Up the Creek

Peter Karuna

2000, 06:38 minutes, colour, English


"At one level, Up The Creek is about the environmental devastation that will be caused to the Red Hill Creek Valley if the proposed north-south expressway is built through it. At another level, it's simply about short-term thinking. Red Hill Creek Valley straddles the Niagara escarpment and is one of Canada's largest urban parks.
Like the Walkerton contaminated well-water tragedy, the proposed Red Hill Creek Expressway is a local issue that has lessons for all of us. Up The Creek demonstrates that elected and appointed officials are willing to put
business needs before public health and the environment -- leaving us all up the creek without a paddle.
The video opens with scenes of the beautiful Red Hill Creek Valley interrupted by the pomp of the opening ceremony for the completed east-west section of the expressway. The ceremony is attended by Mike Harris, Al Palladini, Lincoln Alexander and local dignitaries.
Buffered by expressway supporters, the mood is jocular and Al and Mike regale the appreciative crowd with their sense of humour. Al's insensitive jokes, mining his experiences and preferences as a used-car dealer, go over very well. They show a casual disregard for the automobile's effect on the environment.
Despite the risk of unbalanced reporting, I have made no attempt to present opponents of the expressway. It is enough to let the dignitaries speak for themselves.
Mike Harris, though, is shown doing a kind of marionette dance. It's an interpretative little dance that asks the question, "Do seemingly powerful politicians have their strings pulled by the interests of those even more powerful?"

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