October 18, 2010

The urban-rural divide

In the October 17th edition of the Ottawa Citizen, columnist Kelly Egan takes issue with the CHEO Dream of a Lifetime house built by Minto saying it’s too opulent, too big, and we should all just send the hospital our money and not indulge in “house envy”.

Aside from the fact that the usually intelligent Mr Egan misses the point of the show house (it showcases the product and work from dozens of local businesses, and is an attention-getter for the hospital charity), he makes one statement that has us incredulous.

“Bet the winner doesn’t move in,” Egan says. “First of all, it’s in rural Manotick…”

“Rural Manotick”? WHAT?! First Line Road is hardly the boondocks. The house would be 20-25 minutes to downtown Ottawa, if that’s where you’re headed, and five minutes from shopping and amenitiesĀ in Manotick, including Robinson’s Your Independent Grocer which has won Best Store in its class in Canada numerous times.

But this just goes to show you what urban dwellers think of rural residents: we’re all living out in the middle of corn fields here and so who cares if a couple of 60-storey industrial wind turbines go up. Nobody here but us chickens.

In Burlington, people are upset because the WalMart wants to put up a 28-meter wind turbine and they’re worried about the noise, the bird kills, and what it will do to property values. They want a say in whether the thing goes up. (Good luck with that.) And yes, we said 28-meter not 28 storeys, and yet, these people are upset.

Once again, this is a sign of how the urban dwellers are quite content to use electricity without thought of where it’s coming from, and in the case of the (mythological) “clean” “green” energy production, their view is if someone has to make a sacrifice, it might as well be the rural people.

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