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Notes from sick bay

I have a cold. It is most annoying but, at least, nearly passed. At any rate, a few quick notes to break the monotony of an unupdated blog, on bikes, highways, Lafarge property, Dion's carbon taxshift plan, Guelph Reads, and our local planning priorities...

- I've purchased a new bike to replace the one I've had since 10th grade, which in turn was a hand-me-down from my brother, which in turn was a hand-me-down from my grandfather. After years of it being mothballed, I brought it to a local bike shop to be brought up to spec, and was told that the bike was "unsafe" based on the various parts of the frame that were bent and deformed. He noted, accurately, that the bike "doesn't owe you anything". Fair enough. New bike arrives Friday, and is a 21-speed Miele TT250 with disc brakes, shocks, and an aluminium frame. What will I do with such modern technology?

- On the recommendation of Royal City Rag host Jan Hall, I have been accepted to the GTA West Community Advisory Group. This is a committee that is ostensibly going to help the province plan the GTA West highway corridor, although they're calling it a transit corridor, from the top of the Hanlon to highway 407. After my rather fascinating experience on the Hanlon expressway workshops, this should be most interesting.

- Guelph City Council's decision on the Lafarge lands is coming down on June the 3rd at 7pm. I will be unable to attend this meeting, as I will be at the first GTA West CAG meeting at that exact moment, but I would like to encourage council one last time to reject this proposal until the developers take the railway lines straddling the property as an asset rather than as a liability, especially in light of our pending GO service. This service may not extend all the way to Waterloo region and Lafarge land's importance as the park-and-ride will never be greater than if the service only runs as far as Guelph.

- I think Dion's carbon taxshift proposal is a good idea. While I am wary of addicting government to bad things -- personally, I think the best way to move everyone to sustainable technology is to tax the hell out of sustainable technology and thus make government make policies that force their use so the government gets tax revenue -- in the short term, I think it's a very good idea. For those saying careful, taxing people at the pumps is a bad idea, we should do it indirectly by taxing heavy-emitting corporations who will then pass the cost on to us, I say we should do both. The idea is to dissuade people from using polluting technologies, and exempting people who are using polluting technologies because discouraging them from using them discourages them doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

- Guelph Reads has announced this year's winner. The book Guelphites have elected to read is Clive Doucet's Urban Meltdown.

- Guelph is planning to revise its list of fiscal priorities. I note with interest that Wilson St. lot has dropped to very low priority from the extreme urgency it seemed to have recently, and that Guelph Junction Railway expansion has moved up the list. Perhaps the city will indeed consider stretching the Guelph Junction Railway to the two vast Hanlon business parks. One can hope.

Posted at 10:57 on May 21, 2008

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