Cambridge mayor pats himself on back ‘for a job not even started’

By  | December 6, 2017 | 11 Comments | Filed under: TIME FOR A NEW MAYOR AND 90% of COUNCIL IN 2018

An open letter to Mayor Doug Craig

Opinion Dec 01, 2017Cambridge Times

When I read your recent Letter to the Editor of the Cambridge Times (“Officials, community ‘taking tangible actions’ to address ongoing opioid crisis”, published Nov. 14), I came away with a deep sense of disbelief.

I thought, after all the discussion, all the surveys and the community outrage, that you’d finally come to your senses regarding the so-called opioid crisis currently gripping our city and region.

Instead I found you patting yourself on the back for a job not even started.

As a bureaucrat, it’s no surprise that you move slowly to effect change. Nor is it really a surprise that your general focus as mayor is on pandering to gentrifying business interests.

What is surprising is that you would take credit for community organizing done in spite of you, not in co-operation with you.

You spoke of tangible efforts, and of supporting the people who need help the most, yet you’ve been chief in this city’s effort to push those of us living below the poverty line out of view.

As mayor, you have experts at your disposal; experienced law enforcement insight and direct community health knowledge is just a phone call away.

This city and its neighbouring region hold a wealth of information that you seem keen to ignore.

While you facilitate animus against the homeless and the mentally ill by inviting unqualified public opinion on an issue that has been studied by professionals for years — professionals who are more than happy to explain precisely what needs to be done — affordable housing in this city has become a farce.

Your actions, or lack thereof, are directly contributing to the creation of more homeless people in Cambridge.

As you have been told time and again, the visible effects of the opioid crisis are but symptoms of much larger problems. Affordable housing being chief among them.

Yes, there are so-called affordable housing projects underway (though still offering rent that is much too high for anyone with a limited income, such as the disabled).

And the region and province have subsidized housing programs working hard to find reasonable accommodations for the hundreds of people on their years-long waiting lists.

However, your constant push to bring “culture” to this city is driving all other housing options out of reach.

The downtown core areas of Cambridge used to be the only locations in which those with limited means could find acceptable rent levels. That rent outside of those areas is decidedly unaffordable hasn’t changed.

What has changed, with downtown Hespeler developments, and the Gaslight District project, is that now even in those areas we can’t afford to live with any dignity or independence.

I ask you, Mr. Craig, where are we supposed to go when rich investors from out of town buy up rental properties and work to evict us from rent-controlled apartments simply because they want more profit?

Of course, this isn’t the only problem contributing to poverty in the city you’re charged with governing.

We’re also at the mercy of Energy+, that, with its borderline usury fees and notoriously unreliable service, are as close to an organized crime syndicate as they can be without actually crossing that line.

We have to contend with predatory lending businesses littering every low income neighbourhood in the city, and community resources that have been centralized to downtown Galt, limiting access from other areas of the city.

We have to put up with a public transit system in which we are not represented as a community, and are therefore regarded as unimportant to Grand River Transit’s planning and development processes.

Sure, some of these issues are larger than Cambridge city council and the mayor’s office.

And most of it requires provincial and federal help to resolve. Or at the very least better co-operation with the region. And it’s no easy task getting that done. But isn’t that your job, mayor?

Aren’t you the person who’s supposed to be working on our behalf to find viable and realistic solutions to these problems?

I fail to see how community forums and surveys asking questions already answered constitute you doing your job.

We in the community are sick of waiting for you move beyond token change. And I, for one, think it’s time for you to step down as mayor of Cambridge and make way for a more effective administration willing to work with other levels of government to solve these problems.

Martin J. Clemens is a 43-year resident of Cambridge and community activist.



11 Responses to Cambridge mayor pats himself on back ‘for a job not even started’

    Alan Marshall December 6, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Wow! Extremely well written and directly to the point.

    Tom Vann December 6, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    If I am going to defend Dougie can someone tell me what he has done? I see nothing but citizens doing the cleaning up. Now the leaves and soon snow coming, needles will be hidden and Doug will state they are all gone. He reminds me of my brother the car salesman. The writer is pissed. Too bad Dyke hasn’t gotten out of his office to visit how bad downtown Galt is. We came out of the restaurant on Main today and saw several beggars. One asked us for a couple bucks and I told him nope. Just what one wants to see after a meal. Hear that Dyke. Clean up your streets. Again….the cops are sitting on near 7 million bucks of our money in a reserve fund. FOR WHAT? Never elect a cop. Look at what’s there. Entitlement. I made up a load of cards to hand out about cops and teachers on council. Great Idea. Have I left anyone out?

    Chester December 7, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Wow – yes right to the point – of our Mayor taking credit again for doing nothing.
    Read the article by Clemens in Tues. Times – he sure said it all right. This is exactly what is going on in Cambridge.
    Right – no action on the right problems – drugs – low income housing – help where it is needed. Craig has been Mayor too long & has lost sight of what is needed to be done in this City.
    Where is our Bypass – where is a Go train. He keeps bringing people in to live in the high rises but does not fix the traffic issue. He was good his first term but has lost sight of his job. He is no longer working for us tax payers but working for other goals.
    Wake up – ELECTION 2018 – vote paper ballots ONLY – or else your vote will be moved. Pay attention people!

    laura kinder December 8, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Very accurate report on the mayors works.

    Tom Vann December 8, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Beside every man is a good woman. I gotta tell ya, she sure has aged since her booze and drive who’s the cop? episode. I feel sorry for her in some way. Doug the dud on drug problems. I can not print what a group of coffee hounds said about Frank today re: hookers, crack heads and a couple women. They should be comedians. I however supported Frank. Some are so cruel. Blowing up a blockage and killing life in Preston is not the answer. Fix it.

    Les December 9, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Governemnt. A collection of employees, staff and elected officials, that are there to serve the publics need.
    When the public stops advising and allowing the change of their function by lack of participation, lack of concern and
    worse the attitude that ” we elected them now let them work “, bad things can happen to perfectly good people.
    The question is often asked. When that person was working in the private sector, they were concerned about
    everything, money, the environment, other people. Now that they are working in the government, why have those ideals
    changed and become unimportant?
    Response. Because we let it happen.
    Work side by side with someone for 10 years. One day they get their name put on a door and an office all to themselves.
    How often do they remain the same person as the day before?
    It has always been the case, that if and when changes need to be made or serious issues need to be addresed, it is up
    to the public at large to make it happen, otherwise the ship continues on the course set by the captain of the day and it may
    not necessarily be headed to the Island of your dreams.
    Does that make them a bad people or have we now given them an unwarranted amount of control?

    Maggie December 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    As I said elsewhere – his first term seemed good – but not since. It is a shame when money & power take over. We suffer. We are suffering!! Instead of doing what should be done – like go-train – figuring out how to get people to & fro before building & building & people have no where to go – traffic – trucks – why was the bypass not put in years ago? Of course not, no sense of being ahead of the game, we are so behind it is a shame. We are a big city & the Mayor acts like he doesn’t have a clue. Just keep building – money money for someone – look at his stupidity over the COMPLEX. Really build on someone else’s property & we pay for it. Really – dumb – dumb – dumber. Uve – said it right – the Mayor was o.k. 1st term – but it has all gone to his head – which appears empty. Taxpayers – VOTERS – pay attention – 2018 – vote by ballot or your vote won’t end up where you want it to be. Pay attention to the info on non ranked voting systems. WAKE UP CAMBRIDGE – YOU ARE SLEEPING WHILE HE MESSES UP TOTALLY$$$$

    Tom Vann December 9, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    So much getting rammed through the knothole at one time. We have forgotten about that super cheap land sale to a developer where trees were chopped down. The Preston dam for years, the multiplex game, the downtown makeover times 4, it is endless. If brown envelopes are not passed around I’d be shocked. Look at all levels of government…the biggest organized crime ever. The cops also get their slice of the pie along with consultants and my goodness…I must stop. I will be here all night. I gotta deliver coal, candy and presents soon. Remember folks, there are many good people in this town still.

    Chester December 9, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Yes remember the trees removed illegally from the property on Pine Bush & the looks of shock on the Councillors faces …. especially Mann – but was there ever a fine or punishment – no not at all – therefore that tells me that Craig knew about this all along. Dr. Derek Coleman dug that all out – 8 acres of trees GONE!!!!
    Craig just called the developer in to take away one of the good sites for the Complex.
    You are so right – we could on & on about the misdeeds going on.

    Maggie December 12, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I just hate this jerk in this Superman shirt – just shows how stuck on himself he is. He didn’t earn to wear it – Cambridge is in a mess – look at the increase in Taxes – feel sorry for the low-income people. So many people moving out of Cambridge – too busy – too corrupt.
    I found him very childish to have worn this t-shirt. And the LRT mess – uprooting innocent Preston people. Not re-building the Dam – they would if it was in Galt. And no Go-train – this was needed years ago & no Bypass – missed opportunity years ago. He just keeps bringing people in but no way to get back out – dumb- dumb & dumber………….. grrrrr. And he is still pussyfooting it around with Complex – PUT THE RINKS AT ICE PARK (FRANKLIN) & THE AQUATICS AT THE MALL – KEEP IT IN CAMBRIDGE & CENTRAL – so easy to figure out if you use your brain Mayor & Councillors – so easy……….

    Tom Vann December 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Justin Truedoe wore the same shirt on Halloween. Is it a coincidence? Today I went to city hall to see Tricia Lewis. I thanked her in person for her effort to clean up Riverside Park as I stated I would do once I was done work. She appears to be a really nice and concerned lady. Unlike the jerk statements by Gary Dyke about the park.

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