Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sudbury on my mind

I was up in Sudbury all last week for the Idylwylde invitational. It was nice to go home to see the old sites and all that, but it always gets me somewhat melancholy.
Every time I get up there, it is always cleaner and prettier than I remember it, and it always gets me nostalgic about spending most of my life up there.
However, driving around town, seeing things, I always wonder about the future of my place of birth, and as always, I tend to be pessimistic.
I visited some of my old frequent hangouts, and during the week they were empty in comparison to prior years. The smoking ban there has really impacted businesses there. There are several places I went to where they laid off staff or closed because of the drop in business.
That point is part of a larger issue of the hostility by city council, and to some extent, the populace there towards business in the area. The ironic thing is that they wonder why there is no real growth for the area. The city has gone from INCO and Falconbridge from being the major employers to the government. The union mentality of the area stiffles growth opportunities in the private sector. High taxes don't help much either, as well as decrepit infrastructure.
I noticed a lot of construction in the area - many big box retailers have set up shop in the area, and a lot of residential building going on, but I wonder where is the underlying economic growth driving it.