Joey Coleman: Liveblogging the Oshawa meeting – 21 Jan 08

Liveblogging the Oshawa meeting – 21 Jan 08

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT MACLEAN’S ONLINE

21/01/2008 18:53:49 – at the meeting. Finally got here after getting stuck on a GO Train that was 30 minutes late.

21/01/2008 18:54:20 – the permanent residents are go in force tonight. They are unhappy.

21/01/2008 19:00:44 – applauses are not allowed. Heaven forbid a politician feel some pressure. (This case it is the anti-student faction clapping)

21/01/2008 19:01:42 – staff can exempt non-student rentals from bylaw.

21/01/2008 19:03:06 – back to the “middle of the night” renovations lines.

21/01/2008 19:04:00 – residents not happy at the three year exemption – students will still be living next the university.

21/01/2008 19:07:23 – one councillor says he would not live in a student house cause it does not have the amenities of a normal house. In other breaking news – old people have different tastes than young.

21/01/2008 19:24:20 – some parent has her kid wearing a sign saying “Keep me safe!” I would like to know how this parent would react if she found out a white collar criminal lived on the street. What would these people do if the Hell Angels decided to move in? Blow up the street with artillery? I mean, the city has already broken (executed search warrants) into houses with locksmiths to get leases because university students moved into the area. You thought Mel Lastman calling in the army to shovel snow was ridiculous wait till these people find a grow-op in their backyard. (I always thought search warrants were for criminal offenses, not the offense of going to school.)

21/01/2008 19:29:10 – one councillor suggests that the housing licensing bylaw should be extended to the rest of the city starting in three years. That is quickly shot down.

21/01/2008 19:30:11 – the generational divide is clear on Council. The young councillor is trying to allow for student housing, the rest don’t want the students near the university. My god, do these people think GM is going to be around in 30 years? I wonder how Milton feels right now watching this show, they want a new university and Oshawa doesn’t seem to want the full package.

21/01/2008 19:31:56 – can we find a way to get rid of the students without actually saying it that bluntly?

21/01/2008 19:33:10 – look at the maps! There is more land outside our no-student area. They are going to move there! Aren’t we going to expose newcomers that we are trying to get to move to Oshawa to the same problem? (The problem being students.)

21/01/2008 19:34:37 – so the same councillor who jumps when it’s proposed extending their bylaw that does actually target students to the rest of the city where students aren’t living wants the bylaw extended to the areas that the students may move? Forget Alice in Wonderland, it’s Alice in Oshawa now.

21/01/2008 19:36:30 – Reporters are evil. Actually, it’s not that we are evil, just that four of the six of us at the table are 20-something. Thank god only Superman has heat vision – cause I would be more crispy than the burnt pizza I had last night.

21/01/2008 19:39:02 – buzz word of the night “the problem” What’s the problem? I don’t know it is like the word “synergies,” people say it cause it sounds good.

21/01/2008 19:41:21 – the bylaw will be rolled out over the city eventually according to the Mayor. I am willing to bet tuition that roll-out follows the students……

21/01/2008 19:43:15 – what are we doing? Was that an amendment? Is there a motion? Man, now we have a real problem….

21/01/2008 19:44:27 – a laugh, we can’t hear the Councillor – he’s mumbling.

21/01/2008 19:46:46 – could someone call Robert already?

21/01/2008 19:49:52 – the councillors would like to do more to restrict student housing but that would be illegal. (They don’t come out and actually say it.)

21/01/2008 19:50:48 – it must be a licensing bylaw. If it were zoning, it be illegal.

21/01/2008 19:51:20 – politics at its best! Pandering…. I wonder if they have a pandering bylaw in Oshawa? I better not give them ideas.

21/01/2008 19:52:43 – we have to make sure the bylaw can stand on a challenge. We really like to do more, but we can’t.

21/01/2008 19:53:32 – the ward two councillor is pointing out the contradictions in the bylaw. Insert silly children’s song.

21/01/2008 19:55:16 – would someone think of the poor children! They are the most popular props tonight.

21/01/2008 19:56:30 – there will be “third-party groups” building student housing. Don’t call them developers… but people buying houses to rent to students are evil developers.

21/01/2008 19:57:20 – let’s play tongue twister. We can’t actually say we are targeting students cause they would be illegal.

21/01/2008 19:58:50 – I am going to skip Colbert tonight, I have got my share of political comedy.

21/01/2008 20:03:47 – doublespeak gets very confusing.

21/01/2008 20:05:28 – the citizens believe that the student houses are lodging houses. The city says they are not. Permanent residents laugh at Mayor, he asks them to show respect. Tension in the room increases. Some isolated heckling directed to Council.

21/01/2008 20:10:05 – Do these people realize the threat in their midst? All these kids will eventually be university students!

21/01/2008 20:19:17 – new buzzword – “speculators”. Seems to describe the purchase of property in the hopes of making profit from renting.

21/01/2008 20:20:33 – According to the council committee chairwoman “students are important to this city.” They sure don’t feel that way. Chairwoman: I shared a house with other students when I went to law school.

21/01/2008 20:27:46 – “98% of students in our community are good harding working people,” says one of the councillors pushing for the bylaw. “Some of the students feel they aren’t welcome …. they are.” Sure, that’s why you want to limit the number of them that can live near the university.

21/01/2008 20:30:04 – cue political speeches.

21/01/2008 20:34:06 – chair allows applauds for Councillor Neal.