I suppose I didn't say that very well
My point was more that people easily see all the things the amalgamated city 'costs' them, while failing to realize that a lot of the benefits they enjoy come from the city as well.
I know people feel that the inner city is a parasite, taking their money and providing nothing in return. But it goes both ways. The city provides a lot that's not available in the outlying areas.
The city provides a lot of employment. Employment is really the big one for me. Tons and tons of people work in the "old city" and live in Waterdown, Ancaster, etc.... 10,000+ hospital employees (including over a thousand doctors [The number is 1,1xx - I don't recall the last two digits but it was on HHS's 2009 Donor Report's back page]), for one. For those who live in outlying areas, if they didn't have the benefit of employment in the "old city," their life would get difficult. The university's another one, as are government jobs, not to mention all the businesses.
By living in an outlying areas of Hamilton and working in the city, it's easy to want to pay taxes towards "their" lower-cost smaller town that doesn't have all the infrastructure of a real city to maintain, while enjoying its benefits. The fact that the lower city has a lot of ugliness concentrated there that allows people to easily despise it is really destructive here, as is the fact that other wards are quite averse to having any of the city's burden spread out more fairly.
There's other benefits besides jobs though - it's the same with the use of the city's hospitals (though at a municipal taxation level that doesn't matter as much). Same with the roads going to and from their work, shopping at Limeridge, etc. We're not talking about a few inter-city commuters here, we're talking about a huge majority of the population of those driving to work downtown who are coming from outlying areas. If there's a huge number of people from other areas of the city using them to get to/from the "old city" every day, it's fair for them to be taxed towards the infrastructure of the entire city, especially since a ton of the burden on our roads comes from commuters going through the city to and from work from outlying areas.
Sure, it goes both ways - the outlying areas provide growing areas for food, culture of their own, and more.
Not to mention what a giant step backwards we'd have for public transit and intracity initiatives if deamalgamation happened. It's so ridiculous for this city to be divided.
Poverty and division. If it's not one, it's the other in this city. And usually it's both.