Many welcome hamlet heritage celebration



Many welcome hamlet heritage celebration
September 23, 2009

By Lindsey Cole
The Oshawa Express

Columbus is not for sale. These are the words of long-time resident Diane Stephen when it
comes to the hamlet she loves. While some residents and members of the Columbus Community Coalition want to separate from Oshawa to join Whitby, Stephen says there are several residents in the community who are happy to be a part of Oshawa. “It’s a sad joke,” Stephen says of the coalition. What’s more, she says she is thrilled with the heritage designation of the Columbus Community Centre and the celebration that is slated to
take place for its 150th anniversary.

“I think it’s absolutely fabulous. I think it’s long overdue. It’s a wonderful building. It ties in the history of Columbus.” Stephen says there has been a lot of coverage on what members of the coalition want, but emphasizes that the community is split on the issue. Some people are happy to stick with Oshawa. This comes just weeks after city council refused to let coalition member Rosemary McConkey speak on the issue of the heritage designation. Her group put forth an objection to it, stating it was too little too late. She wanted to speak to council, but didn’t get enough votes.

Around $3,000 is also being put forth by the city to fund the celebration. This includes a video that will highlight the history of the centre.“I am a part of Oshawa...If I wanted to go to Whitby I would live there,” Stephen adds. While coalition members site the Hwy. 407 extension, high taxes and poor representation from their local government as some of reasons why they want to separate, Stephen says these are issues that can be resolved if everyone works together.“Whenever I’ve called them (the city) up, I’ve been treated with respect. Columbus is not for sale. It’s a good thing that the city is doing things in Columbus.” Mayor John Gray
echoes Stephen’s comments.“Separation is a dead issue,” he says, adding if the city doesn’t support separation it simply can’t happen.“I don’t know why there is still that very few who wish to go down that path.

I think we need to come together as a community. Let’s get behind this. There is a great quality of life in Columbus. Work with us.” The celebration
will take place on Oct. 15.





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