Buckle up

The Expositor (Brantford) - - OPINION -

In pol­i­tics, what’s not said can be as im­por­tant as what is stated. When Chris Friel an­nounced he was again run­ning mayor, The Expositor made no men­tion of post-sec­ondary, his claim to fame. When Mayor Kevin Davis made his in­au­gu­ral speech noth­ing was re­ported about post-sec­ondary. This was go­ing to be our pot of gold. Stu­dent num­bers de­crease. Costs mount. Are our lead­ers dis­tanc­ing them­selves from this ini­tia­tive? I hope so.

We re­placed lost core as­sess­ment with ru­ral lands. Our fu­ture hinges on this be­ing fruit­ful. Fac­tors work against it. Com­pen­sa­tion was un­prece­dented. There will be a mix of res­i­den­tial and in­dus­trial. A coun­cil­lor told me that we never profit from res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment. The fur­ther we go out from the city the greater the cost to serve such acreage. In­dus­trial lands have bar­ri­ers. U.S. pro­tec­tion­ist poli­cies are at work. The closing of the Oshawa GM has much to do with it. Border cross­ings are prob­lem­atic. The U.S. has gen­er­ous in­cen­tives and a low­ered cor­po­rate tax struc­ture. We have nei­ther. Our wage scale is un­com­pet­i­tive. Firms re­sist the rust belt. All GM plants to be moth­balled are so de­fined.

Post-sec­ondary and bound­ary ad­just­ment schemes are eco­nomic long shots. If there’s a net gain for the city with the lat­ter, it’s a gen­er­a­tion away, if at all. In the in­terim, buckle up for hefty tax in­creases. Rick Wright Brant­ford

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