parking spaces and ignore how, or if, a development will contribute toward the achievement of a better community. Our official plan does not start with a description of allowable building heights and parking spaces, but all public meetings end there.

Before we rush to the unimportant, let’s spend some time exploring the lofty. Failure to do so will allow developments that are unaffordable, emit green house gas, promote single use neighbourhoods, and impact the environment to proceed based solely on an acceptable vertical distance and the ability to provide spaces for cars.

It would seem a reasonable trade that in exchange for another storey of a building and a few less parking spots, the community gains a building that is inclusive, contributes to affordability, reduces GHG emissions, and promotes walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods.

It is important to remember that the problem with the race to the bottom is that you just might win.

George Sweetman

Hamilton

No reason to tax any gas we breathe

Re: Why are we taxing rare gas that sustains life?, April 5.

Great question from a reader asking why we propose taxing a rare gas vital to our existence on Earth, namely carbon dioxide (CO2).

There is absolutely no reason to tax this gas, or any other gas that we breathe in every second of every day, such as oxygen (21 per cent), or nitrogen (78 per cent). How could this be done, practically — unless you live in Beijing, where fresh air is at a premium and can be supplied in bottled form.

I guess that is where we are headed — bottled “fresh” air for purchase. Thankfully this is not a “tax,” but a consumer “choice,” as is relocating to those areas of the Earth not skewered by extreme weather events, droughts, floods, invasive species, heat waves, cold spells, etc., resulting from “climate change.”

I presume the reader is one of those fortunate few with resources to afford these luxuries.

As for growth in vegetation due to higher CO2 levels, that is true — until it is not — when levels reach such concentrations that growth declines precipitously.

Neal Bonnor

Dundas

McMeekin doesn’t fool anybody with a brain

Re: Two-page advertising spread in the March 29 paper.

Ted McMeekin is lying through his teeth.

The Liberals didn’t provide free medication and free tuition and subsidized daycare.

The taxpayers are footing these bills with billions and billions in borrowed money, with interest amounting to one billion per month.

The Liberals reduced our electricity bill by kicking the cost down the road for another generation to pay.

McMeekin can fool some of the people some of the time by playing the benevolent Santa, but he doesn’t fool anybody with a brain in their head.

Jim McDonald,

Dundas