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Activism at its best

Stop the Sprawl, we here at The Oshawa Express salute you. Plain and simple, the efforts to protect the city’s waterfront are a much needed dose of activism in the city.

The number of meetings at city hall with the sounds of little more than crickets from the gallery along with the city-altering reports and millions of dollars that pass through council chambers with little more than a wave of a hand are too many to count.

It’s disheartening to see such little care for the operation of their city from the people it impacts the most.

Now, to see that people actually care about the neighbourhoods they live in and the protection of vital green space is enlightening, encouraging, inspiring, and quite frankly, exactly what this city needs.

The valleys of social media are filled with people who have valiant ideas for improving this city, but when it comes to actually taking the time to get out and attend the meetings to put forward some type of influence, they are nowhere to be found.

In this case, a group of locals is not only working to show city hall and council they are willing to fight for what they believe in, but they’re taking on a developer with deep, deep pockets.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with their motives, the simple fact that they are banding together to put forward an effort is encouraging all unto itself.

And then there’s the letter writing campaign that appears to have put city staff on its heels.

From the count by The Oshawa Express, hundreds of people’s names have been put forward on countless pages of correspondence opposing two projects that could alter the south end and waterfront forever, and that’s not to mention the more than 1,000 residents who have signed the petition.

It’s gotten so much that city hall is soon going to need another room just to store the letters — perhaps if they ever get around to completing their records management policy they could slot these letters in their somewhere.

Recently, staff was looking for relief from the constant deliveries by asking council to remove the shackles and stop requiring them to make the letters public. However, the motion was withdrawn, whether council is to be credited for that or not is unclear.

What is clear though, is the ball is now in council’s court. They are constantly looking for the public’s opinion on everything from trails to DD services to community parks or trap-neuter-return programs. Well, here’s a case of being careful with what you wish for.

You asked council, and you definitely received. Now make sure you don’t drop the ball and listen to what your residents are saying.