Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, July 28, 2006


To which government organizations do the Acts apply?

The municipal Act came into effect on January 1, 1991. It applies to local government organizations, including municipalities, police services boards, public library boards, school boards, conservation authorities, boards of health, transit commissions, certain municipal electricity corporations and certain local housing corporations.

The Directory of Institutions, which lists all of the government organizations covered by the Acts, can be accessed directly from

What kind of information may I request?

The Acts give everyone a general right of access to general records held by government organizations. The information may be recorded in printed form, on film, by electronic means or otherwise and it includes things like photographs and maps.

How do I find out what records provincial and local government organizations have?

First, you need to know whether the information you want is held by a provincial or local government organization.

Provincial Records
A Directory of Records is available for viewing online at

Consult the Directory of Records to find out the kinds of records held by ministries and other government organizations covered by the provincial Act. The Directory, maintained by the province, describes these provincial government organizations and the types of records they maintain, and it provides the telephone number and address of each such organization’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Co-ordinator.

Municipal Records
Municipalities and other local government organizations covered by the municipal Act have prepared their own directories, which are generally available at their respective offices.

Okay, I know what information I want -- how do I ask for it?

You can obtain the information you want, in many cases, just by calling or visiting the appropriate government organization. (If you are unsure of an address or telephone number, consult the Blue Pages in your telephone directory.)

That didn't work -- now what?

If you did not obtain the information you want, make a written freedom of information request.

Fooling All The People All The Time

It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time;
you can even fool some of the people all of the time;
but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time."
President Abraham Lincoln

Does the Mayor believe that everyone in this City is completely stupid and takes what he says at face value all of the time? That is what I find so annoying about him. Here is the latest example of it from a quote in the Star:
  • "Meanwhile, the city of Windsor's tunnel commission has been opposed to adding more commercial vehicles at the tunnel and has remained at odds with DCTC over its truck plans. The city owns the Canadian side of the tunnel.

    "From the tunnel commission's perspective, we want the tunnel to be commuter- and car-friendly," said Mayor Eddie Francis, chairman of the tunnel commission. "We are focused on that."
Wow, that is a big switch. Here is what Eddie said in the Windsor Star 03-09-2004
  • "Mayor Eddie Francis told the commission the falling numbers and crippling traffic jams on downtown streets in Windsor show how the city must move forward along with senior levels of government to improve traffic flow on the Windsor side.

    He said improvements should include developing commercial truck processing capabilities and improvements to traffic processing on the Windsor plaza."
In the Windsor Star 03-13-2004, the Mayor said
  • "Dedicated lanes for trucks, commuters and tourists are among ideas for an expanded plaza which could accommodate lineups, he said, without impacting normal city traffic.

    Expanding the plaza across Goyeau Street and on to city property such as the former police station, plus obtaining the Burger King and other properties, would allow better access to toll booths for U.S.-bound traffic, he said.

    "We've got to find a way to improve the situation going back to the States for both industry and for commuters and tourists," Francis said.
Now I know that the Tunnel truck volumes are low compared with the Bridge but my recollection is that the truck revenue is a substantial part of the Tunnel income. Why would that be given up at a time when the Mayor wants to do a deal on the Tunnel and needs to show high income potential?

So let's take a look at what the Tunnel Plaza Improvements include today as proposed and see how closely it fits in with what the Mayor wanted in 2004. You will see how much it meets his requirements:
  1. Alternatives 1A and 2E were rejected because of issues including truck issues
  2. The preferred alternatives "include on-site Canada-bound truck secondary inspection area"
  3. The preferred alternatives show truck Customs lanes. truck dock and truck parking
  4. A possible truck only lane into the US

With all of the noise about getting vehicles off of City streets, we are not being told how the Tunnel Plaza is being expanded on the Canadian side and the reasons for it.

Our attention is being diverted away from what is really important and what the Tunnel improvements are all about. Just like with the infamous Agenda Item #5

Once the Senior Levels commit to paying for the changes, then action will be started on the other side but after DCTC is no longer involved with Windsor ie when their deal expires in 2007. The Tunnel Plans will not be completed until 2009 with final construction in 2011. Remember that DCTC had plans for the Detroit side including the expansion of truck traffic that would cost only a fraction of the $30 million that Eddie wants that would get trucks THROUGH the Tunnel and off City streets ie not building a parking lot as Eddie is supporting.

I wonder if the thought is thanks for the ideas DCTC but the cities can do it on our own. We do not need you.

Windsor and Detroit are doing some negotiating over the Tunnel right now. That will make an interesting story for a BLOG another time.

I wonder if, in the end, Eddie agrees with the phrase attributed to PT Barnum considering how he treats his electorate: "There's a sucker born every minute...and two to take 'em."

Kwame Is Open For Business

Kwame Kilpatrick's electoral storefront is now officially open for business. Everyone running for Governor of Michigan is welcome to leave their support and promises there to help out Detroit in exchange for his assistance in winning the election. Remember that more people voted for Granholm in Detroit than in all of the Downriver communities combined yet she has not killed DRIC for Kwame as she did for the other mayors.

It was a great political performance on WWJ's "Ask the Mayor with Kwame Kilpatrick." Some tough questions but in a friendly manner unlike the lob softballs pitched on CKLW to let Eddie hit a home run every time when he is interviewed.

Some interesting comments respecting the race for Governor.

Kwame is watching the Gvernor's race closely since the future of Detroit depends on who gets elected as Governor. The Governor is "in trouble" since a lot of people are suffering and it is natural for them to blame the Governor. She has set out well what she wants to do in the future however.

Has the Democratic Party taken the Black vote for granted. ABSOLUTELY both nationally and in Michigan. The Democrats have been slow to recognize that there's a "new Day."

However, Kwame is not angry enough to vote Republican but wants to challenge the Democrats.

As for his illness, he is 75% recovered but his wife feels he may be "rushing his recovery."

Kwame has delivered the message that the Governor is in trouble, the Democrats take him and his supporters for granted and that he has not decided to vote Republican...yet. He told both candidates that there is a new black voice in the community that is not the same one as before. The young, black Detroiters are brighter and more independent with new leaders, and he is the one who leads the young voters in Michigan as his mayoral win demonstrated so clearly. He won because the young vote backed him.

He won't change parties, he let the Republicans know, but he will not be taken for granted.

Kwame's wife just might keep him from being too active during the campaign. Why he only was able to spend a few minutes at the Mayors' Summit in Windsor the news stories said although he was a co-host.

I assume Dick Devos understands what this all means. There is no doubt that the Governor does. Perhaps her staff might now decide to answer his border letter. It has only been outstanding for months and months and months.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

30 Days Hath September, April, June

And the City of Windsor!

Notice by head

19. Where a person requests access to a record, the head of the institution to which the request is made or if a request is forwarded or transferred under section 18, the head of the institution to which it is forwarded or transferred, shall, subject to sections 20, 21 and 45, within thirty days after the request is received,

(a) give written notice to the person who made the request as to whether or not access to the record or a part of it will be given; and

(b) if access is to be given, give the person who made the request access to the record or part, and if necessary for the purpose cause the record to be produced. R.S.O. 1990, c. M.56, s. 19; 1996, c. 1, Sched. K, s. 15.

Windsor Mayor Blasts WTC Chair

Strong rumours are circulating at City Hall Square that Mayor Eddie Francis blasted Windsor Tunnel Commission Chair Eddie Francis at a recent closed-door session at a secret location and Francis shot right back. In fact, the conversation got so heated that at one point, I am told, that Mayor Francis almost asked for the resignation of WTC Chair Francis and may even have threatened Francis with termination!

The latest dustup arose over the new plans revealed at the Public Information Session for the Tunnel Plaza. Again, few Windsorites attended the Tunnel session compared with the number of people who attended the better-publicized DRIC sessions as an example. Francis and Francis pointed the finger at each other over who was responsible for the poor promotion of the session so that few Windsorites were aware of it. Cynical observers may be surprised since the feeling of some was that the powers-that-be wanted few taxpayers to attend so no one would object to the Plaza plans. It appeared that quick action was wanted to approve the plans and to move forward on them.

Mayor Francis outlined to WTC Chair Francis his scare-mongering tactics when he wanted big crowds out to oppose DRIC and wondered why this was not done for the Tunnel. “There are enough problems with the Tunnel that, with a bit of good scare tactics, we could have had huge crowds to fill the Cleary!” Apparently, Francis was too polite to reply that he thought Francis did not want crowds at the Cleary since that could be considered as competition to the Casino. If it could be shown that the Cleary was a viable operation, Councillor Gignac might raise a fuss again about the St. Clair deal.

The word is that Mayor Francis and WTC Chair Francis tried to pin the blame on each other over a number of failings at the Tunnel:

1. Cost overages of around 50% at the Tunnel Ventilation Building with extra costs at $7 million
2. Why no one seemed to know about, and what a recent magazine article called, "a unique security risk [at the Tunnel], which makes Customs and Border Protection officials nervous” or if someone knew about it, why no one did anything about it for years.
3. Why no one seemed to know, and what a recent magazine article said, that "US Customs has said that the Tunnel doesn’t meet their requirements” or if someone knew about it, why no one did anything about it for years
4. The real risk that Transport Canada with Bill C-3 coming may legally have to take drastic action at the Tunnel with possible severe consequences to its operations
5. The Windsor side's low pricing policy has been a total failure since “there hasn't been a noticeable increase in traffic numbers despite the Windsor side of the tunnel providing the cheapest cross-border tolls at either the bridge or tunnel in recent years."

But it was the new Tunnel Plaza improvement plans that caused the major flap. Whether that was the straw that broke the camel’s back is not known. All that is known is that many more people are questioning whether $30 million ought to be spent on a Plan that does not move one single vehicle more quickly to the US side. Francis may have told Francis that he has strong doubts that if the Senior Levels ever wake up and realize how foolish this Plan is that they will continue to fund this Project. A question that is underlying all of this is whether the study has actually looked at all reasonable alternatives so that it would withstand a legal challenge in the manner that DRIC seemed to do where they looked at ones that made little sense right from the beginning.

At the least, neither Francis nor Francis were so impolite to raise the fact that DCTC could solve the whole problem by spending only a few million dollars and without disrupting travel paths in Windsor or else the roof would have been blown off.

Chair Francis stated that he believed that there was more behind this Plaza scheme than met the eye and wondered what it was. The obvious question to ask was why the Tunnel Plaza was the focus of the Phase 1 agreement when the real issue was truck traffic on Huron Church Road. Apparently, Mayor Francis told him to be more respectful and to mind his business. Francis replied strongly, that anything to do with the Tunnel was “his business!”

The piece de resistance however, was the new Plaza Plan revealed. It is not clear whether Francis or Francis raised the issue first but environment was front and centre. Apparently one of the Francises asked: how could the Tunnel dare do what it is doing given the City’s passing of the Environmental Master Plan only a few days before.

Now I am not sure exactly what was discussed at that point since my source is unclear but it may have to do with the fact that:
1) It has not been publicized that the air from the Tunnel that leaves the Tunnel Ventilation building is “unscrubbed.” I do not know if the renovations plans included adding scrubbers but if not, then how does that fit into helping the environment
2) The new plan effectively creates a giant parking lot at the Tunnel entrance, about 5-10 acres I was told, at the Tunnel meeting yesterday that can hold several hundred vehicles. The City objected when DRTP wanted to create a customs plaza in the heart of Windsor and now the City or WTC is effectively creating a parking lot in the heart of downtown Windsor where vehicles can spew fumes while waiting to enter the Tunnel!

Obviously, when one combines the unscrubbed air and a giant parking lot being promoted by the City, the actions of the City in passing the Environmental Master Plan can only be considered as mere electioneering before the November election. As Francis said at the Francis-Francis meeting, “Another Mayoral Check-mark on the Report Card!”

No wonder there was such a fight. I hope it gets resolved so that Francis and Francis can work together.


I have been a customer of Royal Bank for over 15 years since I moved to Windsor. I have dealt with their local bank branch, RBC Dominion Securities, their mortgages group—all the groups and services that people and their family need over the years. But my relationship is not built solely on the Institution but on the business and personal relationships I have developed with the people who work there. I get to know them and they get to know me.

I have found that if one acts in a proper and professional manner, even when one has a disagreement, then the other side acts in a similar fashion. As the relationship grows, one often goes out of his/her way to help the other, not because you have to but because you want to.

Of course, every relationship has its good times and bad. Recently, I had a “bad” moment. Without going into what it was, I got annoyed and frustrated at something simple, it appeared to me, that the Bank messed up several times. I contacted my DS adviser and my branch Client Care manager and complained. Eventually everything got straightened out with apologies given.

Today in the mail I received a handwritten note from the manager and a token of appreciation for me and my wife for our branch relationship and that they had caused us a problem. It was an apology for what they did and a small gift to tell us they were sorry and wanted our business. It was totally unexpected and something that would make it very difficult for me to want to change branches even if we have a problem again. They cared and exceeded expectations.

As far as I am concerned, that is the way to build and maintain a relationship even in the most trying of times. If you want to know which RBC bank branch or which RBC DS adviser to work with, email me!

What has this got to do with anything you might ask? I thought about this in the context of events we have experienced in Windsor over the past few years.

A question I had: Do you really think we have built a relationship with others such that the Mayor can phone someone up on behalf of Windsor and ask for a favour or something unusual but important that the City might need. Do you think anyone would go out of their way to help us? Or are we viewed as a “laughing stock” amongst cities in Canada and a royal pain so that we will be rejected and ignored?

You know the list as well as I. Here are a few of the troubling events that I can think of off the top. Windsor, over the past:
  • Became involved in a “he said, she-said” fight with some of our leading citizens
  • Won’t talk in a meaningful fashion with a City company that is a large employer and taxpayer to try to solve a pressing problem
  • Attacked Senior Levels and wonders why no one listens to us or why we do not receive grants that other jurisdictions do
  • Snubbed Senior Levels at least twice publicly, the people we have to deal with on the border
  • Interfered in other jurisdiction’s political events at awkward moments
  • Became identified as the border problem
  • Failed to act in an open and transparent manner with its citizens.

I do not need to list more items. You can add ones you remember too.

Fulvio’s words still haunt me. I just wondered what it will be like for the City if we continue our past practices for the next four years. I just wanted to ask the question and have you think about it too.

A "Green" Warning

I like this letter sent out by the Public Advisory Council (PAC) of the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup to the Mayor and Council. So polite but with a strong undertone for the November 13 election.

The Mayor really put his foot into it with his remark didn't he. He better not cross the environmentalists now.

But I am confused. Was it even necessary for PAC to send the letter in the first place?

In their press release, it was said that "The Project Ice Track Team has sent a letter to Mayor Francis clarifying that the Tom Joy Woods lands were never requested for the footprint of the new arena. The letter also reconfirms that the land necessary to accommodate the Project Ice Track arena utilizes existing Windsor Raceway land."

But then the Mayor replied that "Francis said the Toldo-Rosati group initially asked for the city to throw in 50 acres for the arena, but withdrew the request after the city refused to agree to it."

Which party is telling the truth? It should be easy to determine that if the relevant documents are produced! It is important for us to know the answer before decisions are made on the Arena.

I challenge both the Mayor and the Toldo-Rosati Group to make available to the public the documents so we can judge.

  • Mayor Eddie Francis
    City of Windsor

    Dear Mr Mayor:

    Regarding a proposed arena at Windsor Raceway you were quoted in the Windsor Star, July 15 2006.

    "Francis noted that in a proposal submitted by the Toldo and Rosati group on July 3, they indicated the city would have to contribute 50 acres of the Tom Joy Woods for the footprint of the new arena. "At which point in time we said to them that's absolutely unacceptable."

    On behalf of the Council I thank you for your strong stand on protection of the environment. In addition to animal habitat, the Tom Joy Woods are covered with trees, which help fight air pollution, a major source of contamination in the Detroit River.

    The Tom Joy Woods represent one of many natural and irreplaceable treasures in the City of Windsor. They must be preserved in their entirety.

    Yours for a better environment,

    Public Advisory Council of the Detroit River
    Canadian Cleanup

Citizens Protecting Ojibway Wilderness Head Ousted

There was turmoil this week at the headquarters of CPOW. In a shocking turn of events, I have learned that Alan McKinnon may have been ousted in a bloodless coup as the head of this environmentalist group and replaced by...Mayor Eddie Francis!

Yes, you read that right. That Alan McKinnon, the strong supporter of Ojibway, the one who attacked the Mayor's inaction at the City's Tecumseh Council meeting and who was cross-examined by Eddie "perry mason" Francis may have been replaced by the Mayor as the voice of the endangered species and Prairie Grass of Ojibway.

The Mayor of Windsor, the man who supported the Schwartz proposal and its route to a new border crossing has made a dramatic switch. Eddie has become a Born-Again Environmentalist.

An insider at CPOW sent me this secret memo that was circulated to all CPOW members:
  • "Perhaps you missed it, but Eddie may have had a change of heart.

    We need more people like him who are willing to stand up and say "NO!" when people try to undo the work and sacrifice of previous generations by developing protected natural areas of Ojibway.

    His bold and courageous stand against surrendering 50 acres of Tom Joy Woods/Ojibway Park to an arena project is an inspiration to all defenders of Ojibway.

    We hope to hear from him soon on the even greater threat posed to protected areas of Ojibway by the Schwartz Plan."

Of course none of this is true. It's all a joke. My reader sent me the following note. "I know no one from the media will point out the hypocrisy of the Mayor's "50 acre" dealbreaker. I am hoping to see it in your blog at some point though. It is galling.

So there it is. You are most welcome.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

No Reason To Withhold

The law is designed to facilitate the disclosure of government-held information. As such, a member of the public need not demonstrate why a particular record or information should be disclosed. The onus is on the government body to establish why a record should not be released, otherwise the presumption of disclosure prevails.

As such, institutions (the term used in the Act to define public bodies) are strongly encouraged to provide routine disclosure of information on an informal non-statutory basis, and to proactively disseminate information to the public even in the absence of a formal or informal request. In many cases, an institution will provide the information in accordance with a routine disclosure practice, or simply because it can see no reason to withhold it. The statute recognizes that these dissemination practices existed long before the law came into effect, and should continue to exist, unless personal information is involved.

Why They Are Meeting "In Camera"

Well the Mayor and Council keep on having those secret, in camera sessions. It's not what you think though. It's not about the border or the arena or city finances. it is much more important than that. Here is a hint from Halifax.

  • Halifax allocates $100,000 for mystery rock concert

    Halifax municipal council voted Tuesday evening to spend $100,000 on a rock concert set for Sept. 23, but the performers still haven't been named.

    So the Rolling Stones, rumoured headliners for the outdoor event at the Halifax Common, may - or may not - make an appearance.

    "You don't want to disclose your hand fully with your negotiators with regards to the possible outcomes of these negotiations," said Mayor Peter Kelly.

    But he did confirm that the city's World Trade and Convention Centre is talking to Donald K. Donald Promotions of Montreal, who organized the Stones concert in Moncton last September.

    The $100,000 set aside by council will pay for extra policing and cleanup.

    Council met in a closed session, which angered two councillors who said the talks should have been open to the public because taxpayers are paying.

    "I feel they should know the ins and outs," said Coun. Gloria McCluskey.

    Moncton was left with a bill of more than $670,000 after the Stones played at Magnetic Hill - their first concert in Atlantic Canada - before an estimated crowd of 80,000.

    Still, Coun. Steve Streatch said hosting a concert of this scale is a great opportunity for Halifax.

    "You only have to look at the spinoffs for the local people, whether it be opportunities to have people camping in their yards or taking rooms they have to let or concessions or labour," he said. Kelly said any concert announcement will have to come from the promoters, not the Halifax Regional Municipality.
In any event, Windsor has lost out. Again. The Rolling Stones "The legendary rock group confirmed on their website yesterday they'll play Halifax on Sept. 23, Regina on Oct. 8 and Vancouver on Nov. 3."

My Answer To Brian Masse's Guest Column

I should have guessed. First there were two pro-Brian Masse news stories on Bill C-3 in the Windsor Star. Those stories were mere lead-ins to the Brian Masse Guest Column on the Editorial page. The news stories left a lot to be desired frankly. I wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Star about the first but it was not published. I did a BLOG about the second [June 30, 2006 "Brian Masse and Star Apology Required"]

Brian's Guest Column demands a response. I did consider sending it to the Star but then again, I have never been successful in getting a Guest Column published by the Star on border issues. So here is what I have to say about the Column by the NDP MP for Windsor West:

Mr. Masse discussed what "[he], joined by Joe Comartin's parliamentary expertise with the full support of the NDP caucus" accomplished with Bill C-3. They actually achieved very little.

The transcripts of the hearings, that are available to everyone including the Star, are clear about what really took place in Parliament and in the hearings. Mr. Masse introduced a considerable number of amendments that he and the NDP wanted and a number which were submitted by the City of Windsor and their legal experts through him. Some "parliamentary expertise!" Most were thrown out as "inadmissible" and he withdrew several others. Windsorites were poorly served by our NDP member.

The wording of the amendment Masse introduced is so weak that it is totally useless. It deals with the Minister consulting with other levels of government and with those with a direct interest. The Minister only needs to do so "if in his opinion such is necessary having regard to all the circumstances." That hardly gives us a voice on border issues when the Minister has so much discretion. Notwithstanding his spin, Masse’s amendment actually gives the Ambassador Bridge the statutory right to have a voice where they had none before!

It is shocking to see the Conservatives following a Liberal Party agenda dealing with Bill C-3. If this Bill is what a "rightist," supposedly pro-business Conservative Party in Government advocates, then the world is topsy-turvy.

Don't you find it amazing that everyone focuses on the "operations" side of what Bill C-3 is all about? No one argued against the safety and security aspects. But there is another more ominous side to the legislation that seems to be conveniently ignored that should send a chill to every business person in this country!

Few discussed the ownership provisions under the Act or that the Act is really directed against one company, the Ambassador Bridge Company, to force them out of business. If it can happen to them, and they are powerful, what about YOUR company? Is it safe from Government bureaucrats who think they know your business better than you?

Don’t worry though. The Government says its purpose with this legislation is pure and wholesome: "The proposed bill has become a high government priority to "protect public interest, safety and security," said Transport Canada.

To be honest, I can well understand the concerns of the Government. As its backgrounder points out, 22 out of 24 crossings are PUBLICLY owned. The Ambassador Bridge and one in Fort Frances, which is for sale, are private.

Given the poor way some of these "public" bridges operate and their weak financial position, no wonder they need oversight. Interestingly, a US Government study stated that the "private" Ambassador Bridge was the best operating border crossing in North America. Now I am NOT picking on the Peace Bridge but wasn't that the model that Brian Masse wanted us to consider for a "public" bridge here. Here is what the study said comparing the two crossings:

  • "…at the Ambassador Bridge, the buffer index for inbound truck traffic was just over 65 percent…This indicates that, even with its substantial volume of traffic, operators of the Ambassador Bridge sustained movement across the bridge without imposing lengthy increases in delay times. Contrasting markedly with this was the inbound buffer index at the Peace Bridge of 266 percent…

    Crossing times at Detroit's Ambassador Bridge port-of-entry, as noted above, were markedly different from others in the sample. Despite the bridge's dramatically higher volume of traffic, generally shorter crossing times were achieved."

While it may have some good intentions, Bill C-3 is a very Draconian piece of legislation. When you understand that the key provisions can put the Bridge Co., its real and obvious target, into serious difficulty financially while it builds up their competition at the Bridge Co's own expense, you will know what I mean. The Bill can destroy a business in the name of the "public interest" it appears and without compensation.

Please tell me of one single business person who would stand for this kind of Government action! This legislation goes much further than we ever should allow our Government to go "for the general advantage of Canada" merely "to ensure the efficient flow of traffic."

Here are some examples:

  • Any alteration or construction requires Government "approval" with the Government making the rules about what has to be done to obtain that "approval." The Government, who can be your competitor, is now the judge, jury and, possibly, executioner for your project.
  • If your competitor wants to buy some of your property but you choose not to sell, no worries. Your competitor merely goes to the Government and they do it for them
  • The Minister may order you to take any action that the Minister considers appropriate to ensure that the crossing is kept in good condition or dealing with security and safety and at your expense no matter what the cost
  • The Government can make rules respecting the operation of a crossing, including who can be your customer and how much you can charge
  • You cannot sell your business without Government approval
  • The Government can change the rules retroactively notwithstanding what you have done to date based on existing laws

No wonder others have not directed your attention to these provisions. Think about them but applied to your company or employer. Be honest. Would you tolerate Government intervening in your business in this fashion?

All may not be lost. Bill C-3 still has to be passed in the Senate. Hopefully, the Senators will show their usefulness in providing a "sober, second thought" to legislation that no business person should ever have to tolerate even in the name of public security.

If Brian Masse and the Government truly believe that the private ownership of the Ambassador Bridge is an "anomaly," then they should have the courage of their conviction. All that they need do is open the Government cheque-book and spend billions of taxpayer dollars to buy the bridge. As Matty Moroun, the bridge owner said in his Windsor Star interview, "If the offer is right we would consider it. We would be foolish if we didn't. It's a business deal."

But why do that when they can try to force him to sell out using Bill C-3!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Refusal To Disclose Government Spending

While considerable gains have been made, government organizations nonetheless continue to use the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act as a shield to block the release of consultants’ contracts and the financial arrangements made with suppliers of goods and services, said Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian.

Since early 2005, the IPC has overturned 11 decisions made by provincial or municipal organizations that refused to disclose this type of information. The requesters seeking the information had to appeal those decisions to my office to obtain the desired records, said Commissioner Cavoukian. Other requesters may have just given up, not bothering to file an appeal. “This is a complete waste of the time and resources of all parties involved,” said the Commissioner, who is urging municipal and provincial government organizations in Ontario to make a concerted effort towards ensuring that the public has full access to government spending records.

Why Michigan Won't Build A New Bridge

Anyone who thinks that the decision on building a new bridge will be based on objective, "neutral" engineering and technical considerations believes in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus as well!

It's all politics as was shown when the Michigan Governor made her surprise announcement about the Downriver Communities and as the Mayor of Detroit sits there and has the contenders for Governor try to get his support. Don't tell me the haste in which Bill C-3 was passed through the House was based on considerations of the safety and security of the people of Canada. The desire for a Tunnel and "quality of life" just happened to rise at a time when the Mayor's Schwartz Report was being buried a few months before a municipal election

As the story below states, the number one issue for Michigan voters is the economy and clearly in Michigan, roads are a key factor.

The Michigan House and Senate acted to pull the DRIC funding when they learned at the Lansing hearings that, by MDOT owning and building the bridge, it would cost Michigan at least 20% of the $1.5 billion cost, with the balance being paid by the Feds (and probably more by the time it was actually started) and the State would forego up to $2 billion in Federal matching grants which they could use for roads anywhere in the state.

Once that information came out, it was hardly a surprise that the MDOT bureaucrats were in trouble (Yet they and their Canadian associates will continue to spend at least $6-10 million of taxpayer money between now and the end of September on various studies. It just boggles my mind!). I see that our Federal Transport Minister is butting in now too asking the Governor not to kill DRIC.

The new MDOT director needs to start controlling his Department frankly or he may suffer the same fate as his predecessor Gloria Jeff. That he seems to understand the problem is shown in this statement:
  • "Michigan Department of Transportation director Kirk Steudle attended a news conference with TRIP officials Tuesday and said the state is doing all it can to improve its interstate system, which consists of portions of Interstate 69, I-75, I-94 and I-96 along with urban-area additions such as I-275, I-196 and I-496.

    "Many parts have reached or surpassed their 20-year design life," he said.

    That's why it's so important to spend money maintaining the current system and not use transportation money to build new roads except in certain limited situations."

In another interview, the MDOT Director said the first smart thing I have heard anyone in the Government bureuacracy say in almost 4 years. Although he was stating he obvious, he said:
  • "The owner of the Ambassador Bridge, Manny MAROUN, wants to run the new crossing."

    He's a key player in the whole discussion," Stuedle said.

    Is Maroun part of the delay problem?

    "I would not call him part of the problem at all," the director reported."
With all due respect, if he believes what he says, the Director better start acting. It will be difficult to argue in an election year in Michigan, with the Governor behind in the polls, that the State should consider building a new crossing within a mile of the Ambassador Bridge as one of those "certain limited situations" when the Bridge Co. is prepared to spend its money to do so. It becomes even more ridiculous when the State and the Feds have already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the Ambassador Gateway project which was designed for a Twinned Bridge, and especially when the Detroit Mayor favours that solution as well.

It might make sense for him and one of the mandarins at Transport Canada to meet with the Bridge Co. and to work out a deal that makes sense to everyone before this project totally collapses.

I am sure that what I am saying is nothing new to the Governor, the MDOT Director or to the Mayor. It will certainly not be new to the Governor's challenger, Dick Devos, and his House and Senate friends who pulled the plug on DRIC.

When you read the following story, I wonder how the Governor and MDOT Director could even consider for a second justifying the waste of $3.5 billion that would have gone to fixing and building new Michigan roads.

Michigan's crumbling roads and lack of money pose challenges

EDITOR'S NOTE - Polls show the top issue on voters' minds this election year is recharging Michigan's economy. Nearly every other issue that will be talked about, from education to health care to taxes, ties in to that. This is the second in a monthly series by The Associated Press examining how to help Michigan compete in a global economy and how those issues are playing out in the governor's race. This story focuses on Michigan's transportation infrastructure.

By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN (Associated Press Writer)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan may be the nation's motor capital and home of the Motor City, but its transportation system gets a barely passing grade.

Potholes, congestion and lack of repairs to aging roads and bridges all make driving a source of frustration for those on the road. It also can be a drag on the economy. Congestion and bumpy roads can slow the movement of goods, make the state less attractive to tourists and cost the average driver hundreds of dollars in repairs.

Michigan's roads and bridges each get a "D" grade from Washington-based TRIP, a nonprofit organization that studies roads and is sponsored by insurance companies, equipment manufacturers, highway engineering and construction companies, labor unions and others.

Although politicians agree that roads need attention, they aren't always on the same page on what should be done.

According to TRIP's February 2006 report, 14 percent of Michigan's major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, compared to 13 percent nationally, while 24 percent are in mediocre condition, compared to 21 percent nationally.

Using 2004 data, the most recent it had available, TRIP said that only 47 percent of Michigan's major roads are in good condition.

State officials say that percentage has increased a lot since 2004 and that it's on target to reach the goal of having 90 percent of state roads in good condition by 2007 and 90 percent of bridges at that level by 2008. Ten years ago, only 64 percent of the roads were in good condition.

The state has focused under Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm on repairing and rebuilding existing roads far more than adding new roads or expanding existing ones.

The state's five-year transportation program anticipates spending more than $6.8 billion from 2006 through 2010 on repairs, maintenance and construction on state roads and bridges. That's expected to improve 345 miles of road and 360 bridges each year at an average cost of $1.4 billion.

This "Fix It First" strategy has been necessary to make up for years of neglect that needed to be corrected, Granholm says. She also pushed to sell bonds so the state would have money to move road projects scheduled for the next 10 years into this year and the next couple years, creating tens of thousands of jobs and speeding road improvements.

Republican legislative leaders and her GOP rival, Dick DeVos, argue more should be spent on new construction that can relieve congestion and make it easier for businesses to expand. In his turnaround plan, DeVos says the fix-it-first approach has wreaked havoc on the state economy.

He's considering high-speed toll lanes on certain routes to help businesses and workers get where they need to go faster, along with more new construction.

"Delay has a cost," DeVos said in a recent telephone interview. "I think the people of Michigan too often observe that roads become about political power, not about providing a service to the people of Michigan."

Granholm hasn't ruled out all road expansions. "But let's concentrate on areas where we've already got infrastructure and where we know we have to fix it," she recently told The Associated Press.

TRIP gave the state a "C" grade on congestion. Earlier this week, in a new report on Michigan's interstate highways, it predicted that 63 percent of Michigan's urban interstates and 31 percent of its rural ones would be congested by 2026 if more capacity isn't added, since interstate travel in the state is expected to increase by 40 percent over the next two decades. Now, about one-third of the state's urban interstates are considered congested.

Carmine Palombo, transportation director for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, said he favors rebuilding existing roads even though he agrees congestion is a problem.

"More miles of road are deteriorating than we are improving on an annual basis. ... We're still not breaking even yet," he said. "If we keep spending the kind of road money we're spending on rehabilitation, I think we'll catch up. But that means you'll have to put off a lot of these other things."

Since 2002, 437 miles of state and local roads have been resurfaced or rehabilitated, while 83 miles have been widened, Palombo said.

"Most states are in the same situation of not having enough revenue, having to choose between renovating their transportation systems or expanding them," he said. "There's not enough money to do both."

The state's size, climate, past economic woes and federal funding levels all have played a role in its transportation problems. There are more than 122,000 miles of roads in Michigan - 92 percent controlled by local governments - making Michigan's road system among the nation's largest.

The state has been hampered by a federal funding system that until now has given Michigan just 90.5 cents of every dollar in federal gasoline tax it sends to Washington, D.C. That will increase to 91.5 cents in 2007 and 92 cents in 2008 and 2009. But Michigan remains a donor state.

Because so many local governments lack the money to do major fix-ups, the state this year and next is borrowing $80 million to help them come up with the matching funds needed to get federal dollars for local road and bridge projects. The extra work is expected to boost road construction jobs and spur $400 million in projects.

Freezing and thawing tend to break up roads more quickly, and routine maintenance was put off for years under a federal funding program that paid for road construction, but not maintenance.

Gov. John Engler in 2001 and 2002 had the state take on $908.2 million in debt to help catch up with some of the transportation backlog, but the repayments now are cutting into road revenues.

According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, the percentage of transportation money that will go to repaying the bonds this year is nearly 8 percent, or $125 million. Because of the way the debt is structured, that will hit around 14 percent annually - nearly $200 million - in the 2009 through 2011 fiscal years.

That means nearly around $1.40 of every $10 of transportation money is scheduled to be siphoned off for debt repayment.

The debt includes some money borrowed under Granholm to complete road-building projects promised under Engler that otherwise wouldn't have been funded under the fix-it-first policy, as well as money for road projects moved up from future years.

The state also has a unique challenge because it's a border state. The privately owned Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, is the busiest vehicle border crossing in North America and the auto industry's main conduit between the United States and Canada.

A joint Canadian-U.S. commission has been studying where to locate another crossing, a question that already has caused some dispute. But even if everything goes smoothly, a new bridge isn't expected to open until 2013.

Other irritations also remain. AAA of Michigan got roughly 5,000 claims of pothole damage and 18,000 claims of windshields damaged by rocks and other road debris in the first half of this year, according to spokeswoman Nancy Cain. That's about the same number as last year, but the average claim to fix the damage has risen by $20, to $641.

Cain said motorists actually have gotten a break in recent years.

"We've had mild winters the last couple of winters," she said. "The roads haven't had that freeze-thaw cycle, which just really tears up the pavement."

Star Electoral Power

Ronald became President of the United States. Arnold became Governor of California. Jesse "The Body" was Governor of Minnesota. Will Percy Hatfield become Councillor in Windsor in Ward 5?

That's right, CBC TV's star City Hall Reporter, the man who causes local politicians to lose sleep when they receive an invitation to appear on "Percy's Panel" is going to run for Council in Ward 5 once he retires from CBC at the end of the month!

Clearly, Tom Wilson's retirement decision made it easier for Percy, and others, to consider running in that Ward. Joanne Gignac may have a tough fight to remain on top as the Councillor getting the most votes if Percy runs and may also have trouble being re-elected if Rick Limoges runs as well as is rumoured.

Percy has been around Council for a long time and probably understands the issues as well as any of the people on Council now. He knows everyone and they know him so getting workers and supporrters won't be a problem. He has the plus of name recognition that is the big advantage that every incumbent has. He is obviously comfortable in front of a microphone, a skill that Councillor Gignac has never learned and which makes her look bad every time she is interviewed. In a debate amongst contenders, she will not score many points against Percy!

It will be interesting to see how Percy likes being on the other side of the micropohone. Has he learned the political jargon of non-answering after all of these years or, as I suspect, is he is so tired of it that he will be a man who will not tolerate the BS and speak his mind. As someone who is "retired," he cannot be pressured. As one who has been at City Hall for years and now wants to be Councillor, you have to wonder why. My guess---he is so sick of what he has seen that he has to run to change it!

I know how he feels.

Now if John Fairley, the star of Face-to-Face runs, then Ward 4 will be even wider open than it is now.

An Educated Revenge Can Be Sweeter

This is an extended version of the commentary that I did yesterday morning on CBC Radio. It provides a lot more background detail.

Ooooops. Someone made a bad mistake. The City picked the wrong educational institution to partner with. While we should be proud that St. Clair College exists in our City and plays so important a role, if one looks at relationships from strictly a financial perpsective, they are the poor cousin compared with the University of Windsor.

Perhaps Eddie will learn that he should not have cast them aside so quickly. He will be taught a good lesson by the Professors very soon! There will be some pay-back as well, many millions of them.

I am sure that you have not yet been able to analyze fully the financial deal structured by the University set out in the newspaper recently so what I will say further on will make more sense to you. It was a brilliant move. If I am Eddie Francis or a member of Council, I am going to be hard-pressed in continuing to reject making the $5 million payment that the University thought ex-Mayor Hurst promised them (PLUS $3 million to St. Clair as well).

The issue arose over the $8 million that the two educational institutions thought they were to receive from the City. As the Star reported about 2 years ago:
  • "St. Clair College president John Strasser said a signed letter from Hurst saying he would recommend to council a $3-million contribution to the college was instrumental in securing $12 million in provincial Super Build funding for the college's Ford Centre of Excellence but has now placed St. Clair in a costly and embarrassing predicament.

    According to Strasser, the college had to borrow the $3 million that it was counting on getting from the city and is now paying six- per-cent interest of more than $180,000 annually on that debt.

    In a similar letter to the university, Hurst stated he would recommend the city contribute $5 million to support the institution's application for $10.7 million in Super Build funding.

    The university contributed $5 million, private industry and alumni donated $8 million and the County of Essex gave $1 million. The money was used to build the new health education centre, a drama school and a centre for automotive research at a total cost of almost $30 million.

    "It wasn't an outright promise, but it was a clear statement the city would be on board," University of Windsor president Ross Paul said. "We're $5 million short and it's the city's pledge."

According to the ex-Mayor, Hurst said

  • "that he carefully worded the letter in support of the projects and purposely made no promises to the institutions.

    "The message was a very clear one and all it said was the mayor was prepared to recommend to council."

    Hurst said the matter was never brought to city council for a decision because "other circumstances overtook" it.

    "I didn't have an occasion before I retired to bring the matter through to Windsor city council."

What was the reaction of Eddie and Council:

  • "Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis said he's been approached by Strasser and Paul about the written commitments made by Hurst but rejected their suggestion he should take the lead in approaching council about the $8 million.

    The mayor said the city still has a debt approaching $200 million, one of the highest debt ratios in Ontario, and is committed, as a condition of this year's budget, to paying down another $10 million in 2005 on top of regular debt payments.

    "Everybody's in a bind here," he said.

    The two presidents have been meeting privately with members of council, but their reluctance so far to make a formal presentation to council stems from the frosty receptions they've received. Said Paul: "Nobody wants to go to council just to get shot down."

    Paul said he will meet with Strasser next week to determine when to go to council."

Let me give Presidents Paul and Strasser some free advice. Now is the time to go to Council.

President Strasser has an agreement in principle with the City about the Cleary. It will take the lawyers several months to cross all the T'sand dot all the I's so that a final agreement can be prepared. Remarkably, that means that a signing ceremony could take place in the media spotlight very close to the date of the election. However, what would happen if St. Clair refuses to sign because of "irreconcilable differences." It happened before when St. Clair backed out of the "Income and Security Building" in City Hall Square at the last minute. If President Strasser decides to walks away again, then there goes the downtown strategy of Eddie and Council.

Ahhhh, but President Paul is in an even better position. He has a ton of free money to invest in Windsor. Eddie will be forced to grovel to get him to do it at a time when Eddie is desperate for a win to help get him re-elected!

As I understand it, the University hired a financial firm out of Toronto to look at their financial position. They suggested amongst other things restructuring of debt to take advantage of lower interest rates which will save the University millions. They looked at their working capital position and made suggestions to improve it. They put forward a brilliant financial structure that, in effect, repays the outstanding bonds when they come due by setting up a sinking fund which, when invested over time, will equate to the bonds outstanding at the due date and at the same time gives the University money for major capital projects.

Here are some juicy details:

  • The University borrowed $108.3 million at 5.75 percent maturing in 40 years.
  • The University immediately bought a bond for $14.742 million that matures in 40 years at $108.3 million and pays off the new debt, so there is absolutely no future obligation to the University and its students.
  • about $55 million was re-invested till Dec 2008 since the University did not need the money till then --- the University gets $61 million at this time
  • $29 million paid down existing debt
  • $3.125 million was provided to students for their activities to be determined ( a student win!)
  • $4.2 million immediately goes to renovations for residences and possibly a new residence(another student win)
  • about $2 million was held back to pay for initial expenditures related to the engineering building. ]

Critical is that this is a non-amortizing bond (thus the sinking fund). The University doesn't have monthly principal repayments and saved a lot of interest payments by paying off inefficient debt. Thus the new bond does not cost the University a penny more to carry than the existing $29 million in debt.

The University is also re-structuring its working capital which will free up about $30 million in additional capital for our building projects.

With all of the financial zigs and zags, the University will have a huge multi-million dollar pot to spend in the City! They will also start an aggressive fund-raising program which will also raise mega-millions for more work in the City. (The University will only have to raise somewhere between $25 and 30 million from the community instead of $120+ million.)

The University Capital spending will be over $120 million over the next five years. This is the one of the largest current capital expenditure program in Windsor and will provide hundreds of real construction jobs and completely reposition the University within Ontario. The centre pieces of this investment will be a new engineering building focused on Automotive and a new medical school to feed physicians to the City. Music will likely be part of this as well but has not been formally approved.

Ross Paul will have a legacy of which he can be proud when this comes about. [See my BLOG about Ross Paul's Vision which may now come true unlike the dreams of certain politicians! October 13, 2005 "Pipedream Or Usefully Provocative Idea"] It is also pretty clear that the University Board is no slouch at financial activitites.

In their positions, I am sure Ross Paul and John Strasser understand how power politics is played.

Ross and John need to understand that they need some "momentum" to get their fundraising drive going. After all, look at the good things they are going to do in the City that will cause these terrific positive spin-offs. Wouldn't you think that a $5 million and a $3 million gift to our educational institutions may be something that the Mayor and Council will consider in a new light if they are approached before the November 13 election!

An insider told me however that the price has been increased. As he/she said

If the Mayor and Council want their hand on the shovel at the groundbreaking of some of these projects," I was told, "all they have to do is come up with about $10 million and the University will gladly allow their photos to be taken for their re-election brochure." I wonder how much more St. Clair will want too. Perhaps a Capitol Theatre and former Salvation Army building thrown into the Cleary mix.

Those ivory tower academics, they sure know how to give our City leaders a good lesson in politics and high finance right before an election, don't they!

Monday, July 24, 2006


I found some interesting statistics about Municipal Freedom of Information requests.


Overall, municipal government institutions responded to 83.9 per cent of requests within the required 30-day time frame, an impressive increase from 2004’s 77.6 per cent, and the second consecutive year this number has risen after four years of decline.

In the accompanying charts, the individual response rates from the municipalities that completed the most requests (in each of three population categories) are cited. Also cited, are the police services and school boards that completed the most requests.

More Tunnel Leaks

No, not that kind!

When it rains it pours! That’s how the Mayor must feel with his grand ambitions regarding the Detroit Windsor Tunnel.

If it was not enough that the Tunnel has been called a “unique” security risk and that it is said that it does not meet US Customs requirements, the Tunnel takes another hit today.

For some reason, Today’s Trucking Magazine Online has become the media vehicle of choice for Leakors. In a story today, it was revealed that Michigan’s US Senators Stabenow and Levin, as well as Congresswoman Kilpatrick have asked the Department of Homeland Security to provide “a written response to several inquiries regarding the Tunnel's future role in handling commercial trucks.”

I wonder exactly when the Legislators’ letter was sent. Was it after the Journal of Commerce article came out in June that identified the problems at the Tunnel or when someone knew that it was coming out?

Obviously, someone may have a concern that the Tunnel may not have a future role to play with commercial trucking! While the volumes of trucks using the Tunnel is small compared with the number using the Bridge, they do provide significant revenues for the crossing that would be lost if it was made more difficult for trucks to use the crossing.

Another shot in the article at anyone who might want to be involved with Windsor in operating the Tunnel and, perhaps a warning, was the statement “the operators of the U.S. side -- Macquarie Bank of Australia -- do not collect U.S.-bound tolls. Because they are collected by the city of Windsor, it's possible the operators have no financial incentive to invest millions in plaza infrastructure and processing improvements on the U.S. side.”

Again, it seems that a lot of money will have to be spent to fix up the plaza on the other side but if there is no way to get that money back, then why do it? Plans have been proposed by the Tunnel but nothing has been done to carry them out. Again, does it mean that even if Homeland Security gives a positive response, commercial usage may die because of lack of proper facilities. Given the seemingly rocky relationship between Windsor and DCTC would a new operator have any better luck?

Who could the leakor be? Someone close to Macquarie Bank? Possibly, in order to put pressure to get a better deal with the Cities of Windsor and Detroit.

How about someone close to the City of Windsor? Possibly, since the Windsor Tunnel Plaza plans are coming out this week. If one cannot get proper plaza operations in Detroit, then get it done with reverse customs on the Canadian side, as Eddie expressed at Mackinac, and do it at the huge and expanded new Windsor Tunnel Plaza.

There are too many strange Tunnel stories coming out in the media all of a sudden. There is something happening behind the scenes. It will come out soon I am sure.

Eddie's Summit: D-I-Y BLOG Creation

So you think it is easy to write one of these BLOGS do you? Well let's see how good you are. I am NOT going to write a BLOG on Eddie's Mayors' Summit but will let you do it. If you wish, you can submit your effort for posting.

I know you are reading this Blog with your morning Timmie's or during your coffee break and that you do not have a lot of time to do research. I'll do all of that for you. Just take what I set out below and create something that you want thousands of people across North America (my BLOG circulation) to read and to keep their interest so they will come back another day! Here goes:

  • A Summit That Did Not Get Off The Ground
  • Eddie's Summit 'Peaks' Little Interest
  • Guess Who Really Came To Dinner
  • Baseball And Passports
  • Passports And Windsor Elections


  • this is the second attempt at a meeting
  • first proposed conference flopped because Eddie's staff forgot about a US holiday
  • hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of invitations sent out with follow-ups
  • Prime Minister Harper and President Bush dealt with this subject only a few weeks before
  • few mayors initially responded positively so how to get the numbers up
  • Detroit Consul-General uses taxpayer money to sponsor a baseball game


  • 76 people actually are listed as attendees on the City's website but those numbers are greatly inflated since they include people like speakers, staff members of Eddie, the Consulate and Dwight Duncan, minor government civil servants
  • 29 Mayors attended (being generous by including deputies and others who appear to be reps of mayors) or a tiny fraction of those mayors actually invited and a small percentage of the numbers the Windsor Star hyped
  • Cities from which Mayors came: Aylmer, Brantford, Buffalo, Chatham Kent, Chicago, Collingwood, Cornwall, Detroit, Essex, Fort Erie, Fort Frances, Guelph/Eramosa, Kingsville, Lakeshore, LaSalle, Leamington, Lewiston, London, Niagara Falls NY, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-lake, Pelee Island, Petrolia, Sault Ste. Marie, Stratford, Tecumseh, Tillsonburg, Toronto, Welland.


  • Numbers were grossly exaggerated to pretend the Summit was a success
  • Hardly a number of mayoral attendees or representatives that will make the PM or President quake in their boots when they see their Resolutions
  • Few "powerhouse" mayors attended
  • Another E-machine re-election gimmick
  • I wonder how much this cost and who is paying for it
  • Why was a representative of the Buffalo Fort Erie Bridge Authority invited to attend but not a member of the Ambassador Bridge
  • Can't the Windsor Star count? Wasn't their "local update" number over 100 attendees
  • Why didn't the media cover the baseball game and report who attended
  • Will I ever get an answer from the Consul-General in Detroit or will I have to do another FOI application
  • If publicity was the reason for the Summit, it was a failure. Doing a news story word search on "Eddie Francis" showed slightly over 100 media stories on this event, with few of the major US media picking up on the story (The press release said to assignment editors relating to Opening statements "This is open to news media for pictures and sound, no questions." The Agenda said "(10:25 – 10:30) BREAK (to allow media to clear the room) )
  • What cross border scheme has Eddie hatched for which the Summit was mere pretence
  • Given the reality of the Summit being a huge disappointment, how can the Star Editorial say "Border mayors up the ID ante"
  • At what point did Eddie become a foreign policy guru?- when he failed at domestic development? -when he realized there was nothing he had done in Windsor to merit reelection? -when he realized the Prime Minister & President had already addressed the issue and Eddie could protray relevance
  • You can call Eddie's office to deal with WHTI even though it is not city business and the President and PM are involved BUT when it involves helping Windsorites with family in Lebanon, Eddie says:"his office is not dealing with requests for help from residents with trapped family members, noting that the Lebanon crisis is not a city issue. Because of the coverage in the media, most people know to consult their members of Parliament." that I have done the work, get going and write a BLOG!