(Published in the Flamborough Review, November 16, 2017)

The occasion was a review of the boundaries of federal ridings. A
3-person commission chaired by a retired judge recommended a new riding
that would wrap around Hamilton from Waterdown to Winona. The proposed
name was ‘Glanbrook-Waterdown.’

After consulting with the Board of Directors (BOD) of the Flamborough
Chamber of Commerce (FCC), I was directed to contact the commission and
propose a new name. Just as Binbrook is only one settlement area in
Glanbrook, Waterdown – while being the largest – is just one of 16
settlement areas in Flamborough. In an email, the FCC suggested to the
commission that for clarity and consistency, the new name of the riding
should be ‘Glanbrook-Flamborough.’

When the commission held public hearings in Hamilton, I was invited to
present the FCC’s case. I worked very hard on my 5-minute presentation.
I was about three lines into my presentation when the chair interrupted
and said “We read your email, Mr. Kersten. And we agree with you. Is
there anything you would like to add?”

I was stunned. I’m not usually at a loss for words. I had worked so hard
on the presentation and my heart screamed that surely the commission
should extend the courtesy to at least hear it. On the other hand, my
head screamed just as hard. “You got the sale, stupid. Sit down and shut
up!” The head won. And today, the riding is known as
‘Flamborough-Glanbrook.’

I share this experience as I conclude 14 years as the FCC’s executive
director. My point is that there are continuous voices and pressures
that want to see an end to Flamborough. Many see the “fat cats” in the
“outlying areas” as a piggy bank with unlimited resources raided to fund
pet projects in downtown Hamilton. Voices calling for an end to area
rating and free bus service for all combined with approving a $1 billion
LRT project without knowing what the operating and maintenance costs
will mean for the taxpayers in rural Flamborough are but a few recent
examples.

I know not what future holds. But one thing I do know for sure:
Flamborough First, Flamborough Forever.