Tuesday, January 24, 2006

There is news in London after a federal election

In a glass-half-full development, the London Free Press reports that, after an unusual second public hearing contrived to seek spurious objections to a proposed Home Depot near Clarke Rd. and Dundas St., the planning committee has approved construction — presumably for good this time, as long as the city indulges the pretence that investors might perceive a line between arbitrary political obstruction and disinterested arbitration. Why the city has such authority over private property and private interests in the first place is the relevant question.

In a less equivocally positive development, the same article reports that a motion for council to reconsider a legal appeal — of the Ontario Municipal Board's recent order to replace London's seven two-councillor wards with fourteen smaller single-councillor wards — was defeated without discussion. Whether a court would be inclined to overturn an OMB ruling is debatable, especially when the argument against it is substantially not much more than the OMB's appalling bad judgment, but I applaud every possible action against it.