Letters – Our readers write: Summer 2008

More people in a limited space has the potential for all kinds of problems – social, economic, political and psychological. We cannot continue to pave over agricultural land.

June 20, 2008 | | Back Issues | Departments | Letters, Our Readers Write | Summer 2008

Memo to Caledon Council:
Hold the line on growth

I thought your editorial in the spring issue (“Enough of Zoomburb”) was right on the money – I know many that share your views, as I do, regarding the sense that we’ve reached a “tipping point” with regard to population growth in Caledon.

Also, I thought that Jeff Rollings’ article “Field of Schemes” was the most readable, understandable and well presented (graphically) that I have seen or read – and I’ve been through a number over the last couple of years.

My concern (before and after reading In The Hills) is whether or not Caledon’s current council has the strength and political will to stand up to the province, the region, the Caledon Chamber of Commerce, and the developers (Solmar in particular), and to hold the line on the 2021 growth projections.

We’ll be watching council’s actions in the future with care and interest, and with the intent of reminding our elected councillors of their responsibilities to the town’s citizens in the event that they start to stray from current population growth policies.

I hope that we can count on In The Hills for the continued balanced coverage of this issue in the future.

John Abbott, Caledon

I have just read your editorial and the rest of the spring edition and I found it most informative. My biggest chuckle came from title on the map, “Putting parsley round the pig.” I bought my piece of heaven in 1964 at the corner of the 3rd Line W (Horseshoe Hill) and 5 Sideroad (The Grange) and loved every minute of it until I moved in 1989.

I have returned many times since, only to find, to my horror, the development that has caused such desecration that I’m glad that I don’t have to witness it every day. Further to your editorial, I would like to suggest that planting rugosa roses would do a much better job than parsley.

Thanks for good works; I just love your magazine.

Wm.H.P.Amos, Kingston

First of all, congratulations for a terrific publication.

For many years you have demonstrated your commitment to preserving our environment, and for this I and I’m sure others are very thankful.

Second, congratulations to Jeff Rollings for the wonderful, balanced article, “Field of Schemes,” in the spring issue. It is a sad thing to say that many folks at the local level and at Queen’s Park try to make themselves look good on matters related to preserving the environment. To the credit of the present Ontario government, they have at least tried to match words and actions.

However, some folks at the municipal level always try to blame other levels of government for problems that we create. Those of us who have been here for awhile (in my case since 1975) are petrified when we see what has happened in Caledon with the crazy growth over the last fifteen to twenty years.

At the moment, Bolton has the population which town planners had projected for 2021! How did that happen? Why did it happen?

More houses mean more tax revenues for the town. Of all property tax revenues Caledon receives, approximately 85 per cent comes from residences. This means that residents are paying more than they should. It also means that residences are actually a cash cow for the town.

I believe approximately 38 per cent of all the town taxes come from Bolton. The town’s tri-nodal development strategy for Caledon East, Mayfield West and Bolton really means most of the growth pressures in the past, now and for the future focus on Bolton.

We should also remember that property tax levies are based on market assessments. What will happen in the future when those assessed values for tax purposes go up? They are unlikely to go down! How will that affect families, now and in the future? Where will our kids and grandchildren live? And what about those retired folks who have paid more than their share all of their lives?

So, the population crunch/growth has many different angles to examine. I don’t think any of us want to build fences around Caledon. However, at the federal and provincial levels, innovative planning and incentives must be developed in a planned, rational way to give people attractive options to live in less-populated areas of Ontario and Canada. I’m not suggesting some radical Soviet-style planning process! But more people in a limited space has the potential for all kinds of problems – social, economic, political and psychological. We cannot continue to pave over agricultural land.

Joe Grogan, Bolton

Silver and Brass

A quick note to update you the number of community bands still playing. In his article (“Strike Up the Band,” fall ’07), Ken Weber concludes that the Fergus Brass Band is the sole remaining community brass band. He may not be aware that the terms “brass band” and “silver band” are interchangeable.

There are many community silver bands still playing and performing the same kind of music to which Mr. Weber refers in his very interesting article. To give you some idea of the popularity of this kind of ensemble, here is a list from a recent “Festival of Brass” in downtown Toronto:

Showcase performances by the Whitby Brass Band, the Orillia Silver Band, the Metropolitan Silver Band, the Kincardine Brass Band, the Weston Silver Band, Intrada Brass of Oakville, the Maple Leaf Brass Band of Ottawa, the Buffalo Silver Band, the London Citadel Band, All-Stars Brass & Percussion and All-Stars Junior Varsity from Columbus, Ohio.

They performed a wide repertoire and some of them competed for the honour of receiving The Hannaford Cup, our annual award for excellence.

I just thought you might be interested to know there are many brass / silver bands continuing this tradition today.

Merrill Perret, Metropolitan Silver Band and Silverthorn Legion Silver Band

Ken Weber responds:

I took as my source the membership of the Canadian Band Association. Of the ninety-eight community bands listed, only one, the Fergus Brass Band, uses the “brass” title, although the Whitby Brass Band has joined since I wrote the piece

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