September 23, 2013
The recent editorial in the Tribune calls for the decision to demolish the shoddy, derelict property known as the Wilson Farmhouse, to be delayed for further consideration.
Let’s go slowly, the paper states. No rushing for judgment.
It’s the classic strategy used by politicians at every level of government.
It’s a replay of the 11-year battle to allow Walmart to set up shop in the city.
But what’s in it for the newspaper? Did they interview the people who live near the dilapidated structure for their views?
Heritage Guelph, the 12-member special interest group, is using the strategy to block destruction of a building in a new town park that is of questionable value to the community. In fact, the vast majority of residents living in the northern reaches of Ward Two are saying: “Tear that building down”.
Not so fast, says Ward Two Coun. Ian Findlay who gets a nosebleed if he has to go north of Speedvale in his ward. Findlay’s heart lies downtown where he operates a business some five kilometers south of the Wilson house.
Findlay, Coun. Lise Burcher, Coun. Leanne Piper, and Coun. Todd Dennis have joined the Heritage Guelph group to stop the destruction of the building. The heritage group wants the council to identify the house under the Ontario Heritage Act.
The Tribune brought up the case of the Mitchell Farmhouse that was taken down seven years ago brick by brick and is now stored in city works yard.
The newspaper or the heritage group never talk about the destruction of the historic Carnegie Library by a previous city council. Now that was a legitimate heritage building and worthy of saving.
Instead, the zealots who populate the Heritage Guelph committee are determined to obstruct progress and interfere with private property owner’s rights.
The fine line between what is a legitimate heritage building and what a group of self-serving enthusiasts believe is of heritage value, results in more subjective than objective values. The suggestion to put the Wilson decision to the voters is silly and the heritage group may not like the outcome.
Besides when the cost is of no consequence, it’s perceived as a matter of principle.
This issue strikes at the heart of why most voters in the city are angry over how the special interests have seized control of the public purse. It’s why more and more people are joining GrassRoots Guelph to stop the wasteful spending by council on projects that serve the special interests but fail to support the public interests. Join today! firstname.lastname@example.org