My favourite city in all the world, Sidney, B.C., succumbs to big business. Yes, my parents lived there for over 20 years, and I made it a high priority to visit a minimum of three or four times a year. I loved its quaintness, the lack of big-box stores. My dad told me way back when that the airport was trying to develop on their property and the city refused, citing what I heard was the perception of a detrimental effect.
Well, the City of Leduc, Alta. didn’t care and it now has no identity except to be known as that little town near the airport. Everything Leduc does is now geared towards serving the airport. All airports are federally owned and write their own rules. They presently have restrictions hampering developments in 80 per cent of Leduc, but in the last five years have allowed over $1.5 billion in business development on airport property alone. With that came huge congestion problems and consequently, the airport is now reaching out to Leduc to help solve the problem and asking for millions of dollars in aid. Imagine, Leduc helping the federal government with relief money.
I find it interesting that most people found out about this “Godzilla” in Sidney through the paper. I’m also saddened to see the Sidney mayor praising the arrival of Amazon, not taking into consideration that small business employs over 90 per cent of the workforce in Canada. It’s hard to believe that your mayor, who is also a small business owner, believes that a 500,000 square-foot Amazon warehouse and $900,000 in tax revenue will complement what the town of Sidney has provided for many people over the years.
Well, good luck Sidney, big business is taking over the world, one small city at a time. Walk into a privately owned business on your main street, and then go to your new Amazon, if you can get in, and decide for yourself. And don’t let any municipality tell you there’s nothing they can do.