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September 04, 2008

Del Mastro's $90 Million Idea

Tickets The big story in tonight's Peterborough Examiner is the mega-resort and tourist attraction (complete with an IMAX theatre and giant water slide) that Dean Del Mastro is proposing for Little Lake. It will be interesting to see how the idea measures up in terms of environmental impact. I'm sure that Del Mastro -- a veteran of the federal environment committee -- has factored that in to his plans. They don't call Little Lake "little" for nothing, after all.

If this whole big splashy announcement thing sounds very familiar, it could be because Dean and Stephen are doing the tag team thing again. (The PM has been in Windsor handing out the auto-bucks; Del Mastro has been working the local scene.)

Or, it could be that you're having flashbacks to the mega-commuter train that Del Mastro promised the area earlier in the year (a project which has since morphed into a promise of a feasibility study for a train). (It appears that the only people who remain convinced that the train project is on track, complete with a two-year-completion timeline, are Dean Del Mastro, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (whose riding would also sit on the rail line) and others who appear to have been blinded by the light of the would-be commuter train). These folks are talking as if the project is a fait accompli. Here's a more fact-based update on the status of the train project. As you can see, the emphasis is now much more on freight movement, with massive investment in rail rehabilitation being pledged by private freight carriers. The passenger commuter service, should it pan out, will be hitching a ride on the tracks rehabilitated through a corporate-government partnership for the benefit of business interests.

Or you could be flashing back to that scene in PeterboroughTime when CartoonDean, the arch-villain, threatens to flood the entire downtown, after being foiled in his plans to turn the entire town into a giant parking lot.

But back to reality.

Some people are thrilled by the idea of the area landing a $90 million resort complex. Think of all the government and corporate dollars being invested in this riding. (Shhhh.... There's a mystery developer involved.) Think of all the jobs (at $50,000 a person, according to Del Mastro).

Others (including the people who live in the quiet neighbourhood that would play host to the mega-resort) aren't quite so thrilled. "Put it in your own backyard," one irate neighbour suggested to Del Mastro. And, of course, still others are calling it what it is -- an election rabbit being pulled from a hat.

Stay tuned.

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