Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, November 03, 2006

Two Wrongs Make A Right

How can a parent teach a child about right and wrong when our Mayor makes absurd statements to support a failed process. Especially because he should know better given his educational background.

Probably the most absurd justification given for the process that the City of Windsor went through to approve the East end proposal was given by the Mayor:
"Francis noted that the association's complaint about sole sourcing would have applied to Windsor Raceway's proposal for the Ice Track arena, since that would not have been tendered either if council chose that project. "That would have been sole sourced as well."

Of course this is a bunch of BS. The process involving Project Ice Track was following the Purchasing By-law if the Mayor would only read the By-law. It was the East End arena proposal procedure that was faulty in my opinion. Remember also that the Mayor said that the By-Law could be "waived." Of course that was ridiculous as well since the By-law is "mandatory" under Provincial law.

The Teflon Mayor, and only he, can take the blame as CEO of the Corporation of the City of Windsor for the mess that the arena fiasco has become. And it will only get worse.

Can you imagine if the Mayor allowed himself to be questioned on his positions on the process by someone who read the By-law. He's on CKLW on Friday isn't he! Perhaps we will get our chance after all.

No readers will recall, I contacted Gord Henderson's "star performer" performer in Ward 5, Councillor Jo-anne Gignac, and asked her to "let me know forthwith which section is that because there is none in the By-law that I can find. Section 32, the Sole Source section, has no such provision." She claimed "a contractor can be chosen without asking for bids, if the city feels it's in its best interests."

The following is her long, detailed and thorough response that obviously must have been cleared by the Mayor's office and Administration:

Dr. Dave Meets McGuinty And Pupatello

What do you know, a Windsor politician not afraid to be seen with the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty. Imagine, not snubbing him, but actually being with him and even being photographed with him. What a novel idea for Windsor!

Who knows, if this keeps up, Councillor Valentinis may no longer have to wonder why no one listens to Windsor and we might actually get some Government grants for this City!

Of course, Sandra was there. I understand that Dr. Dave has known Sandra from the time that she was in Opposition as the Health Critic many years ago when he was Chief of Surgery at Windsor Regional Hospital. It's nice knowing people in high places too I bet.

Speaking of snubbing...not only does Eddie snub Senior Level politicians and hockey players but he also snubs his challengers. Apparently they all re-arranged their schedules to accommodate the Mayor so that they could have a group photo for the Star. Originally scheduled for 6PM, the photo shoot was changed to 8PM for Eddie's benefit. Guess who did not show up. The arrogance is unbelievable. I wonder if his Chief of Staff had the decency to offer an apology to them for the "Star" not showing up at the Star event .

I wonder what the Premier was pointing at in this photo with Dr. Dave and Sandra...perhaps you can send in a caption and let me know what you think!

For me, I think he is pointing at Eddie and saying "Ha, ha, ha, nice try to slam Sandra on the arena...If I lived in Windsor, I 'd be voting for my buddy, Dr.Dave.!"

UPDATE from a Blogreader

Our 1,000 $9-10.25 Per Hour Jobs

Wow, remember the Star headlines and the Henderson story with the unnamed "source" telling us about the great job that Eddie did to bring these high tech jobs to Windsor. All by himself too while he was doing everything else under the sun too to work harder for Windsor where our future starts sometime.

Here is the Press Release for the new jobs. Considering that, according to Gord Henderson and his source, Eddie Francis did so much, I was surprised that a statement from him was missing from the Press Release. Was he being paid back? Or was I right that he did nothing to get the jobs except to call Sandra in to salvage the situation for him! thanks given to Eddie either.

Clearly jobs are jobs but to replace the auto jobs lost, we need about 14,000 more call centre ones according to a calculation a reader gave me. The hype around the jobs was pathetic, just like Eddie's Super Bowl hype and what the money it would bring to Windsor. While the jobs are great news for relatively unskilled workers (just like any Super Bowl or World Series money is great too) why is it so necessary to try and fool citizens all the time! Tell us the truth; we can handle it

Another of my readers must be unhappy at work and must have stumbled across the ad for the workers (see below). How high tech can the jobs be at $9 per hour?

Ontario Government Attracts 1,000 High Value Jobs to Windsor
New Technical Support Centre To Help Diversify, Strengthen Windsor Economy

WINDSOR, ON, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - Economic Development and Trade Minister Sandra Pupatello was joined by Dwight Duncan, MPP for Windsor-St. Clair, Ashok Jain, Chief Operating Officer of Sutherland Global Services, and Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis to announce a new technical support centre in Windsor creating 1,000 high value jobs in this community.

"This is a huge win for Windsor," said Pupatello. "This investment is a real boost to this city's economy and a vote of confidence in its highly educated workforce. These are the kinds of investments that help put Windsor and the rest of Ontario on the radar screen to attract other innovative businesses."

Sutherland Global Services (SGS) will provide advanced technical support for personal computer users. The new Windsor operation, set to open December 15, 2006, will phase in hiring and training for technical support agents in diagnostics and troubleshooting. SGS will hire 75 agents starting mid-November and another 500 agents in March 2007. One thousand full time positions will be filled by March 2008.

Windsor is part of a growing trend as Ontario attracts more high-end technical support centers.

This is meeting a North American consumer demand for technical support services closer to home.

"We're grateful to Sutherland Global Services for choosing Ontario," Pupatello added. "We know it's because of the quality of Windsor's workforce, and the competitive advantage Ontario offers through lower corporate tax rates, health care, and telecommunications costs."

"This is great news for Windsor and this entire region," said Duncan. "This technical support centre is the result of our government's aggressive efforts to bring good jobs and more opportunity to workers and families in this community. We're helping diversify Windsor's local economy and promote our strong, skilled workforce."

Windsor is the third SGS operation in Ontario. The company operates two technical support centres in Sault Ste. Marie employing 1,300 people.

Citing the abundant skilled labour, the continued support of the Government of Ontario and the spirit of partnership demonstrated by the City of Windsor, Sutherland's Chief Operating Officer Ashok Jain said, "We thank the Province of Ontario for being supportive of our investment and look forward to working with them and the people of Windsor in supporting the region's economic growth."

Advertisement number: 2452052

Title: Help desk technical agent (tier I support) (NOC: 2282)

Terms of Employment: Permanent, Full Time, Shift, Overtime, Weekend, Day, Night, Evening
Salary: $9.00 to $10.25 Hourly for 40 hours per week
Anticipated Start Date: As soon as possible
Location: Windsor, Ontario (25 vacancies )
Skill Requirements:
Education: Completion of high school
Credentials (certificates, licences, memberships, courses, etc.): Not applicable, Not required
Experience: 0 - 6 months

Languages: Speak English, Read English, Write English
Specific Skills: Communicate electronically and in person with computer users experiencing difficulties to determine and document problems experienced
Work Setting: Help desk
Computer an Technology Knowledge: Windows, Hardware, Device drivers, Networking software, Networking hardware, Networking security , Intranet, Internet, Servers, Applications - desktop
Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities: Fast-paced environment, Work under pressure, Tight deadlines, Attention to detail, Sound discrimination, Sitting
Security and Safety: Bondable, Enhanced reliability security clearance, Criminal record check (abstract)
Transportation/Travel Information: Public transportation is available
Essential Skills: Reading text, Document use, Numeracy, Writing, Oral communication, Working with others, Problem solving, Critical thinking, Job task planning and organizing, Significant use of memory, Finding information, Computer use, Continuous learning

Employer: Sutherland Global Services

How to Apply:
Please apply for this job only in the manner specified by the employer. Failure to do so may result in your application not being properly considered for the position. By E-mail:

Web Site:
Advertised until: 2006/11/30

New technology company to add 1,000 jobs to Windsor

Sutherland Global Services, an international operator of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and a leader in Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) announced today that it will open a technology response centre at College Avenue and Huron Church Road in Windsor.

The new facility will initially employ over 100 technical customer service agents and will ramp up to over 1,000 employees over the next two years.

“We are very excited by the prospect of adding this new dimension to our knowledge based economy. We welcome Sutherland to our community,” said Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis. “Windsor has a great manufacturing base and knowledge based services such as those offered by Sutherland are exactly the kind of continuing economic diversification that we encourage.”

Mayor Francis, Ontario Economic Development and Trade Minister Sandra Pupatello, and the Honourable Dwight Duncan MPP-Windsor St. Clair, welcomed Sutherland to Windsor in a news conference today. The company offers technical support operations in business processes and information technology for a variety of clients.

(I guess Eddie needed one since the Provincial one ignored him. His release snubs them, again!)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

More Inside City Hall Stuff

The stories keep rolling in:

  1. Is Sandra desperate for Eddie's help as Gord Henderson suggested (hardly since she is the one responsible for bringing the "high-tech" jobs here) or is Eddie desperate for Sandra's help as her two photos on his website seem to demonstrate

  2. Why is Eddie Francis chickening out? When will Eddie ("Perry Mason") Francis debate Dr. Dave (Wonham) on Windsor election issues or is he afraid to be cross-examined on his less than stellar 3-year performance? Eddie can dish it out but cannot take it as the episode with Alan MacKinnon at the Windsor Council meeting in Tecumseh demonstrated. It's a lot tougher being an incumbent with a record to justify isn't it.

  3. Why won't Eddie tell us in his election brochure that our long term debt is projected to be by 2007--$217 million ($56 M higher than now) and by 2010--$191 million ($30M higher than now) and that does not include the $206 million employee future benefit obligation (as at 2004).

  4. How many times is "Schwartz" mentioned on Eddie's website (If you go there to count, let him know that this BLOG sent you there)

  5. Which mayoral candidate who has been Mayor for 3 years and is so supportive of the environment did not answer the questionnaire of the Citizens Environmental alliance. To read other candidate responses go to

  6. Yikes...should we trust anything that Administration estimates. The funky bus teminal costs increased by 35% and Administration seemed to fail to grasp that. Now Councillor Halberstadt warns us that the downtown streetscaping costs have tripled in only 3 years. My goodness, what will the arena really cost. We won't know though, confidentiality for business interests, solicitor-client privilege, and in camera secrecy will all be trotted out somehow to keep the real news from us until after the election, if ever. The typical Danish professor "mega-project" syndrome at work

  7. Who on Council is known affectionately as "Glass Jaw"

  8. Will Council ask their new Public Works head, Dev Tyagi, to do a report on why Sarnia built a twinned bridge and not one downriver as was proposed there (as well as in Windsor)? Probably not, since they will not like his answer even though I thought he was familiar with what was decided at the Blue Water bridge and why. I guess he just has to carry out Council's directives

  9. Oh my goodness, is Dennis DesRosiers right about how to make Windsor's auto future brighter (Area's research image growing.. Climbing ranks in national survey...Windsor's reputation for innovation is growing, a leading automotive expert said Tuesday, as indicated by a new survey ranking the city among the top in Canada for research)

  10. Which member of the Windsor-Essex Development Commission Board is married to an Ontario PC party insider

  11. Is that insider the one who courted Eddie before for Ernie Eves and is that person doing so again for the next election for John Tory or is Tory working directly with Eddie's Eminence Grise

  12. Which member of the Windsor-Essex Development Commission Board is married to someone with close connections to the Spitfires

  13. If Susan Whelan won't run in the next election, who is being talked about as being the Liberal nominee and with whom on the Board is he related to?

  14. Which Councillors are being rumoured to be thinking about running for the 3 main parties for Joe Comartin's seat if he retires. Will it be a mini-municipal election?

  15. Which member of the Windsor-Essex Development Commission Board is being considered for a political job and probably a senior cabinet position if he/she chooses to run

  16. How much is the "sizeable amount of money to be spent on legal fees" with David Estrin and who are the "enemies."

  17. Which member of the Windsor-Essex Development Commission Board has website which has been "Coming soon" (just like Eddie's until the other day) since it was created on Sep 24, 2004

  18. What companies which are rumoured to have an agreement at Canderel and an agreement at the East End arena have a person in common and who is he/she?

  19. Is the Windsor-Essex Development Commission Board Windsor's Senate?

As an aside, David Wonham told me that his daily hits (which were fairly constant per day) increased significantly after the brief mention I gave his website the other day. Yuppers, he owns it not the City. I wonder what will happen after this second mention.

Hmmm what this means to me is that my BLOGs are being read by a lot more people that I ever suspected. Obviously, the BLOGS are being forwarded by people to those on their own mailing lists who never come to my BLOGsite for a "hit" to register.

DRTP Green Solution: It's All About Our Money

It had to happen finally. Gord Henderson and I agree on something. We are on the same side on one big issue in town: the DRTP Tunnel just won't cut it.

I just can't help my feeling that DRTP are just a bunch af cry-babies and whiners. All that they have done for months is demand that others help them. Why don't they just do something already themselves. You know private enterprise initiative and all of that.

The Green Solution wanted to be the new border crossing. Then they wanted to link up their corridor to the Ambassador Bridge (Hmmmm I wonder whatever happened to that idea). Now they are back promoting themselves as a border crossing again.

They want to be part of the DRIC process again---why??? That process kicked them out and wants them out. Why just the other night at the DRIC CCG meeting, DRIC again said that they had no interest in looking at DRTP again since the project below ground also does not work. Why keep banging your head against a brick wall? When Minister Cansfield says that you are done, shouldn't you get the message?

The Ambassador Bridge, a private enterprise proponent, is in exactly the same position. The difference is that they have not gone into creating pretty artist' renditions, new websites and Powerpoint presentations but actually moved forward on their own to get their project built. They are going through the environmental process on both sides of the river. Being the only party that does not need a US Presidential permit probably helps as well. Even DRIC needs one and based on a US Department of State letter, they may never be able to get one either.

Why doesn't DRTP just do the same? They can thumb their nose at DRIC and go forward. DRIC have said countless times that private parties are free to work outside of the process to get their project approved. Didn't Mike Hurst hear that yet? The Bridge people did.

Hurst is spending the $$$ again as he did before on the massive billboard campaign. This time around it is one-on-one sessions with candidates for Council and Councillors, influential decision-makers in town and Government people. We see again the 3/4 page Star ads and the flyers being mailed to households. It is all very attractive if you do not know the facts and want something that superficially seems to meet the needs of the people. But didn't we have that years before with the old above-ground DRTP project?

The DRTP Green Solution is a joke. Read again my BLOG on Tuesday, May 23, 2006: "Understanding DRTP." DRTP's lawyer at the Rail By-law hearing did not concede that one inch of the corridor needed tunnelling. Where are the "sensitive lands?" Frankly, why should anything be tunnelled if one accepts what the DRTP lawyer says? Tunnelling becomes a huge waste of taxpayer money.

Money: that is the key. DRTP cannot afford the billions needed to tunnel especially when they know that diesel pollution within the decade will be a thing of the past with the changes to diesel truck technology and fuels. Governments know this since they wrote the laws. Minister Cansfield mentioned that in her speech to the Chamber. Heck, DRTP needed $150M of taxpayer money with their old project.

This Green Solution exercise is Mike's last attempt to try and get someone to buy the DRTP corridor. OMERS and CP have invested too much money into it and need to write it off or write it down. They dare not do so before the Financial Services Commission of Ontario completes its investigation into OMERS. It would help them greatly if someone took it off their hands right now.

The "Green" Solution---it is about the "green." The green colour of money!

PS. Councillor Dave Brister must be in big trouble in Ward One or thinks he is. Gord says "Brister... can't afford sprawling, full-colour ads to make his case" and so gives him a nice plug.

But Dave may be lucking out. One opponent of his who is running a very good campaign is Greg Baggio. He obviously supports "A Tunneled Border Solution" as he states on his website. However, did he make a fatal mistake? His mobile signs are located on DRTP property on Dougall. Did Mike give him permission to do so? Is Greg a DRTP-supporter? One can support a tunnel but NOT support DRTP. Will South Windsor take out on Greg his seeming DRTP relationship such that it will cost him votes?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Schnurr MFOI Application

Hot off the presses and as filed yesterday. Here is Chris Schnurr's application to try and break the web of secrecy around the various recent Windsor deals that taxpayers are not supposed to see.

If he becomes Councillor will he actually get the information? I doubt if he will ever see it as a mere citizen! Perhaps that is a reason in itself to vote for Chris since the incumbent Councillors throughout the City are doing nothing to give us this information and are following the Mayor's secrecy lead!

  • Coordinator Council and Customer Services, Room 203,
    350 City Hall Square West
    Windsor, ON N9A 6S1

    To Whom it May Concern:

    In accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information Act, I am formally requesting copies of the records as defined in the Act listed below:

    1. All agreements, including, but not limited to, any leases, rent inducement agreements, lease improvement agreements, concession, advertising and ticket agreements, arena naming agreements, management agreement between the City of Windsor, the Windsor Spitfires and their associated organizations, companies and partners relating to the East End arena;
    2. All parking agreements with respect to the Canderel building, including but not limited to the agreement with “The Keg”;
    3. All leases, subleases and other agreements between the City of Windsor and its lessees and sub-lessees respecting the Canderel building;

    Please forward the above requested information to the attention of Chris Schnurr,


Beneteau Interview: John Fairley's The Man

Another great inteview by John Fairley on Face-to-Face. This time of Marty Beneteau, the Editor of the Star. No wonder Councillor Brister was the only Councillor NOT to appear on John's show this year. He must have been afraid that John would rip him to shreds, in the nicest possible way of course!

As you know my issue with the Star is their failure to report on the fact that one of its Editors, John Coleman, is married to the Mayor of Windsor's Chief of Staff, Norma Coleman. We learned that not only is Beneteau aware of the possible conflict but so is the Star's publisher, and right from the start.

Beneteau tried to deflect the issue by saying that John is a man of the highest integrity. Who has doubted that? That's not the issue and it should not be personalized that way at all.

The issues are the Star's failure to report something that its subscribers should have known about a long time ago, not just a week before the election and its hypocrisy in running the story "Politicians' roles in media decried." The Star had the chance to talk about its situation as it discussed that of others but it chose not to do so.

The explanation given by Beneteau was very enlightening. You decide for yourself its significance:

  • he gave no reason why the relationship was never reported
  • he gave no explanation why Norma's appointment was made as it was
  • we learned that John Coleman is Gord Henderson's editor, that they work collaboratively together and that they hash out ideas together
  • we also learned that John Coleman does not take part in any discussions when it comes to the Mayor's office and recuses himself from the debate (but what about issues that impact the political position of the Mayor such as the border or the arena or Police Board or the coroner's inquest demand---is John involved?)
  • we learned that Beneteau's Publisher helps him in navigating this
  • we never did learn what John actually is allowed to do in his job and what he cannot do
  • compare what the Star did with that done by the other papers mentioned.

Interestingly, I received this morning an email from a candidate sent to his mailing list complaining about the Star's coverage. Is it sour grapes from a candidate complaining about an incumbent getting in the press for doing his job. Or a complaint that is legitimate about how the Star is helping an incumbent get re-elected. The never-ending debate. You decide:

  • "Dear friends,

    Do you want our local paper to fair, even and unbiased? If so please call or mail the Windsor Star. In the last 30 days one of my opponents has been mentioned in 14 different articles, and multiple times within the articles, the other 3 times and myself twice.

    The latest instance was by a columnist... "

Are the Election Campaign Gloves Finally Off

Perhaps the quiet campaign is going to get a bit more interesting over the next 2 weeks. Have we gone through the "Phony War" period and now the direct attacks will start? Or rather, to be less negative and more politically correct, candidates will point out the flaws in the record of the incumbents.

I am aware who David Wonham's campaign manager is based on some research I did. Roseann Danese did a description of him in her Star Blog. I expect that the David's campaign will be more "guerilla warfare" than the usual mayoral type campaigning, obviously because Wonham started so late. Depending on what the campaign manager can do (and campaign money is the key factor whether he can do much), Eddie should be very, very afraid over the 12 days. I wonder if this is why Eddie finally "came out!" on his Website. I expect that Eddie takes him and his challengers seriously because NO mayoral debate has been set up as far as I know (except perhaps one on CBC TV). He knows that his record of non-achievement makes him very vulnerable to attack.

The Ward with the most fun so far is Ward 4 with the charges made against Councillor Lewenza Jr. The first Star headline was "Marra accuses Lewenza Jr. of intimidating his supporters." Then the next was "CUPE's stance angers Lewenza: Union splits endorsement."

These actions by Ken seem to be a far cry from his earlier, more gentlemanly comment "Bill is a good person, David is a good person; unfortunately one of the three of us is going down," but more in keeping with his remark "when asked, Lewenza Jr. immediately shot into offensive mode, pointing out that Marra previously said he needed a few weeks to decide whether to run for mayor or council. That was about one month ago. "Just let him mire in indecisiveness," Lewenza Jr. snapped."

I wonder if Ken Jr. has to worry. Will Gord Henderson write a nice column a few days before the eelction about him just as he did when Ken Jr. made his infamous anti-Labour Council diatribe and slamming as well, his opponent, the potential Leader of the Opposition to Eddie?

Ward 2 is getting warmer with the growing battle between candidate Chris Schnurr and Councillor Caroline Postma. I saw the Cogeco speech that Chris gave and he talked about the clean-up that he and his group did around the Boundless Playground removing drug needles and other drug paraphernalia. That is a direct challenge to what helped get Caroline elected, Ward clean-ups.

In the Star the other day, we again saw their differences on Council secrecy. Postma claims that personnel and legal matters meant "To me, we've done nothing wrong because these are issues we've had to deal with."

The Star reported that "Chris Schnurr has made [Council secrecy] one of his main election issues. He said the city of Victoria was forced to release parts of an agreement with a contractor hired to build a new arena after the province's information and privacy officer got involved. "If you're hiding it from the public, how can the public make an informed decision about whether or not they should support this?"

As for the arena, Schnurr said "This is a perfect example on a variety of files the city is dragging its feet on... The arena issue has been going on for more than 20 years. But the Town of Tecumseh welcomed them with open arms." All Postma could say was "I'm disappointed and quite frankly a little shocked," she said. "To play off two municipalities is wrong. I don't like to use the term bad faith. But sitting at a table with me and answering my questions about a proposal that seemed like a good idea for Windsor - - while having started negotiations with another municipality two months earlier -- is outrageous. I feel right now almost like I have been stabbed in the back." It would seem that the Mayor did not share the 7/11 letter with her or she would have known the facts! If he did, then her protestations were phony.

Oh, as for Dan Petoran, his website went from "Coming soon" to "The page cannot be displayed" to finally going live! A candidate of action I see whose website is still not complete.

When Schnurr asks Postma why the seniors in Huron Lodge that she was so concerned about cannot have their $1,000 of Tylenol tablets since we have so much money available for a $70-75M or more arena that won't increase our taxes ("Read my lips. No Arena taxes"), then we will know there is a war going on in that Ward!

I have heard that Tony Blak is causing real problems for the two incumbents in Ward 3 by his attacks at public sessions on their "fiscal responsibility." I spent 3 hours talking with Tony recently. It's a shame that he is not better known since I think he could make a great Councillor! He might gain a lot of votes this time at the expense of the 2 incumbents but can he beat one of them is the question.

But where the real battle is starting is in Ward 1. That's always the toughest Ward with the most Councillor changes. Don't tell me that Tom Lynd didn't get a big boost-up in the Star "secrecy" story. Frankly, that was a direct hit at Councillor STOPDRTP who was so vocal about "betrayals" at Council in camera session on DRTP but who has been party to many hour of secret border discussions as an elected official. Here is what Tom said:
  • "I think that's deplorable," said Ward 1 candidate Tom Lynd. "To me, in my opinion, that's really high."

    Lynd should know. He was city clerk for 15 years and worked at city hall for 30. He was secretary of a committee in the late 1970s that developed one of the first Freedom of Information bylaws in the province, later used as a provincial model by the Bob Rae government.

    "We were the model then and we seem to be just the opposite now."

But if you want to see a war, a real war, then check out Al Teshuba's Blogsite and his BLOG Now I happen to think that Al, and others, are misguided on tunnel advocacy as I have written. They are playing to the masses without really thinking about the issue. They seem to think that Windsor deserves a tunnel because Eddie talks "quality of life" or Hurst runs nice "Powerpoint" presentations so he can get CP's and Borealis' money back. Al and the others just don't listen to the decision-makers.

But that's ok..let Al be passionate about the issue and try to achieve it. After all, he spent HIS money on the conference earlier this year on tunnelling. It is something no one else has done.

However his latest BLOG "Will Ward #1 Vote for Border/Infrastructure Invisibility & Indecisiveness?" drops the gloves. Using the border as his issue, and all the time he has spent on it, he goes after one candidate for his seeming lack of interest on the border and his alleged flipflopping. For Councillor STOPDRTP, he asks where he has been on the BIG issue that got him elected and won him the most votes last time of all of the Councillors. He talks about "invisible" candidates.

I'll give him credit for one great line and for making the Ward 1 race more interesting:

  • "Hiring a Toronto lawyer to mostly represent "the Corporation of the City of Windsor’s interest" on this file, instead of elected officials representing the "People of the City of Windsor", is not a very productive nor efficient approach."


The smears are on too. I received an email yesterday that is about the dirtiest piece of "campaign literature" I have ever seen trying to destroy one of the candidates in Ward 1! Who its author is, I do not know. The copy I was sent came from a G-Mail account which is anonymous! It talks about something that happened about 15 years ago. But then again, there was the unsubstantiated gossip that circulated door-to-door that helped destroy another candidate in Ward 1 last time.

I believe that it was sent to some of the media at least (and who knows how many others) and timed beautifully: the day before the Star Ward 1 candidate profiles were to be published!

Geeeeez, this is politics at the Municipal level for heaven's sake. Who is that desperate to do this? Is it just Ward 1 that is this dirty or I wonder if there is the equivalent in other Wards as well and I have just not seen or heard about it yet.

The Star/Francis Caption Contest Entries

Keep those entries coming! Here are some of the printable entries received so far. Check back periodically for Updates:

  • P. T. Barnum was wrong – together, we CAN fool all of the people, all of the time
  • psssst Marty - wanna hear a secret?
  • Eddie says: "This pane of glass we are carrying hopefully will prove to Ed Arditti that we DO indeed have transparency at City Hall."
  • Eddie: Marty...did you pay the bill back at 29 Park
    Marty: no way Eddie, you have all that MFP pay!
  • Eddie: missed our in-camera meeting!
    Marty: it's can tell me about it later.
  • Eddie: Hey Marty..should we build the new arena at the Trim Plant?
    Marty: Yeah...sounds good, Eddie.
  • Me & my shadow…
  • “I’m sorry, did you say DRTP conspiracy? Don’t mind if we do!”
  • “Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I thought so! You bring back DRTP in the press, I’ll divert their attention with the Ego arena.”
  • “These new imaginary trolley cars in Windsor are great! A prototype for the illusion of economic future growth and modeled after the fabricated hype about Super Bowl revenue!
  • Do you think ‘DRTP will preserve our community’ followed by ‘A highly subsidized arena equals economic prosperity’ will work? It will be years before anyone figures out that the emperor has no clothes!”
  • “Do you think anyone has choreography like this? When was the last time that our editorial opinion and your bureaucratic direction were out of sync? That's what I thought – And kick, and step and click your heals…”
  • “All in favor of me controlling the next border location, raise your hand – Unanimous again! Now lets get the Province & the Feds to pick up the tab!”
  • Ok, that's a cute pose, but I told you a thousand times already Eddie......... we just don't have a Sunshine Boy section!!.
  • Psssst Marty - Strange eh - but unwrapping this banner is just the opposite of us pulling the wool over people's eyes!!
  • Ok Eddie - on the count of three - lets stick up our middle fingers!!
  • OK - so first we wrap up the Star building, then we move it over that big hole over there and voila - more downtown development!!
  • Eddie: Wait till those West Enders find out nothing good is going to happen in their end of town
    Marty: Oh don't worry. They won't be coming after you. You will have left town by then
  • Eddie: Hey Marty...did you hear we're filling Bill Docherty's hole?
    Marty: Yeah but that'll take a lot of dirt
  • Eddie: Marty....we had an in-camera meeting last night
    Marty: Yeah...I know. [Fill in name of Council member] told me all about it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ward 2 Candidate Schnurr Files MFOIA Request

I am glad to see that someone else in Windsor is as mad as I about the secrecy at City Hall.

It seems that Chris Schnurr in Ward 2 has taken up City Hall secrecy as an issue in this campaign and is actually doing something about it.

Interestingly, the Star has made a big deal of it throughout the term of this Council. It is one of the few issues that they have taken Eddie to task for. Today's Star is interesting with the conflict between Henderson and the Editorial Board over the subject.

I received the following Press Release from Ward 2 Candidate Chris Schnurr that you might find interesting:
  • "For Immediate
    Release October 30, 2006

    Chris Schnurr, council candidate for ward two, will be filing a request for information, in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information Act today.

    "I am troubled by the mayor's comment that a 'municipality can be sued if information that is protected under the act is disclosed,' I am sure the mayor, as a lawyer, is aware that section 16 of the Act allows for information to be disclosed, if there is a 'compelling public interest.' Disclosure of the agreements that impact Windsorite's financially is clearly a "compelling" public interest."

    Schnurr is seeking information regarding leasing and subleasing contracts in the Canderel building, the contract between the Windsor Spitfires and the city, as well as parking agreements with respect to the Canderel building.

    "We, as taxpayers, need to have these documents released now. We cannot, nor do we need another MFP or Canderel disaster. I would expect that openness and transparency is essential for current councillors and the mayor as they claim."

Given my experience with City Hall, we all know that he will get a run-around, similar to what I am going through. But can you imagine what will happen if he, as well as several other mavericks, get elected. Wow, will Eddie have a miserable 4 years as Mayor, assuming he is re-elected first and that he stays that long and does not run for the Tories next year provincially!

Drew Dilkens: Is He The World's First Segway Politician

Here is a photo taken of Ward One Candidate Drew Dilkens riding the world’s first self-balancing personal transportation device, the Segway® Personal Transporter. I know, I know, I am no Spike Bell! No one can match his work!

Drew came to my house last night campaigning and I took the picture. Another world's first for Windsor.

If the device enables him to visit a lot more homes, as he claims, than last time and get some publicity, that plus his name recognition should mean that he will give Councillor Budget a "Segway" run for his money for the top position in the Ward.

If Drew's "Segway" campaigning, Al Teshuba's attack on Brister, Greg Baggio's volume of signs and Tom Lynd's reputation combined with the Community's disappointment with Brister on the border and his failure to rally his colleagues over Superior Park work together, Dave may not have a pleasant November 13 evening.

The Star/Francis Caption Contest

I saw this photo on the Internet website of Andrew Foot of Andrew has given me permission to post it!

So dear readers, put on your creative caps and tell me what the Mayor and Marty Beneteau, Editor of the Star, are saying to each other.

Is Eddie In Breach Of Contract

Did you remember that there is a contract in place between between Eddie Francis and the people of the City of Windsor. It was signed with a great flourish during the last campaign. Not only that, Eddie agreed that "I solemnly pledge to enact this plan." As a man of honour, if he has not carried out what he promised, should he be running for Mayor? If one wants to be technical, is he in breach of his contract with the citizens of Windsor?

I prepared a Mayor's Report Card too. In going through my archives over the weekend, I looked at Eddie's speeches in the past campaign and noticed that some interesting projects that were supposed to have been completed during Eddie's term of Council seemed to have disappeared from sight. They got lost in the shuffle somehow. Here is a list of just some of the key items:
  1. The border--what is our position today now that Schwartz is invisible other than threatening to sue someone
  2. Citistat and the millions of dollars it was to save us
  3. Fiscal responsibility with threats of a higher taxes next year or reduced services, huge increase in debt next year that has never been discussed properly, problems at Enwin and at the Tunnel that have been kept "in camera" (except for the huge increase in Councillor salaries to deal with them!)
  4. The Code of Conduct for elected officials after leaving office introduced in March, 2004. It was deferred to the next Council strategic session but has never been heard of since.
  5. The report of the consultants hired by the City last summer who were to compile citizens' comments at various meetings held re the border.
  6. The Border Issues Communications Committee. The committee consisted of Councillors Brister, Gignac, Jones, Postma and Valentinis [I wonder if they are waiting on #5 above too]
  7. The new family-oriented entertainment attractions downtown
  8. The influx of businesses to reduce the huge vacancy rate downtown in stores and offices
  9. Citistat and the millions of dollars it was to save us
  10. The in depth audits of all City departments to identify inefficiencies and implement sound management principles
  11. The People Based Budget other than in the first year
  12. Councillor Portfolios
  13. A collegial atmosphere amongst Councillors that required the Governor's hubby to intervene
  14. Citistat and the millions of dollars it was to save us
  15. The creation of Windsor's "New Image" ("Sin city" never dies it seems)
  16. Mayor's “Windsor Information Bulletin” for citizens
  17. The public/private partnership for a new arena, the only realistic strategy available that will ensure that this project will become a reality since teh example of other Ontario cities is that a multipurpose facility cannot be built by public nor the private sector interests acting alone
  18. Open and accountable government since in 2006 alone so far twenty-nine (29) in camera meeting have taken place in that time with 137 items being considered and many siginificant agreements with third parties are protected by "confidentiality." eg Spitfires deal, Canderel subleases, Keg parking, details of Estrin/Schwartz fees.
  19. Citistat and the millions of dollars it was to save us
  20. The Knowledge Industry task force
  21. Money that must be paid out in MFP and Canderel have become "savings"
  22. The review of all of the assets throughout the City’s various divisions to determine if there are surplus or underutilized assets and what actions we should take with them
  23. Saving natural resources like Ojibway with international trucks or Superior Park with an unwanted school.
  24. The Executive Environmental Team that was to be charged with implementing a seven-point plan for our environment
  25. The reclamation and relocation of the Zalev recycling plant as a “pilot project” to demonstrate the co-operation among the three levels of Government and private industry
  26. New style of Government in Windsor---ooooops that is a promise kept all right!
  27. Citistat and the millions of dollars it was to save us

Oh there is a lot more to review but I thought the list of failures was long enough. Now where is Judge Judy when you really need her!

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Infamous Agenda Item #14 (Now #13)

Remember the infamous Agenda Item #5 just over a year ago. I wrote about it in these terms:

"Who would have thought that a subject entitled ‘Essex-Windsor Regional Transportation Master Plan’ is really a motion that includes endorsing the already failed Schwartz short-term strategy on the border and giving out a blank cheque to spend taxpayer money!" Sixteen delegations overnight lined up to speak about it and oppose it. The Mayor and Council cut and ran when they saw the opposition and it has never been brought back!

Perhaps this Monday night we have another one of them. Shall we call it, say, the Infamous Agenda Item #14. It is described as Item 14 "Asset Review Analysis, Development of Surplus Real Estate Disposal Strategy."

One of the authors is Mike Stamp, the fellow in charge of the Superior Park. A funny section in his Report seems to me to be the basis of the OMB taking a look again at the Superior Park deal. Take a look at Part 2 where it talks about Superior Park. Stamp refers to Resolution M114-2005 in the Report which says:

  • "That the initiative to sell the City owned parks BE DISCONTINUED and further that issues and decisions relating to the disposal of parks and any community meetings held for the purpose of discussing same BE INITIATED by the Ward Councillors."

He goes on to say that the Official Plan allows for the sale BUT that taxpayers have historically expressed dissatisfaction of the sale of parkland.


I'll let the Superior Park residents decide if they are going to move forward to an OMB appeal on the basis of improper procedure and that the Park needs rezoning if a school is to be built there.

I must admit that I am not sure what this Agenda item is to accomplish. I think it is designed to let Administration sell what they want on the List since it is a "Development of Surplus Real Estate Disposal Strategy" provided the "process" is followed but frankly, I am not certain.

Interestingly, the date of the Report is August 22, the "drop-dead" date of the Superior Park deal but it is brought forward 2 weeks before the municipal election for passing by the Council that is effectively finished. Why can it not be held for the new Council to make the decision. I am just getting too suspicious I guess of everything that is being done.

PS. Since this Report is prepared by the "Planning Department" that knows everything about the City and the future, don't you think that the Mayor's cry for a second bridge now is positively demonstrated to be a phony! Read on Page 4:

RETAIN BORDER INITIATIVES: "Realization of monies from this source could be years or decades away."

The land discussed is 368 properties of which a great many parts are at Brighton Beach.

It's all a huge joke and we are being sold a bill of goods on the border by our municipal leaders!


Item #14 has been re-numbered to Item #13 (housekeeping issue....the original #13 was pulled and dealt with Oct 23 06 due to time sensitivities). I wonder if it will be bad luck for some on Council like the November 13 election

The Windsor Star Should Be Ashamed (Part II)

I wrote last time about how the Windsor Star has not reported that one of its Editors, John Coleman, is married to the Mayor of Windsor's Chief of Staff, Norma Coleman.

The only mention that I could find about her appointment was in this story:

  • Boyd sues city for firing;
    Brian Cross Windsor Star 07-14-2004

    Jane Boyd, the chief aide to former mayors Mike Hurst and John Millson, says she was wrongfully dismissed by the city after Mayor Eddie Francis was elected last November.

    [14 paragraphs later and right in the last paragraph of the story we read:]

    "After Jane Boyd's departure, it took until May for Mayor Eddie Francis to fill her position with Norma Coleman. Coleman had originally been hired away from the Town of Tecumseh in February to be policy adviser to Francis, replacing Matt Marchand, who went with Hurst to the Detroit River Tunnel Partnership. The policy adviser job has since been filled by Jeffrey Kroecker. Paul Carter was hired as assistant to the mayor and two of Hurst's former assistants, Alena Sleziak and Ingrid Christ, were kept on, said Francis."

It was a story about a Jane Boyd lawsuit. How Norma's appointment fit into that article is a big stretch as far as I am concerned. Note that the story was published in July but Norma was hired for the post in May, 2 months before. Why was both the publicity machine at City Hall and the Star so secretive about the appointment?

The Star has had to make tough decisions about "relationships" before in the Mayor's office. Check out the story below that explains how the decision was made to publicize "Mayor David Burr's relationship with his secretary...[after] The Star learned that the mayor had separated from his wife."

The Star decided that it would print a story dealing with the secretary, the Mayor's alleged girlfriend, "with no apparent credentials" going overseas at taxpayers' expense on a trade mission. The key for the decision was "the relationship was now entering the spectrum of public interest."

While the "relationship" story in this case is not the same, nevertheless "relationships" are involved. How can it be argued that there is no public interest in a matter involving the Chief of Staff of the Mayor and a key Editor of the Star, a paper that reaches "82 per cent of Windsor and Essex County homes at least once a week" and "reaches 60 per cent of Windsor and Essex County every day." It is beyond a doubt the major media player in the County that provides a good deal of the information upon which people form opinions and make decisions.

The reporter involved in the first story, which was published, was Marty Beneteau. Ironically, the person ultimately responsible for the decision not to publicize the second story at the Star is the Editor, Marty Beneteau.

Beneteau claims that "The Star's job is to inform, entertain and, at times, run stories that while jarring, help bring about change." In my opinion, in this case, the Star failed in that mission.

In my opinion, the Star owes us an apology!

  • "Kiss and tell---Publishing details of a mayor's personal life

    The Windsor Star's decision: When is the mayor's relationship with his secretary a legitimate part of a story?
    By Marty Beneteau
    Richard Brennan
    Reporters, The Windsor Star

    Windsor (Ontario) Mayor David Burr's relationship with his secretary had been the source of persistent rumors around the city. Fuel was added to the fire when The Star learned that the mayor had separated from his wife, which was reported in a short story in the newspaper.

    After a secret meeting of the city council, Burr announced he was going on a trade mission to Japan, Hong Kong and China, and that his secretary Kim Wilson was part of the delegation. That's when Star city hall reporter Marty Beneteau started questioning why a secretary with no apparent credentials for this kind of goodwill trip was tagging along at taxpayers' expense.

    Wilson was appointed to the delegation in her capacity as twin cities coordinator, a job that involves promoting cultural and economic ties between Windsor and similar-sized communities abroad. Burr had given her the post shortly after his election in 1985, taking it out of the city administrator's office.

    Following the closed council meeting in which Burr unveiled his plans, two councillors approached Beneteau in a hallway, visibly upset, suggesting the reporter find out more about the trade mission.

    Beneteau approached Burr before he lowered the gavel on the council's weekly public meeting, and the mayor detailed his itinerary, who was going along and why. The issue of his relationship with Wilson was not raised.

    Beneteau returned to the newsroom, and troubled about this missing element in the story, consulted with a fellow city hall reporter. They agreed that the relationship was now entering the spectrum of public interest, and that Burr should have a chance to answer the rumors.

    Beneteau contacted the mayor by telephone at his home, explained the situation and asked: "Is Kim Wilson your girlfriend?"

    Burr, who was upset about the line of questioning, acknowledged that he had heard the rumor since his separation and flatly denied it. The conversation ended abruptly.

    Although all his instincts as a 10-year reporter told him the alleged relationship was pertinent to the Far East mission, Beneteau realized that this was not an element to the story that could be tossed in without some serious consideration. The personal lives of two public people were about to be exposed. The credibility of the reporter and his newspaper would be called into question.

    Night assistant metro editor Doug Firby immediately agreed the issue was of legitimate public interest. But since the newspaper was dealing mainly with rumor and innuendo, Firby was concerned about being fair and at the same time thorough.

    Facing both a legal and ethical dilemma, the reporter and editor talked about the fine line between conveying what they knew to be true and what had in fact been substantiated. That the mayor acknowledged the rumor and its circulation around city hall effectively provided the basis upon which the information was used.

    Another factor was the obvious tension it had created among city councillors, pushed to the limit by Wilson being named to the trade mission.

    Beneteau and Firby discussed exactly how and where the relationship should be played, agreeing that it should not be the lead but simply a detail addressed in the body of the story. The matter was dealt with in two sentences, toward the bottom of a 21-paragraph story that constituted a straight news account of the trade mission.

    On the day the story appeared Beneteau met again with the mayor in his office to pursue information on the trade mission that was to cost $20,000. Burr's relationship with Wilson surfaced again in the conversation. Beneteau explained at length that the rumored relationship with Wilson had been of no consequence until she received city tax dollars to go abroad.

    Burr accused Beneteau of taking a "cheap shot" by using the mayor's acknowledgment and denial of a rumor as the basis for that element of the story.

    The Star made no further mention of the alleged relationship until it was raised by other media at a news conference. The mayor himself raised it in an address to the city council in which he condemned The Star and attacked Beneteau personally. And yet again on a radio talk show the following morning.

    Wilson filed a complaint with the Windsor Media Council, a local media watchdog, against the newspaper and Beneteau. In it, she denied the relationship and charged that she had been wronged by the newspaper.

    The complaint was withdrawn by Wilson when confronted with overwhelming evidence, including sworn statements by witnesses, that she had, in fact, been engaged in a relationship with Burr.

    Despite the mayor's continued denials that there was anything between them, on Oct. 29, 1988, after announcing he would not run for re-election, Burr and Wilson tied the knot.

    On a radio program just prior to his departure from city hall Burr attempted to explain his sudden attraction to Wilson by saying The Star's persecution, like Romeo and Juliet, had brought them together.

    Star reporter Rob Ferguson monitored the program, and his curiosity was piqued when Burr suggested the newspaper hired private detectives to shadow Wilson and him. Ferguson contacted the mayor and he immediately backtracked on the allegation, calling it an "off-the-cuff remark."

    Ferguson wrote a brief story, but it never saw print. Management decided that enough had been said, let the mayor ride off into the sunset with his final slap at The Star. The scandal is dead and buried, and Burr was last seen looking for a job."

Letters To The BLOGmeister

I now have to have a Letters to the Blogmeister additon to the BLOGsite it appears. (Do you like my Superior Park mailbox?). I received some thoughtful responses to my Blogs on the arena that I thought I would post.

In addition I received several letters about the Riverside widening for bicycles that is being portrayed as an US against THEM campaign that I find interesting. It will get hot and heavy when it comes to Council later in the year. (Plus an exchange about an absurd idea about bikes on the new bridge)

What you will find in common is a populace becoming more and more disenchanted with our Leadership of this City. Whether that will be reflected in the municipal election results with incumbents being turfed remains to be seen.

  • You hit the proverbial nail on the head Ed. Coming soon takes on a new meaning with this council and mayor. What I still can't swallow is the fact that the Glengarry projects will need upwards of $20 million in renovations in the coming years so why wouldn't the city have built the arena on that site and instead chose to place it a 5 minute drive away from the Ice Track?

    The city could have moved the low income families and place them throughout the city (studies have shown that placing low income families in areas that are not depressed helps to get them out of the cycle of poverty)instead of "ghetto-izing" them, demolish the projects and build the arena there. It would have been close enough to downtown to attract people to the area. Close enough to the casino. Close enough to give a depressed area new life. The best incentive of all would have given low income families hope instead of keeping them in a crime and drug infested area with no hope for the future as it stands.

    With this scenario complete, the city would have saved the $20 million plus it is going to have to use to fix the current problem of the Glengarry area. The city would then be able to work on the "urban village" on the west side to attract the people that are needed to make a vibrant downtown.

    But then again...should have, could have, would have is about as good as "coming soon". Just pie-in-the-sky wishing from a taxpayer in a declining city (shades of Detroit anyone??).

    Thanks for your time and I do enjoy your blog.

  • Well I guess there are 3 of us who are skeptical of this great arena deal , yourself , David Cassivi and myself. I was not going to vote for Cassivi but because he stepped up for his Ward against the rest of his Council and his honour The Great Eddie Francis Mr. Cassivi will get my vote. They say this Arena won't cost the taxpayer nothing but watch when they have to acquire the necessary property and cost over-runs that most certainly will come to reality before the Arena is completed, I am worried that the word free will be tossed out the window.In my opinion the City Council had the proverbial gun pointed at their heads to get an Arena Project started because of Tecumseh's 'get er done' attitude and their progressive way of conducting their business.It's funny how our Council has filed and noted, referred and deferred some much better proposals but when Tecumseh jumps into the mix all of a sudden we have a supposedly blockbuster deal that makes Francis and his cohorts look like wise financial wizzards. In closing Ed I strongly agree with your position on an investigation of this whole stinking mess.

    Sorry about the long ranting but this has me very ticked off.

  • Can we have a contest of where the arena is really going. I bet you I will win when I say at the Grace Hospital Site and that Borealis is going to build it.

  • Recommendation B, section V:

    “That administration be directed to negotiate an agreement with PCR Contractors Inc. for the construction of the east end recreation complex for an amount not to exceed $47, 920,000.00 in form satisfactory to the City Solicitor…”

    PCR proposal reads on page 4:

    “Total lump sum price for the above listed: $47,920,000.00 + GST”

    Total cost including GST is $50,800,000.00. This exceeds the $47,920,000 million. Administration is not authorized to negotiate this deal since the GST increases the price beyond what they are authorized to negotiate.

    This quote is valid until October 31, 2006.

    Therefore, since Administration asked for 30 days to prepare a report “preferably within 30 days”, the report should be made available to council by November 4, which exceeds the fixed price guarantee date, after which, there would be no price guarantee according the PCR proposal.

  • As a long time off and on reader of your blog, I have enjoyed your recent entries. Much like you, I too am feeling the frustration of a dying economy and a city council & mayor with no vision or leadership. I'm really wondering how much of a future there is in these parts...Keep up the good work.

  • [email 1] ..did the University ever get that stadium payment situation resolved with the City of Windsor...........the one going back to Mike Hurst? if not, how is it that there is $$$ for a new arena complex? Isn't the University Stadium in Councillor Postma's riding? [email 2] so we're building an arena complex, Eddie was a wizard and save ka-billions from MFP but they cannot pay money ...promised to an institution that is key to the city.............hmmm. great. (sarcasm intended)

  • It frightens me at the thought of the amount of property taxes we will be paying the City of Windsor within the next 3 years.

    How can we afford all the spending? Everyone seems to have their own personal agenda and no one in this city seems to be able to get it together. We are losing jobs, taxes are rising and the city is spending more than they have, like an arena that 10%(?) of the city wants. I spoke to city tax and revenue spokesperson who told me that a study reported the need for another arena (we already have 7 plus 10 community centres) to help bring the community together. Are you kidding me? I asked for a copy of the study so I could see for myself, only to realize after asking her 3 times, she was unable to answer the question as to where this report is or where I, a tax payer, could get a copy. Do you know of such a report? Do you really think we need or can afford such a luxury at this time when the economic future is at risk? What the hell is wrong with this city?

  • Dear neighbours-

    You have very little time left to protect your property investment.

    You would be well advised to read the following and

    Contact the Mayor and Council person you are thinking of voting for and ask them if they are ‘for’ or against widening riverside drive. Your most expensive investment. If they are ‘for’ widening do not vote for them.

    In addition, spend the time today to email and/ or call your current Council person and advise them you do not want your street widened.

    We have gone to all the meetings held by the city to change Riverside Drive.

    The consultant has made the following recommendations, so we are told!

    Widen Riverside Drive to accommodate ‘bicycle’ paths!
    (s h u d d e r !!!!)

    What will it take to do this….at a minimum
    *sewers will have to be dug up.
    *telephone poles will have to be moved back onto your property.
    *fire hydrants will have to be moved back onto your property.
    *your costly landscaping will be chopped off
    *the road will be right alongside your house or garage.
    *your driveway will be dug up
    *your ornaments and fences may have to go.
    *will some of your property have to be expropriated??
    *will your ‘curb’ appeal be affected?

    Satisfy yourself about what i am saying go on line and look at the plans for your property

    Riverside drive vista improvement project
    On the maps the ..
    Black dash is what you own, your existing property.
    A blue line is existing edge of pavement.
    A solid red line is new edge of pavement

    Tell me, how many bicyclists do you see during the ‘good weather’ enjoying your investment? Maybe as many as 5/day???. However, once they do this at a minimum cost to you of $16 million dollars, your investment has every possibility of being devalued. And, do you see any happy cyclists enjoying the scenery you provided during the bad winter months? No you don’t. But you will see cars with much closer access to your property on those icy winter nights. Isn’t your property insurance already high enough?

    Even if it were true, that the road was going to be widened for bicycle paths, do you want more bicycles going down this road to impede access to your property??? To create more driver frustration??

    What is wrong with the trails that were developed for them, what is wrong with the sidewalks? Bicycles can stop much more easily for the few individuals on the sidewalks than the cars and busses can.

    Are you going to let a handful of cyclists, that didn’t pay for your properties, and some elected non invested, current public officials determine your outcome?

    I urge you to make your rejection known, of the plan to widen Riverside Drive, on the pretension of using it to ‘calm’ traffic, at your continual expense...

    Several years ago the city wanted to widen riverside drive to a 4lane thoroughfare. It did not pass. But, you can be sure that it isn’t a dead issue.

    If the city were truly intent upon ‘calming’ traffic on this road they would implement the residents recommendations to put in stop signs and or stoplights. Everyone knows it is faster to use the drive because there are fewer stops. There won’t be any bikes to impede traffic during the midnight hours, even in the good weather.

    If the city was truly intent on making this roadway a river heritage parkway as the signs imply, there would be no changes to this roadway whatsoever. All heritage properties are left in their original state. Merely maintained as is. All we ever truly need is some decent paving, curbs where required and the elimination of drop down sewers.

  • Speaking of wasting money that could be better spent on other city projects...Council has received the Riverside Drive Vista Improvement Report and presumably will be mulling it over for the next 30 days. Councillor Zuk has publicly framed the discussion as one between those who want bike lanes and those who don't.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Yes, there is a group of concerned Riverside residents who have met to discuss the report, but their questions are wide ranging and include the $16 million cost of these recommendations. That cost represents the tip of the iceberg. It is only the price of Phase One surface improvements and does not include things like moving or burying hydro poles which are to come in the next phase.

    Many Riverside residents are wondering why we can't just have our road and driveway approaches fixed instead of being subjected to a road widening so that bike lanes can be added to the road to serve the interests of a very small, and in many ways elite, group of cyclists who have their own Comittee of Council at city hall. The most irksome thing about this proposal is that there is no demand for these lanes...seeing a cyclist on Riverside Drive is a rare thing. Walkers easily outnumber cyclists ten to one, and yet council doesn't seem to waste any time worrying about the poor air quality caused by the passage of 25,000 cars a day that all walkers and joggers are subjected to on Riverside Drive.

    The Cycling Committee has argued that if we build lanes, cyclists will come ( the same rational that was used to justify the Canderel Building). Experience proves otherwise. There are bike lanes through to Drouillard Road and you are more likely to see cyclists riding on the sidewalk than in the bike lanes.

    Councillor Zuk and others still regard bike lanes as the Holy Grail of cycling, apparently not realizing that since the BUMP study was done ten years ago, different options have been proven to work better at encouraging cycling in cities. Ending subsidized parking for city hall employees and Councillors would do more to encourage cyclists than incurring the expense of bike lanes on city streets. I'm willing to bet that Windsorites would rather see this money spent on an arena or some other more pressing need.

  • It is so disconcerting to see a discretionary item being pushed onto us. Most of the Residents along the Drive are vehemently opposed to this nonsense. Basically all it does, if it isn’t a hidden agenda to make 4 lanes out of this road, is to pander to a handful of pseudo Lance Armstrong who will have gotten themselves a straight racing strip from one end of Windsor to the other with no impediments.

    Boggles my mind how the residents here can be dismissed so casually. My goodness, think of in any other neighbourhood the residents ‘rights’ (if you will) are upheld such as when homes are near somewhere like a hospital or Arena or other such, the City will even put a sign up in the neighbourhood forbidding anyone but the residents to park on the street. Not us. We can be disregarded.


And the final note, an exchange of emails re bicycles on the new Bridge:

  • "The bike advisory committee passed a resolution last night recommending dedicated bike lanes on a new bridge....David Wake has told me that DRIC will consider it."
  • "I don’t think this goes far enough – I think multiple bike lanes will be required to accommodate NEXUS cleared bikes, non-NEXUS cleared bikes, FAST bike (i.e., bicycle messengers & couriers carrying documents for delivery), bike that stopped at the duty free store, etc. In addition, there will need to be highly specialized primary & secondary customs inspection facilities for the bikes and their potential for immigration infiltration via illegal biking operatives…" [There was more but you get the drift]