For Immediate Release

Jan 19, 2007

Contact: Tracey Pingle – (905) 335-4669

Wal-Mart wins, Council concedes defeat for Downtown BigBox Store. Citizens Group plans lament and Vigil at

460 Brant Street, Burlington, ON

Citizens Lament the Intrusion of yet another BigBox format retailer in beautiful Downtown Burlington.

Burlington – Citizens will hold a Lament and Vigil for Local Community Monday Jan 22nd, at the Upper Canada Cinema, at 6:30pm, with a screening of Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price. Citizens, dressed in black or yellow will walk in procession to city hall to attend the Community Development Committee meeting 7pm for a silent vigil. This community response is sponsored by Sustainable Burlington Citizens Group and supported by the Downtown Burlington Business Association and other citizen groups.

Citizens will express their sentiments of loss, grief, disbelief, and betrayal, as though for a family member who has fought a long fight with cancer and lost. The twins cancers here are urban sprawl and bigbox retailing, both fatal to walkable communities and sustainable local businesses.

Organizer Ian Graham says that car-centric urban landscapes can be seen for what they are: fatal addictions to cheap fossil fuel causing run-away climate change and air pollution. “This lament is for a lost opportunity to build a sustainable future in Burlington. We are mourning lost confidence in our laws, our elected leaders and civic structures like the Ontario Municipal Board. The city, both past council and present, along with city planners, have let us down.”

Amazingly, the Ontario Municipal Board hearing continues. On Monday, Jan 22nd, Robert Hicks, a community Board member of Ontario Public Interest Research Group at McMaster, representing the Rambo Creek Ratepayers, is making a major presentation regarding the impact of Wal-Mart on local traffic. Mr. Hicks says “It is our hope that the Chair of the OMB hearing will hear the “Music of Reason” in the mathematics of our presentation. The traffic study does not pass our CARS principles test for Comprehensiveness, Adequacy, Representativeness and Sufficiency. We make clear that adding a new traffic signal at DePaul’s goes against traffic industry guidelines. It will worsen traffic congestion considerably in the area and add to safety concerns.”

Citizens are concerned that this decision will lead to unprecedented local traffic congestion and air pollution. Moreover said Mr. Graham, “I can’t grasp why Walmart thinks their wildly profitable China-sourced business model will continue to work in a carbon rationed future, with the unavoidable decline of car usage. We’ll see a collapse of big box developments but only after the local business community has been tsunamied out of existence by global retail giants like Walmart.”

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