Saturday August 15, 2015
By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday August 15, 2015
Dundas filming ban lifted with limitations
A petition created on Thursday to end the moratorium — that is now not a moratorium — on filming in Dundas has exceeded its original goal of 1,000 signatures.
After six days its new target is 2,000.
Petition creator and Dundas local Kevin Ramage, 32, is trying to set up a meeting with Coun. Arlene VanderBeek to give the community a voice.
He set out to speak to locals and business owners to get a grasp on how they feel about the original ban, and new case-by-case limitations.
Meanwhile, the properties that were originally flagged as temporarily unavailable on the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) website now have a new message.
After VanderBeek released her statement of “re-examination,” Susan Monarch, manager of tourism Hamilton, told The Spectator on Aug. 7 the wording on OMDC files were changed to say there may be limitations, and if interested in the property to contact the film office.
There are three check marks available on the OMDC listings — not available, available and caution — Monarch said.
Ramage reached out to VanderBeek Tuesday to set up a meeting, hoping to present his findings, but he has not yet received a response.
“None of the businesses that I spoke to, and that signed the petition, had any knowledge that a moratorium or filming limitations were ever going to be put in place,” he wrote in the statement.
Most business owners pulled Ramage into their back rooms, speaking to him at length about their thoughts on the issue. He said business owners either found out about the changes from customers coming in and asking them why they didn’t want production in town, or from the media.
“They were not pleased about the lack of community involvement on the issue.”
The decision for the moratorium, and now limitations, were made following discussions with the city’s film office staff, some residents and the BIA board of directors, which includes VanderBeek. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)