Sunday, February 12, 2006

Vecchiato’s Voice - February 12, 2006 - Does Smart Growth = $8.15 An Hour ?

A principle of Smart Growth (and a goal of the township) is to have fewer commuters, which equals fewer cars on the road, which equals fewer emissions, which equals cleaner air. Right? So, why is it that we continually read about our current local government admiring development and the goal of creating one job for every resident? I also want to know how much they think these jobs are worth (they never seem to mention that nor do they talk much about transit).

What I would really like to know is: If you work at a big box retail (name two that come to mind and by the way these are the primary commercial properties springing up), can you really afford a mortgage on a 3,000 square foot home in Willoughby, or even a 2-storey townhouse with strata fees on top of mortgage and interest? Does a minimum wage of $8.15 an hour or even $12 an hour (we're getting into big retail bucks here), cover the costs of your mortgage? Does it even cover the costs of driving and parking your car (because there is no transit) so that you can earn minimum wage?

Now the land along 200th Street at 80th Avenue has sat there barren and dormant for more months than I care to count. Where are all the promised big businesses that will pay decent wages so that we can afford to work and live in Langley? (We had to cut down trees to make way for these businesses, so where are they?)

Lately, all we seem to have seen in Langley are big box retailers. Most of these will only schedule you for part time. So much for earning a living wage!

But given the optimism of the Township’s current council and administration, I'll go along with it. When I turn 60, I want to be a greeter at the cheapest store in North America (I’m sure there will be lots of choices in Langley by then). I’ll use my hard-earned money to buy a cool townhouse (without trees because they take up too much lot space). Hopefully, I’ll still be able to breathe the air and I’ll listen to a CD of bird songs.

Cathleen Vecchiato
Langley Conservation Network

Cathleen Vecchiato has been an outspoken environmentalist for the past 5-1/2 years. She is a very well recognized champion of the environment and a community activist in Langley as well as in other adjoining communities. Cathleen formed and leads the Langley Conservation Network. Editor-LFP

No comments:

Post a Comment