Later this year, city council will be asked to permanently eliminate 1630 acres of prime Hamilton farmland to create another large zone dedicated to corporate industrial development near the airport. It is very foolish to again reduce our local foodlands and thus make Hamiltonians even more dependent on long-distant sources that are becoming less reliable because of rising fuel prices and climatic changes. It is equally irresponsible to abandon the existing industrial area along the bayfront and replace it with the faint hope that the airport will drive the city’s economic future.
We should oppose the aerotropolis – also called the airport employment growth district – because:
1) The aerotropolis threatens our present and future food security. When oil prices spiked just before the recession, the price of food also jumped – by 77 percent for wheat and over 140 percent for rice. Last year, water shortages in California (where most of our produce comes from) forced half a million acres of farmland out of production, and those shortages are expected to worsen.
2) The aerotropolis lands are not needed for employment. The city already has over 1500 acres of greenfield lands available for industrial use in existing business parks (third highest in Ontario), plus hundreds more acres of under-utilized old industrial properties along the bayfront. The aerotropolis lands are being justified by very inflated growth projections, and by an unbelievable claim that less than two percent of the bayfront industrial area will be available over the next twenty years for redevelopment.