Listening to some City Councilors still trying to defend their outdated Radial Separation Bylaw last night was like watching some of those narrow-minded Senators defending their support for slavery in the movie ‘Lincoln’.
There may have been a time when that kind of law was socially acceptable and legal, but not anymore.
The bylaw tries to restrict the number of residential care facilities in neighbourhoods.
But you can’t paint everyone with the same brush.
The bylaw essentially says that a facility for dangerous offenders is the same as a facility that cares for troubled teenage girls or a shelter for victims of spousal abuse.
And frankly, the opposition to many of these facilities is based on misinformation and stigma.
Sadly, some City Councilors pander to those unsubstantiated fears and we end up with costly OMB hearings that prove that City bylaws cannot restrict who can live in our neighbourhoods.
We don’t need more public meetings to try to craft a bylaw that essentially says, ‘we don’t want your kind in our neighbourhood’.
What we need are City Councilors who understand that the rules have changed .
We need City Councilors who take the time to see the value to our community that many of these facilities provide, instead of caving in to the ‘Not In My Backyard’ attitudes.
Is that really too much to ask ?