Monday, February 18, 2008

Greetings on Family Day

For a time I was a municipal councillor.

One of the really difficult things - and I took this seriously – was bringing greetings from the City. This was a frequent assignment for a Councillor acting as deputy when the mayor wasn’t available.

The required off the cuff comments were tough for me.

As today is Family Day I worry what I would have said if I were assigned “greetings” on this date.

So here it is.

On behalf of the City of Burlington I’d like to welcome you here on the first Family Day and tell you to “Take a Hike.”

I say “Take a Hike” not just because the exercise will do you good but also because if you don’t have a car (and many of you don’t) or you choose not to drive for environmental reasons you’ll have no choice as there is no Public Transit in Burlington today.

Take a Hike to our eastern and western borders and ride Oakville Transit or Hamilton Street Railway as they are running today.

Or take a longer hike to just about any other municipality in the area (e.g. Brampton, St. Catharines, Guelph, Mississauga, Niagara Falls, Oshawa etc.) and you can ride a bus today.

But Seriously

Perhaps I’m missing something but isn’t something terribly wrong here? Shouldn’t Burlington residents have the opportunity to visit family members at Joseph Brant or get to work (40% of us are working today) or recreational opportunities by public transit?

A 2006 consultant’s report, accepted by Council, recommended provision of holiday service. Why are we so different than other communities? (I’ve found two where transit isn't running today – Milton and Port Perry.)

Any ideas what can be done?