The ‘Multiplex’

By  | June 23, 2019 | 3 Comments | Filed under: Politics

Mayor McGarry, Members of Council, City Staff, Project Management Office,

Once again the City is at a cross roads and the taxpayer has no input because it looks like the choice has already been made by council members and the vote on the location is just another ‘dog and pony’ show.  I say this because as in the past Council does not seem to listen to what residents share when they come to the podium to speak or when they voice their opinions in public.

The ‘Multiplex’ has been a much debated controversy within this city and the outcry as to the location for this complex has truly fallen on deaf ears this time.  What is the ‘rush’ to have a site for this building?  There seems to be a real ‘sudden push’ to find a location.

While I am sure the Southeast part of this city seems to be the overwhelming choice by some members of our council, it also means that once again the residents of Hespeler, Preston and Blair are left out.  It’s as if their voices do not even count because everything seems to lean towards Galt.  Oh we are all one city called Cambridge but we are also four communities and to make a final decision on something once again in Galt will divide us again.  

I have been in attendance at multiple Public Information Sessions in the past when a new task force was formed  back in 2015 and Deloitte was used as consultants.  The outcry then was for a central location, close to transit, shopping, restaurants, hotels, and motels.  The residents of Cambridge wanted to support the businesses  within their city and as well have a location that everyone would be able to utilize because it is centrally located.  

Another online survey regarding the site location for this complex was done and there were 909 responses to the online survey and I am sure there would have been a lot more had more residents be allowed to be included in this survey.  As a result 39% of respondents chose 261 Hespeler Road as their first choice among on the ones given in the survey while 29% of respondents showed a preference to the Southeast Galt location.

Looking at those results one would come to the conclusion that residents once again want a central location.  It seems that the Southeast location is not what residents want.

If we go back to quotes made by councillors around the horseshoe at the Special Council meeting regarding the Multiples we have Councillor Monterio stating ’Southeast Galt.  Very dear to me.  It’s my Ward.  But it’s the WRONG location.  We’ve got to think of the community as a whole.’  Then there was Councillor Shannon Adshade who said ‘The community made it very clear to us that they wanted a central location.  ‘Very clear.  That was ultimate clear.’  To quote Mike Devine Ward 2 Councillor ‘If it goes in South Galt people in Preston and Hespeler (will say) Galt got it again.’  In the June 15 article that appeared in The Record Councillor Ermeta has said that he is open to a number of options and said’ I want it to be more central than what it has been in the past.’  With all these remarks that have been made around the horseshoe and otherwise, residents would get the feeling that the location of this complex will indeed be in a central location that will be accessible by residents from all areas of the city.

In the last number of weeks all of a ‘sudden’ a 43 acre parcel of land on Bishop Street magically appears in the mix for a location.  Then all of a sudden we have the ‘I don’t think it’s going to be a site we can use’ quote for this location.  It has even been said that if the site can even be used it would probably take a year or two before all the studies could be done that the province would require.  Wetlands seem to be one of the main obstacles with this property.  It seems when it was finally decided to go ahead with the housing subdivision on the West side of the city ‘wetlands’ didn’t seem to have a priority then.  Trees are another issue on this site but again that does not seem to be a priority when trees were clear cut on the lands behind the Smart Centre or even the new proposed development of the Forbes Estate in Hespeler.  If City Staff and this Council are not truly willing to look at this location as a viable location for the complex, why make it public and give false hope that a more central location could be on the table because residents have been ‘blindsided’ once again into believing that the site at 261 Hespeler Road is undesirable for a number of reasons.

It was quoted in the paper remarks like ‘Build it.’ ‘We are not worried about location.’ ‘We just want it now.’ ‘We need it now.’  All of a sudden the “I want’ seems to be the priority over what the real matter is here and that is WHO is going to pay for this?  Will there be private investors involved in this project or will the residents of the city be on the hook once again?  My question on that point is will this Council be open and transparent enough to truly let residents know what the cost of this project will be and just how much it will cost them by way of increased taxes.  The way I see it, we really cannot afford a project such as this unless City Staff and Council members are willing to think outside the box.  

Before any decision is made on the final location, let me just say that if this Council is going to listen to staff recommendations like it has in the past and not listen to what the residents of the city want, then once again it is a case that City Staff seem to be making the decision and Council just goes along with it and there truly isn’t any transparency within the walls of this City.  I do realize that it comes down to a case of the  ‘cost aspect’ for this situation but I think it’s time City Staff as well as City Council get their heads out of the sand and begin to think ‘outside the box’ on this and how this complex can effectively be erected without a financial burden on residents that will end up putting them out of their homes.  We need something that will generate revenue for this city in many ways and if 261 Hespeler Road, a truly central location is chosen, there could be a total revitalization envisioned for Hespeler Road which in the end would be of great benefit to the City.  If you choose the Southeast corner of the city, this will be a great mistake.  It will be right up there with the overspending of funds for the City One system that was not a real need for a city this size.


(Mrs.) Rande Keffer



3 Responses to The ‘Multiplex’

  1. Rumours June 23, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Heard Michael DuLillo has resigned and will be getting a job close to home

    Maggie July 8, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Rande you are correct as usual. This City is a joke. You drive around smaller areas and they have lovely sports facilities. We could & should have but what is happening is not what PEOPLE WANTED. Central was the word. And the Mayor & Councillors shoulder have listened and gotten out to raise private funds to support the cost of building. this whole issue has been very frustrating, very eye-opening as to the way city runs – they don’t listen to the needs & choices. I’m sorry but I think the people that spoke, turned up at meetings – know more than our Councillors & Mayor does. They are just making a decision – a stupid wasteful one – so they can call it quits. Right – it is quits & that is for sure. What a pathetic bunch we have running this city. What a mess. What a waste. I have already told our Mayor I am done with politics in this City. You do not listen. You do not do what is right & correct. Fed up – you bit we are!!!

    Shannon Flunk July 20, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Council is in control. Shut up and listen to how it will be. Maggie is right, they did not listen to what the people wanted. Every excuse was used to stop a central location. The ball was dropped big time. All the money given to that company to investigate the best location was a waste. Bad choice.

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