The Gateway/Sidney Crossing Decision

This wasn’t an easy decision. There were good arguments both for and against the project. What made it particularly hard was the conflict between the interests of our industrial area and west Sidney residents versus the interests of our downtown business area and our other residents. It didn’t help that there was misinformation on both sides – a lot of misinformation. And, some people were very passionate about their views and expressed their opinions in a manner that others found inappropriate or even offensive. That certainly didn’t make it any easier. No matter which way the decision went, many people were going to be unhappy. Nobody should have been expecting the vote to be unanimous.

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It wasn’t a case of people not listening or ignoring the interests of others. People simply came to different conclusions. Some found the expected benefits to be greater than the risks. Some found the risks far outweighed the potential benefits. And, some felt we should be able to find a vision for this site with less controversy. None of these is wrong. People came to these conclusions honestly, but from different perspectives and values.

In the end, I was one of five who decided to vote in favour of the development.

We will never know which side is “right”. Sandown is also moving forward with a large Canadian Tire store and more, and we are not going to be able to separate the effects of the two projects. With or without Gateway, Sandown will significantly change Sidney’s future. We should now be focusing on how we move forward.

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