Tonight I'm working on writing my response to a question about how far I'd go to support the City's Official Plan and my reflections to the Do the Math campaign. Contemplating both at the same time is interesting. We have finite resources. How do those who are hungry, who are on a waiting list for affordable housing, who want a splash pad or any myriad of scenarios feel about spending money that detracts from meeting their immediate needs/desires?
Sometimes there's no right answer. Is it right to spend money to uphold your official plan while people are hungry? Maybe yes, maybe no. Is it right to allow development to happen that may end up detracting from the quality of life others will enjoy in the future? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Hindsight is 20/20. Those who are ignorant of history are destined to repeat it. Could we go back in time, most would support reducing the number of properties developed into gas stations. Looking ahead, we must ask ourselves whether Stratford can support the additional retail space being proposed. While we want to prevent having our landscape littered with vacant buildings and pavement, we must respect the right of companies to do business. The official plan is a live document that as new information is presented, can be modified.
But at this moment, I'm hungry. Maslow comes to mind - it's hard to engage in a philosophical debate when your basic needs are not met.