The following post was presented earlier in two separate parts.
They are now combined for the sake of convenience - again, at no extra charge.
Deforest City Blues PT 1: We need 142 new babies - fast
(Not old babies. Brand spanking new babies).
“London has lost its bragging rights as Canada’s 10th largest city, overtaken by nearby economic powerhouse Waterloo Region.” (Front page, Feb. 7, London Free Press)
Number 10 in Canada: Waterloo Region population - 492,390
Now number 11: London area - 492, 249 (142 more people desperately needed.
The way some people talk, London may be about to fall off the edge of the Earth.
["Wortley Village, London: Darn... it ain't Saskatoon!": photo GH]
As reported in the Free Press: “This is a cause for concern,” said Counc. Joni Baechler, who has been vocal on the issue of economic development.
See, in a country the size of Canada the difference between being the 10th largest economic powerhouse and being the 11th appears huge, especially when standing right up close.
Free Press: “London has lost the cachet that comes with being in the top 10 - and it may affect economic development, she said.
“It is an important symbol. We are lagging behind.”
Even our Mayor is concerned.
Free Press: “We need to grow. We held the position of 10th for a long time, and I want this city to go up, not down.” (Front page).
By now, 142 new babies are starting to make perfect sense to readers. A lot is at stake.
Or is it?
Deforest City Blues PT 2: 142 new babies vs a few questions
“Oh, Momma, is this really the end?
To be stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again?” (Bob Dylan, 1842)
Yes, so many years ago, when Bob Dylan wailed about being stuck inside of Mobile, not a darn thing could be done about it. His goose was cooked. He was done like dinner.
And today, what can be done to relieve us of the Deforest City Blues now that the Waterloo region has bumped London from 10th place into 11th on Canada’s official population list?
["London is quaint, but it needs to bustle bustle, eh."]
Here’s what our Mayor thinks according to the Feb. 7 issue of The London Free Press:
“Job creation is needed to attract and retain residents” said Mayor Joe Fontana. “The two are related. The more opportunities are here, the more people we will have.”
Though he doesn’t mention this - so I will - some of those people London may one day attract and retain will surely have babies. (Only 142 brand new ones are required!) So, once the new jobs and babies are born our lost status will return.
Hints are given in the same news article about what is required to attract and retain jobs and people and babies.
Research and development.
No other suggestions were revealed, but I did read that “this issue will be one for (the Mayor’s) economic development advisory council.”
Take about your stress and pressure, eh.
I also learned that, according to Statistics Canada, “the fastest growing cities are out west: Saskatoon, Vancouver and Regina.”
I got to thinking...
Though Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada (population - 2.4 million) and we have no hope of surpassing it in population, Saskatoon and Regina are both land-locked with strong links to the land and farms and beef and chickens - a lot like London!
They’re smaller than London, admittedly (closing in on us quickly?), but I bet we could learn something from those two cities.
E.g., why are they growing quickly, while we’re lagging behind, feeling down in the dumps and singing “Oh, Momma, is this really the end?”
Somebody should try to discover the secret to their rapid growth before we feel like we’re stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again.
Do you think we can bounce back?
Should we just grow comfortable with number 11?
Should we pursue a sustainable economy and let the chips fall?
Should we drive the economy as hard as possible so that our lifestyle remains stable or improves?
I’m on it. I’m calling Saskatoon!
Please click here to read more Deforest City Blues.