RE: report from the Wolfville Sustainable Community Planning Task Force

The Sustainable Community Planning Task Force was established by Town Council to review the Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use By-law. Now, after much deliberation, we see a third draft of "Town of Wolfville MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY". At 85 pages, you may think twice about printing this manuscript! Still 85 pages should be a managable read --- so I gave it a go.

The Preface starts with a lot of quoting of professional wafflers. Then we see a remarkable suggestion that the Municipal Planning Strategy be revised according to "guiding principles that embraced the goals of sustainability, fairness, equity, and inclusiveness." It all sounds very nice, but I remembered those earlier drafts when special interest groups tried to use this little exercise to rezone my property --- to my deteriment but to the advantage of developers. So much for fair and equitable. When the Community expressed their outrage, the response of the Sustainable Community Planning Task Force was hardly inclusive. Eventually, they relented. I'm still not convinced that the Sustainable Community Planning Task Force isn't going to use some back-door subterfuge to stick it to us!

As for "sustainability", wot's that, eh? In my humble opinion, too many people have made a career out of defining sustainability --- and even more have made careers by waffling on about sustainability without rigorously defining the sense in which they are using this word. The Sustainable Community Planning Task Force seems to have fallen into this latter trap.

Us Grumpy Old Men (GOM) understand what it is to sustain something. (Don't jump the gun, I'm not talking about erections.) We have sustained a steady effort to make money to pay taxes that sustain all sorts of governmental nonsense. Wolfville Town Council pours money on a bloated town bureaucracy that is so top heavy with directors that you hope they might one day tip themselves into the Bay of Fundy tides and feed the sharks. No such luck. Like marauding Vikings, they keep coming back for 10% more each year! Now that may seem eminently fair, equitable, and sustainable if you are a blood-sucking bureaucrat --- but it's not sustainable for those of us who actually have to work for a living in order to support their habit.

So much for the Preface. Let's move onto the Introduction. Well, different section --- same non-specific and meaningless clap trap. Woops, I missed a new one: "growth ... which is consistent with the principles of sustainable development". This is a real beauty, reminiscent of that other Great Canadian Howler --- the Progressive Conservative Party. The only growth that I know of that might be sustainable is the expansion of the universe.

Onwards, to Vision and Declaration of Sustainability. This begins with the quotation from Proverbs: "Without vision the people perish". So was that

Perhaps the Sustainable Community Planning Task Force has a magic window into the future but I think they would do better to put aside religious inspiration and embrace the cold reality expressed by Niels Bohr "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future"

I still have about 80 pages left to review and I just can't take it anymore.

When it comes to me and "sustainability", one of us will have to go. I predict that there is a better than even chance that I will live long enough to see "sustainability" disappear into the black-hole of unfashionable governmental baffle-gab and tired buzz words.

Yours sincerely,
Brian Sanderson


Let's fast forward to page 29. Here we see some some real gems that are intended to apply throughout all residential areas.

It shall be the policy of Council: