Earlier this month, approximately 150 residents turned out to express their dismay over how the airport has been moving ahead with projects seemingly in the dark, leaving nearby residents uninformed and clearly furious.
It’s obvious there is a breakdown in communication that has happened here, with residents asking many questions.
And now, they’ve got some semblance of results.
Council has stepped forward with a lengthy motion outlining a new communication plan, correspondence to be sent to Transport Canada, and further studies that could address issues with air quality, noise and traffic.
Now, understandably, it may not be exactly what some residents were hoping for, as having nearly 50 planes fly over your house in less than an hour is more than enough reason to call on the city to shutter its aviation hub. However, this is an unrealistic suggestion as it’s clearly a valuable resource and, with that aside, the City of Oshawa has an obligation with the federal government to operate the lands as an airport until no less than 2047. So anyone holding their breath for that possibility can release a shaky exhale at this point.
Yet, the key thing to note here is that people made noise, and they got results. It may not be the entire solution, but it’s a lot more than they would have got if they remained silent.
It’s this kind of civic engagement our city needs and it’s the kind that residents should shift from the airport, down to city hall. With budgets right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to step forward and let councillors know exactly how you feel about how they’re using your tax dollars.
A recent report from staff has set out over $22 million in capital projects for the coming year (more details on Page 1), and a collection of those have been pushed to later years due to lack of funding or lack of staff. Does that concern the citizens of this city? There’s a gap of $448 million in infrastructure projects that need funding between 2019 and 2027, but right now, the city doesn’t know where the money is coming from. Is that worrisome?
If it is, then you should get down to city hall in the new year and let councillors know.
A public meeting is set for Jan. 8, and that would be the perfect place to start.