My thanks to the Hamiltonian and its readers for the opportunity to have a positive discussion, in most cases, about the Office of the Mayor and City Council. It’s unfortunate that a few who commented, hiding behind pseudonyms, chose to debase the forum with insults and personal attacks.
“…..a vision must be forward looking and must speak to how we will be relevant in the future, capitalizing on our competitive edge….a vision that includes pumpkin patches, farm animals, horses and children is embarrassingly manipulative and simplistic. This isn't the vision of a leader in 2012, it's a Hallmark greeting card that got lost in the mail for the last 50 years and suddenly was found and delivered. I'll take strategy over sappy nostalgia any day from my Mayor….”
These comments are only meant to be insulting and in complete ignorance of green belt planning policies such as those I observed in Yorkshire and Manchester,U.K. The Campaign to Protect Rural England is an
excellent reference point for those wishing to have real understanding of our rural-agricultural assets. In our case, agriculture is a billion dollar a year industry, but is being imperiled to some extent by continuing losses of valuable farmland. The Airport Employment Growth District plan, which was supported by the former Mayor, was opposed by only two councilors, myself and Brian McHattie. What I presented was not about pumpkin patches, but about intelligent planning, based on Council and Staff direction.
HAMILTON AGRICULTURAL PROFILE 2008
An Update of the City of Hamilton Agricultural Economic Impact and Development Study (2003) 4.2 Actions – The Agricultural Action Plan – Economic Viability for the Long Term
The vision endorsed by Hamilton City Council states that:
Vision for Agriculture:
Agriculture is a vital component of the physical, environmental, economic, cultural and social structure of the City of Hamilton. The strength, diversity and potential of this industry is recognized by Council and the community it represents, and will be protected and promoted so it can continue to grow and evolve.
• Maintaining the agricultural land base and promoting financial sustainability for future
generations to continue farming;
• Preventing infiltration of conflicting uses that put the agricultural community at risk;
• Promoting an economic development program for agriculture;
• Raising the awareness of the quality of the agriculture sector in Hamilton;
• Establishing a higher profile for agriculture through informed media;
• Ensuring that agricultural interests are understood and factored into development of
• Fostering co-operation between agriculture and government agencies to support the
industry through policies and programs;
• Adopting a broad definition of agriculture to allow flexibility in production and adaptation
to market fluctuations and other factors that may change over time;
• Protecting long term food security for Canadians with an emphasis on locally produced
City of Hamilton
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