A flurry of federal government spending announcements for the Hamilton area, plus the Federal government’s surrender of the 4 acre Discovery Centre lands on Pier 8 were apparently the triggers for the City of Hamilton’s decision to abandon its 11 year Red Hill lawsuit against Ottawa. A news release announcing the legal settlement as much as confirmed the quid-pro- quo, stating “This once again underscores the positive working relationship we have with the Federal Government, especially more recently. This announcement comes after a week filled with funding announcements as part of the Canada 150 Program and the transfer of the Marine Discovery Centre back to the City of Hamilton.”

The Pier 8 property alone has a potential value of approximately $10 Million, although some observers place the value of the prime waterfront location higher. The Discovery Centre, which sits on the land was built at a cost of $10 Million. Mayor Fred Eisenberger says he would like to see a hotel as part of the development. The government’s withdrawal from the site is believed to make Pier 8 much more attractive to developers, who were leery of the City’s long term lease of the property.

The original lawsuit alleged that Federal Employees conspired among themselves and with Red Hill opponents to use a variety of strategies to frustrate the completion of the Highway. The suit also alleged that former Liberal cabinet minister Sheila Copps had worked behind the scenes to kill the project. The courts had sided with the city in its contention that construction of the expressway was already underway at the time of the federal intervention, by virtue of the completion of the Lincoln Alexander expressway, which the city successfully argued was a contiguous component of the project. The city’s suit was aimed a recovering additional costs claimed to have been incurred as a result of the federal delays. Over the years the city spent an estimated $3 Million in legal fees fighting Ottawa.

(call Out Box)

Federal grants to Hamilton in the last week of July

$10,000,000 4 acres on pier 8

$541,000 Binbrook Memorial Hall, Glanford Twp. hall

$457,000 Ancaster Aquatic Centre

$280,000 St marks Church

$245,000 Niagara Conservation Authority splash pad

$92,000 Fifty Point bridge and trail

$68,000 Griffin House restoration

$42,000 Westfield Schoolhouse

Captions: The Binbrook Memorial Hall will receive $541,000 towards a renovation that will cost $1.6 Million in total.

#2 The 1.3 Million expansion of the Ancaster Aquatic Centre will get a $457,000 federal boost.

John Best has had a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

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