The Apologists Strike Back
Not a word about what the Bridge Co’s Project is all about but just an attack on a small element of it in order to preserve the Mayor’s billion-dollar short-term dream. Or rather his “starting point” which will lead to what he really wanted to do in the first place but could not trust us to tell us until he got everyone worked up over Prairie grass and extinct species at Ojibway and spent millions of dollars to divert our attention! (Whew what a mouthful). You know The Real Plan! The Real Plan! After all, we are not as smart as the Philosopher King is and certainly cannot be trusted with “facts.” Let’s keep it in camera folks. (It involves the Tunnel as is becoming so abundantly clear right now)
Not one single good word so far about how the Bridge Co.’s project might re-vitalize a destroyed US city that just happens to be across the river from Windsor. Not one single word about how this could be the start of a massive regional economic redevelopment that could actually increase business here. Not one good word about how this could make our border actually work so that we can ship our goods into the US more quickly or how Americans can come over here to spend money to bolster our dying downtown.
If the apologists are not careful, the City may wind up losing its tickets to the Superbowl game or Eddie may have to sit all by himself. All of his relationship building will be for nought. We may not get one single Superbowl Party if we are too disruptive to Detroit’s future and we do NOT have one yet by the way from looking at the Detroit media. And the Mayor’s several hundred thousand dollar donation to become a sponsor of the Superbowl (who wants a Science Centre for kids anyway) might become a useless investment after all!
I heard that our Mayor might even have called some Detroit Councillors about what was happening. I cannot believe that rumour. Why his good buddy and Mayor in Detroit might consider that to be a breach of protocol to have a Canadian politician try to interfere with a US legislative vote and influence it directly by contacting Councillors.
I can just imagine the NDPer from Windsor West climbing on his soapbox if an American politician tried to do that in Canada. John, the husband of Norma Coleman, Eddie’s Chief of Staff, and his Editorial Board colleagues at the Windsor Star in Editorials and cartoons and Gord Henderson in a column could fulminate about how the Americans were interfering with the good government of a sovereign country. They could shouted out their anti-American rhetoric and tell them to stay home or we would cut off their oil. That’s why I am so sure that Eddie would never even consider doing something so impolite.
So let me summarize the predictable, apologist the attack so far and give you my response in brackets:
A bridge twinning and the proposed superplaza would require a raft of government approvals [We have to keep those Bi-national Engineers working. The Governor almost ruined their Christmas taking away all of those corridors so quickly. I wonder what approvals are needed in CANADA for a project completely in the USA]
reassurance by the Canadian Border Services Agency that it has no plans to station its customs officers in Detroit [No plans for Detroit today but pilots projects already underway in other locations]
Rep. Steve Tobacman, who represents the southwest Detroit, said he was was extremely concerned about the latest bridge proposal. [Duh…he introduced anti-Bridge Co. legislation in the Michigan state legislature. Is he expected to be happy!]
this has not gone to Detroit city council [but it will]
Campaign contribution records show Moroun and other bridge company executives have contributed significantly to the campaigns of Kilpatrick and his mother, U.S. congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick [The smear is out. Doing something that it is legally allowed is somehow wrong. Hmmm I better check the political contributors to the Mayor’s and Councillor’s campaigns. At the end of September, Chuck Scarpelli at City Hall told me it would cost exactly $5.67 to get a photocopy of the Mayor’s complete contribution list and nothing to view it. I think I may take him up on that soon.]
Detroit Coun. Sheila Cockrel expects the Mayor will push council to quickly make a decision on the offer and described that as unfair with the municipal election looming. [And their system of local Government pits the Council against the Mayor so what do you expect. Did she say she was against it though so that policeman and fireman would have to be laid off for lack of money? It would be like our Mayor giving the Councillors the full and complete Schwartz Report a few days before he was making it public and expecting their complete approval]
Francis will discuss the legality of any proposed lease buyout today with Windsor tunnel commission lawyer Cliff Sutts [Oh oh….the lawyer threat. Now how would he be able to comment on a US deal? I bet the Bridge Co. has lawyers that might want to talk to Eddie too about this.]
He will have everything all tied up, then watch how expensive it will be to cross. We can't allow this to go any further [Thank heaven…the monopolist angle before the end of the article. Too bad that the Bi-national said that there was competition for the Bridge. They are lousy monopolists too if Sarnia and rail could take away a chunk of their business as the Star reported only a few days ago. Anyway, it would be the Port Authority who set prices not the Bridge Co. as I understand it. The Bridge Co. would just be the operator, not the owner. The US set-up would be the same as now I believe]
Forbes recently estimated Moroun's holdings at more than $1 billion [Wow being hugely successful is a sin. Perhaps if we had someone who knew what he was doing as a business person running the border, we would NOT have the mess we are in now!]
I checked my list of apologist possible attack items and they got 9 out of the 10 of them. I guess they must have run out of space.
Now I don’t want to tell you I told you so but I did yesterday.
Does anyone over here have the faintest idea what the full Bridge Co. Project is from reading the Star? Nope.
Does anyone over here have any idea that the Project is really about economic development? Nope.
Does anyone over here have the faintest idea that we should be part of this “REGIONAL” development if we want to prosper? Nope.
I’ll set it out for you once again. What the Star refuses to publish, the four elements of the “Port of Opportunity & Employment.”
1) Border Solution, “International Center” of trade & tourism to promote increased trade opportunities between Canada and the US ie the 200 booth solution that was announced before.
2) Creation of “Big Box & Main Street” retail development in the heart of Detroit’s major roadway network
3) Port Authority creation of a major manufacturing & distribution center ie a very specialized competitive solution for retention and cost savings for regional manufacturers and the entire US supplier community
4) Detroit-Wayne County Port Authority assumes operation and expansion of Detroit Windsor Tunnel
Now if we can start the real discussion about our future economic recovery (don't forget that 4,500 Windsor Ford jobs are on the line if we get a GEMA plant here) and forget about the border since the Bridge Co. will fix it, then we might get somewhere.