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Letters to the editor: July 18 – Downtown far from ideal for new campus

Posted: July 25, 2019

(July 17, 2019)

By: The Whig-Standard

I believe that city council should reconsider the proposal of a downtown St. Lawrence College campus. Downtown campuses can play a very important educational role in big cities where the main campus is distant from a significant proportion of the city population and therefore not readily accessible to many potential students. A St. Lawrence College campus in downtown Kingston would therefore make sense if the present Kingston campus were not a mere 10-15 minutes from downtown by bus and if there were significant numbers of potential students living in the downtown area, but of course there are not.

Thus all that would be achieved by construction of a downtown campus on what is currently a much-used parking lot is that large numbers of teachers and students would bus or drive downtown daily from other parts of the city at a time when scarce downtown parking has just become scarcer. The extra business would be good for restaurants in the area, I suppose, but fewer Kingston residents would be inclined to shop downtown and that would be bad for all other downtown businesses.

I’m guessing that cost considerations would also ultimately result in just another ugly modern building in the downtown area.

If the college really wishes to build a new campus to serve people who currently have difficulties commuting to the present campus, they should build in the north-east quadrant of the city, near the new high school which is being built. Not as fashionable a place to settle, perhaps, but far more useful to a significant number of potential users.

Mike Baird


Service cuts all too common

I’m writing to lend my voice to the growing chorus of public lament regarding cuts to our health-care system here in Ontario. We could extend this lament to many if not all provinces.

Cuts, cuts and more cuts. Premier Doug Ford’s assertion that there would be no slash-and-burn cuts to services is a slap in our collective face and it’s starting to sting. I suppose that’s a good thing as it is spurring us on to action with demonstrations and comments from a growing number of people.

Natalie Mehra of the Ontario Health Coalition is one of the voices I’ve heard hitting the nail on the head that corporate tax cuts are taking precedence over funding services. As long as this destructive and morally corrupt way of running business continues, there is never going to be an end to cuts across all sectors.

For 30-plus years, we’ve had corporate tax cuts all in the name of being competitive and, most importantly, as eloquently put by former prime minister Brian Mulroney back in the early years of NAFTA, we shall enjoy “prosperity for all Canadians.” There have been some good benefits to corporate tax cuts but concentrating those benefits in bulging corporate bank accounts does not help public services.

So here we are in 2019, waiting in line in the hallways of the emergency room or waiting for long-term care beds for the ever-growing aging population. Here we are in 2019, increasing the size of classrooms and cutting funding to special needs kids. Mulroney’s “All Canadians” should have read “corporate Canadians.”

To be fair, politicians have a common lament of their own…there is no money. Yes! So get some of that back through the tax system The billions upon billions upon billions of corporate tax cuts over the years is a failed experiment as so accurately put by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in their most recent Alternative Budget.

Simply put, if we take seriously our desire to have good funding for public health and education, then we the public had better keep up the pressure and demand it. I urge everybody to write their MPP and simply say “stop the corporate tax cuts.” Remember, the CEOs of these corporations are using our health care and education systems, too…..maybe…. unless they are through their accumulated wealth using private systems.

There is a solution.

Bill Priestman

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