Sugar Coating Hurts Brampton

Some councillors and staff have a habit of calling every event and everything about Brampton the best, the greatest, the most wonderful. This Trump-like admiration of everything Brampton is hurting the city.

I recently attended an event in downtown Brampton that was average at best and which, in previous years, had larger crowds, a better set-up and was more entertaining.  People associated with the city were heard saying the event was excellent, that there was a great turn out and that it was one of the best nights.  I was less impressed.   My point isn’t to get down on the event, but to suggest that claiming the event was better than it was actually does more harm than good.

Those that attended and were unimpressed will not trust the feedback of other events and will be less likely to attend other “great” events or future events that will be dubbed as spectacular.  Those that didn’t attend will see photos of the event and be unimpressed and will also be less likely to attend.

Event organizers will pat each other on their backs, reveling in a job well done and will not feel the pressure to improve the event.

The average taxpayer loses because – with no true buzz about the event – they won’t hear about it and attendance will not improve.

But this sugar coating is not limited to events.  For years we have been told the house was in order while our infrastructure rotted away and no money was being set aside for repairs.  The health of the city’s economy was great according to the past few councils, yet fewer and fewer people work in the city they live in.

With the recent staff changes at city hall there is an opportunity to hit the reset button and make the changes needed to actually make Brampton great.  Its time to acknowledge that council and staff have allowed unfettered sprawl to permanently damage the fabric of this city, to permanently lose valuable employment lands, to allow Brampton’s library system to be one of the worst in Canada and to allow the loss of a massive investment in transit.

The mayor swept into power on the promise of openness and accountability and has made great strides in the first year of her term on both fronts but it hasn’t been without challenges.   There are many in power both inside and outside city hall that are resistant to this change and attempting to obstruct progress.

The biggest question I’m left with is: if they lie about the success of an event or the state of the city’s infrastructure, what else will they lie about?  What other scandal is waiting to be discovered?

Author: Andrew DeGroot – A local transit advocate and founder of ONEBrampton. Mr. DeGroot has also appeared as a guest on our episode: Brampton on Track with “Innovation Supercorridor”

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