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Maxed out

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By demanding they replace the suite they’ve destroyed, we’re only keeping them from taking our community apart. We’re ensuring our vibrant neighbourhoods stay that way and we’re forestalling what many would say is the inevitable ghettoization of our workforce. If they don’t want to do that, if they don’t want to buy into the vision, if they don’t want to be part of keeping us successful, screw ’em. Let ’em invest their money somewhere else or wait for the stock markets to come back.

This goal can be reached through zoning. No new sexy financial "tools" are needed. What’s needed is vision and backbone. We’ve got smart enough boys and girls at the muni to work out the details. What we need is smarter elected boys and girls with the political will to fight the good fight.

What we don’t need, at least not right away, is the Callaghan as a safety valve, as an outpost where we can mask this problem through growth, where we can create affordable neighbourhoods for employees and abandon our existing neighbourhoods to the investors. We need the Callaghan, but we need to protect our old neighbourhoods too.

Personally, I don’t think this goes far enough. I believe every house built or rebuilt in this valley ought to have a suite. But I don’t think that’s doable. I think protecting the ones we have is. We wouldn’t be putting a gun to anyone’s head and making them build something they didn’t want, we’d be keeping them from destroying something important to us.

I think most of you agree with me. I think you need to let everyone who’s running for council or mayor know it. I think you ought to demand it.

It’s not the only thing we should do to start dealing with affordability instead of just talking about it, but it’s my litmus test. Is it yours?