Chaos In The Star Editorial Ranks
As a politician, Eddie Francis could not have asked for a better friend than the Windsor Star, the leading influence maker in Windsor. Except for an incident involving the police early on and his notable desire for secrecy, I am hard pressed to recall anything that the Mayor has done that the Star has objected to, or if they objected, blamed him by name.
How then does one explain the Saturday column on the Editorial Page under the by-line of the Star Editor, Marty Beneteau. I checked and he has not written very many of them---one on “published photographs” that some think are in bad taste (in this case, a car crash on E.C. Row Expressway) one on Christmas Eve about “miracles" and one on a “mission to Israel, Palestine and Jordan.” It has to be a big event for which we have to take notice.
Is it nothing more than a slap at Eddie to do something on Huron Church? Perhaps. Of course there is the obvious---the “chaos on Huron Church” which will provoke many letters of approval since it is part of the border wars. It will also provoke letters such as this on the other side that a friend wrote to me:
- “I commute on Huron Church every day. Beneteau's column is hysterical. My wife, who is a bit of a nervous driver, also uses HC almost daily, and rolled her eyes when she read it.
This editorial is just more "scare mongering".
I wonder sometimes if these people have ever been out of the city. There is nothing in our city to compare to Toronto, Detroit or other big City traffic hot spots.
I think they lost "traction" on the "urgency" issue, the truck back ups etc, so now we will be treated to warnings about rolled mini vans and dying children.”
- “Fifteen months after the Schwartz report screamed to "get trucks off city streets," nothing has changed - bloody nothing…
What will it take to get the rigs underground, returning the street to homegrown users?…
Waiting for a new border route is not good enough. Haggling with politicians is pointless. We can use the laws of the road to protect ourselves - now.”
Is it something more, something more dramatic? Clearly so.
There is the very subliminal message in the Column. It is a message which Eddie hates to deliver (as his comments at the Joint Councils meeting proved). After all, it spoils his operation of the Tunnel dream and shoots down his desire to direct where a new bridge must go.
One does not dare in Windsor give them any credit if one wants to be part of the "in-crowd." However, doesn't it come through loud and clear that there is no truck backup problem on Huron Church any longer.
Here is the "official" confirmation by the Star Editor no less that the Bridge Co. has done such a good job with its new Customs booths and making sure that they are staffed to keep traffic moving smoothly that the real problem on Huron Church is speeders as the Deputy Chief of Police had said before. Eddie has sat around for over 2 years with $300 million available and done nothing on fixing the road to the border such that we have to endure "trucks that think they're cars, cars that think they're at Indy and stoplights that get ignored like a flight attendant doing her pre-flight spiel."
It is an Eddie problem now and not that of the big, bad Bridge Co.! It is recognition, in spite of hazardous goods attack stories, that they have done their job while the Mayor has not! Politicians "haggling?" Not the Bridge Co. They did not snub the Senior Levels as our Mayor and Council did and for which we continue to suffer. In fact it was the Bridge Co. that sued the US Government to get those booths. They did not "haggle" but acted or else the border would be a mess still! I wonder if a "public" authority would have dared sue their Master
Does this mean that the Eddie/Star honeymoon finally is over? Is this a sign that the unanimity in the Star Editorial Board about the Mayor has collapsed and that a split has developed? Can it be that Beneteau finally understands why so many who worked so hard for Eddie Francis to be Mayor of Windsor are now so strongly against him and believe that Windsor can no longer afford to have him as Mayor, even for only one more term!
That is our Mayor: all talk and no action on anything. He is a true bureaucrat, process oriented not action oriented. He studies but never executes. He knew he failed on Schwartz 6 months before Schwartz finally went public with the "revised" Report, he deliberately scare-mongers when he knows we will never get a 14 km tunnel, he threatens lawsuits to stop everything in its tracks for years and yet he demands re-election. Reread my Blog, April 12, 2006, “An Icy Relationship.”
With all due respect, how the Star Editorial Board can continue to support a Mayor who cannot even fix the truck problem on Huron Church in the obvious way disappoints me.
Just as the Star took the dramatic step and changed its position on DRTP, it may be the time that it will change its position on Eddie Francis and lead the Draft Bill Marra for Mayor movement. What better time than just before or just after Eddie's State of the City Speech!
Perhaps Beneteau's column is designed not for us, dear reader, but for his own colleagues on the Star Editorial Board. Perhaps even he has had enough now too!