Arthur Goes to Council: Gentrification and Performance Enhancing Develoment

Source: Panoramio/Photo by Martin halme
Source: Panoramio/Photo by Martin halme
Source: Panoramio/Photo by Martin halme
  1. Dan McWilliams

Dan “the hawk” McWilliams is a man with infinite capacity for flare and passionate disinterest. He treats the voices of city staff as the starting pistol for a strategic nap, then jolts out of his catatonic slumber with a fully charged battery to question the validity of everything he just slept through. Dan McWilliams is a hawk, dive bombing any expenditure to it and swallowing a mouseman made of straw for having the audacity to spend the taxpayers dollars then vomiting it up for his children to eat later. Judging from his numerous anecdotes about his frequent flyer miles that he accrues through flying his plane to remote locations, he probably owns a plane which he flies to remote locations. Dan McWilliams is a bird gifted to us from a time when hunters and fishers were the environmental activists, and he genuinely cares about health of the places he takes his plane to.

  1. Bethune street is going to get Gentrified to shit

Mentions of an art-scape, discussions of a “perfect storm of engineering and urban design. Talk of plazas, bike trails, bocce ball courts are being put on the table. They want festivals, public art walk, pop up businesses, a garden walk were all being waxed about with the misty eyes that old white men have when they know they’re about to force poor people out of a neighborhood. Pollinator gardens, wind chimes, and kinetic gardens are being made, they are planning to use part of Bethune Street which is literally a dirt road as it stands and are going to make it into a trail that represents “the celebration of Bethune Street.”

This comes a year after Maryam decided to set up her office on Bethune Street which was an excellent money saving measure back then, and seems even more brilliant now. No mention of working women who often use Brock and Bethune as a working space were made. The budget for the project on the public side of things is priced at 40 million dollars. It started off as a 27 million dollar project funded by a federal and provincial grant to reduce flooding on and repave Bethune Street. The 13 million dollars are for the gentrification parts, which will be paid for by the City. King Bennet described this as an investment that adds the “sizzle to the steak.” City Council now has a viable option to spend the cash gained from the selling of PDI.

  1. Gum is a precious commodity no matter how old you get

It was process that lasted about 30 seconds. Councillor Parnell opened a pack of gum, Councillor Baldwin to her left declined, the pack thought that it was safe. Out of nowhere, King Daryl Bennett showed interest and took a piece of gum, this pack was then passed around council illustrating the tragedy of the commons in a matter of moments. When all was said and done, 4 pieces of gum were extracted in the time that it takes to ignore vital and electrifying information that was being discussed regarding appropriate speed limits on Bethune Street.

  1. PED is PEDs.

Peterborough is often dumped on for a high unemployment rate and being impossible to gain employment within during the summer. I know this because for the last two summers I have been unable to get hired in the city of Peterborough. That being said Peterborough Economic Development (PED) has a solution for you and me: start your own business. PED has given out about $100,000 to students in the past year, helping 38 different entrepreneurs along the process of saying “fuck this economy, I’ll be my own boss.”

Central to this was a spotlight being put on Trent student Jessica Correa who took a summer start up, Random Acts of Green, which has flourished under PED guidance. PED wants to be to young entrepreneurs as steroids was to baseball in the 90s. PED is injecting young entrepreneurs with funds and guidance to help them find a home run idea. So far this year has seen 97 business start-ups in Peterborough which has created an overall impact of 12 million dollars on the Peterborough economy.

  1. Dudebros are the Culture…Fam

The phrase culture activities when discussing supporting sports facilities arose at least 30 times when a guy named Robert Lockheart showed up in a leather blazer and discussed big ideas. His group, Rethink has created a program called vision 2025, which has a 20 year vision, a 10 year action plan, with 4 pillars, and 12 guiding principles, going in 4 strategic directions, which have 55 objectives, followed by 195 actions for these objectives, what ensues is 200 recommendations from Rethink.

There was an irresponsible amount of numbers and processes to vision 2025 that would make any communist salivate and remember the good old days of centralized planning. Integral to all of this was the creation and expansions of recreational facilities as cultural hubs. According to Rethink, recreational clusters and cultural institutions are inherent to creating a vibrant community in the future. So shout out to you Rugby Ballers, Baseball Sluggers, Basketball Hoopers, you are the culture now.

  1. As Cap and Trade happens, city council salivates

A presentation by Lura, an environmentally conscious consultation company, outlined how the City can start combatting climate change. The goal is to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions because there is what Councillor Dean Pappas described as a “$2.5 billion dollar pie” worth of grant funding coming in 2017 for municipalities who wish to invest in green projects. Lura suggested that the City lead by example and green wash their own property because they have direct control over their own employees and buildings.

Lesley Parnell straddled the moral high-ground with authority by reminding council that she is an environmentalist. Most of the CO2 emissions in Peterborough are due to residential areas as a result of inefficient heating. One of the suggestions presented by Lura was to engage in retrofitting of homes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with climate in extreme weather. The crux with combatting climate change is that it requires a change in the consumers, and not the government, and making people be less bad to environment is tougher than it sounds.   

About Josh Skinner 60 Articles
Josh Skinner is a loose cannon that gets results in the field of Journalism. He began in Radio doing interviews with local community members with his show Trent Variety, in 2015 he produced his own radio series for CanoeFM titled My Lands are the Highlands, both of which you can find at He has since decided to pick up writing at Arthur Newspaper and can often be found lurking in the shadows at City Council meetings, observing high octane conversations about city planning and zoning.