Re: Off and Running, Sept. 27
I was intrigued by your recent front page saying that you were catching-up with voters to find out their thoughts on the upcoming election. I thought it would be more appropriate if you had caught up with the candidates and found out what they were thinking, if anything.
The same topics are raised at every election, be it municipal, provincial or federal, and one wonders why after the winners are anointed that the same concerns will be raised and repeated ad nauseam. There are many concerns that affect voters’ lives but the fashionable ones this year, for now, are affordable housing, excessive vehicle traffic and public transit.
Firstly, has anyone defined what is “affordable housing” as it means different things to different people. None of our elected leaders has the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say this is what it’s going to be, probably because a sizeable number of voters will be outraged at the lower standards, another group will be annoyed and the rest will be glad that someone is doing something about the problem but cannot decide whether to vote.
In the 1950s and ’60s, the average new home was 93 square metres and included a living room and kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom and, depending on site conditions, a basement. This provided satisfactory living environment and everyone worked out a suitable schedule for use of the bathroom.
Standing at the curbside of a busy street one wonders where does all this traffic come from. It must be all those outsiders from the Prairies or even further east.
As a young married couple with three sons we made do with one car and as the kids grew up we moved on to Ford Econoline to accommodate the many sports activities they and their friends were engaged in.
Then came the big change as they all wanted their own cars. A typical family of five people had four cars, ridiculous, but that is where most of this increased traffic is generated.
With tongue in cheek, I would like to suggest that we already have the finest public transit system, the family automobile. It is available 24/7, it takes you from A to B when needed, it carries the week’s groceries without fuss, it is paid for and maintenance free. There are no labour worries, no timetables to be designed and as we slowly accept the electric car, its fuel supply is sustainable.
For those of us who do not have an automobile, a much smaller bus service such as HandyDART can be expanded.
The cost of the roads and highways will be covered by the taxes included in the price of fuel and possibly that part of the GST and PST that is part of the cost of an automobile and the money saved by not having by not having to purchase more buses and trains.
We must not forget the more important subjects such as education, medical services, environmental issues and all the others that affect our quality of living.