Details Of The New And Improved Schwartz DREAM
We are now being pre-sold the "new and improved" Schwartz dream to help out both the Liberals for the fall election and our Mayor. The big shooters have already seen the actual proposal while we peons get the crumbs in the Star to mislead us so we will respond properly when the real story comes out.
We will cheer loudly and give another standing ovation to Sam, Eddie, Dalton, Sandra and Dwight who protected us from those evil Conservative Harperites (while at the same time these same politicians are begging Stephen for money!)
Windsor is nothing more than a chip in the on-going bargaining game between Ontario and the Feds to get more money for Ontario in face of Federal Government spending in other parts of the country for infrastrucuture eg the Pacific Gateway.
- "Local MPPs Dwight Duncan (L -- Windsor-Tecumseh) and Sandra Pupatello (L -- Windsor West) said Friday it was unfair to characterize the province and city as being at odds over a truck tunnel solution for Windsor.
DRIC will only provide recommendations and final decisions on the access route and tunnelling will be made by the provincial government and its cabinet, they said."
You see it is the Feds at odds with Eddie and the Province.
Here's a question for you. Is Eddie's disclosure in the Star proper? Is he giving away the City's confidential bargaining postion the way everyone claimed Councillor Halberstadt did? I think he has. He made this comment which is completely anti-tunnel:
- "The city is taking extra steps to make qualified submissions to DRIC for their consideration"
And there is the Eddie legal bluff again that we have heard so many times before. He does not have the stomach to litigate:
- "But if a solution comes out that is not acceptable to this community, this city will be well prepared to challenge the DRIC and make sure whatever solution is implemented is in the best interests of our community."
I feel like gagging. The DRIC results are delayed NOT because of conversations over Schwartz's new plan-----"the city and provincial officials on the Detroit River International Crossing team remain at loggerheads." Eddie and the Province are working together for heaven's sake. Sandra was supposed to speak I hear at the ROTCC session. That would not happen unless Eddie scheduled her to be there.
It is delayed because the Provincial Liberals are afraid that whatever decision comes out now will cost their candidates, Ministers Pupatello and Duncan votes in the October election. So they need a delay. The Liberals want to ensure that the two Ministers are nominated first since the last thing they want are trouble-makers at their nomination meetings.
I hear the next DRIC meeting is scheduled for later this summer although MDOT is furious at the delay (A number of Michigan Legislators want to kill DRIC completely and the delay hurts MDOT!). I would expect the date to be around July 25, the date set out for the next U.S. Local Advisory Council meeting as posted on their website. Canada and the US are supposed to act at the same time remember.
Clearly Sandra and Dwight want an Eddie-Province lovefest right before the election so that is another reason for the delay. Schwartz's solution is done already since Dwight has already seen it.
WHY CAN'T THE TAXPAYERS OF WINDSOR SEE IT TOO SINCE WE ARE PAYING FOR IT
Clearly we cannot be trusted with important news. Stakeholders have to jump on the bandwagon first as Eddie did the last time around with Schwartz to applaud Eddie's brilliance again. It "Eddie branding" after all. However, last time around, similar endorsements for Schwartz impressed no one.
As a reader wrote to me:
- "the Schwartz Report II is finished. Ergo the in-camera approval for Sam to be retained and then he comes back - the very next day no less - with an armful of displays and drawings. If this follows previous pattern then he is doing multiple presentations to "stakeholders" for Eddie to consolidate what support he can and to customize the presentation to diffuse criticisms as much as possible."
My local political operatives have been earning their keep this week. Here is what I hear is in the new Schwartz Plan:
- Remember this line in Eddie's State of the City speech----“we host the busiest commercial land bridge in the world.” Well if we have a commercial one, the Ambassador Bridge," then we need to have "public" land bridges.
- That is the new coined name for a number of quasi cut and cover tunnels that Schwartz's brilliance came up with. It's probably no different than one of DRIC's options but it will be given a new name to make it seem fantastic. After all, who helped coin "gridlock?"
- Wikipedia states that a "land bridge" is "a land connection between what at other times are separate land masses which allows animals and plants to cross and colonise new lands." Seems appropriate for what Sam will have to say
- Eddie's ego requires that he has to beat the Ambassador Bridge's partnership with the Green Corridor. Sam talked before about creating a Champs Elysee on Huron Church so expect the area to be magnificently landscaped.....It will become a "destination" in itself we will be told as the concepts developed by the Green Corridor are used. I wonder if they will be given any credit
- The cost will be huge---megabillions---but we cannot have anything cheap here after all. That's how Henderson and the Star will be able to buy into it and turn their back on a tunnel.
- A huge issue given the length of some of these land bridges is whether certain trucks will even be able to use the roadway or are there safety issues involved that may have been overlooked. Weren't there problems raised by our fire and emergency services previously?
- It is significant that Dwight Duncan "said he has seen the options Schwartz offered to DRIC. "I thought they were fascinating," he said. "They show his insight and talent. I look forward to speaking with him and hearing more of what the city has to say." Hardly a ringing endorsement
- Where was Sandra? Didn't she see the plans too? She is viewed as the target and "weak link" here. No wonder the Star attacked her over the arena. Make her think she will lose so she will beg for money from Dalton for Windsor. Why else is Councillor Ron Jones' name being spread around as a possible candidate for the NDP in her riding. Terrorize her since the PC candidate will be a no-name so it would be a two-way race. Get Eddie what he wants and he will use his influence to call off the NDP nominating Jones by leaning on his NDP friends.
- In fact, there is only so much BS that McGuinty and the rest of his colleagues will tolerate from Eddie. Sandra and Dwight's seats are not really at risk even with Jones running since he cannot win Ward 1 so they will be told so back off, get some guts and deal with your Mayor like a big boy and girl. We have to win seats in the Toronto area after all will be the message.
- Expect to have Sandra threatened by the famous Star columnist as a shot to help get Eddie what he wants AFTER he tries to force them to get his Engineering Complex paid for by the Province downtown. Here is the story that Gord will use. You know, if there is money for the Golden Horseshoe, there is money for Windsor, Sandra and Dwight better deliver blah blah blah.
Ont. Liberals woo commuter votes with massive plan to expand transit
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. (CP) _ Commuters in southern Ontario are being wooed by a 12-year, $17.5-billion Liberal promise to extend Toronto's subway, expand GO Transit service and install two rapid transit lines across Hamilton.
Premier Dalton McGuinty unveiled details of the MoveOntario 2020 plan at a news conference Friday in this city west of Toronto, saying the massive transit plan would benefit the environment and economy, and shorten commute times.
The provincial government would cover two-thirds of the plan's cost and wants Ottawa to chip in the rest _ about $5.8 billion _ although the federal government would not offer an immediate
commitment on funding.
Ottawa has $33 billion to spend on infrastructure projects, but it will be a few weeks or months before it decides how to spend the money, said Catherine Loubier, director of communications for Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon.
Loubier said she couldn't comment on Ontario's plan specifically because nothing has been submitted to the ministry.
``Minister Cannon has received no specific demand on this specific plan, so once we receive an official demand from Ontario on this new plan they're putting forward, we'll be able to analyze it
and certainly discuss it,'' she said.
A Liberal government source said officials briefed the federal government on their plans earlier this week but avoided any significant talks to guard against the plan being leaked.
The Liberals are confident they will get the federal funding, although the plan will proceed as announced without it, the source said.
McGuinty said the federal contribution would be consistent with spending on other infrastructure projects like the Pacific Gateway in British Columbia and the Manitoba Floodway.
``I can't believe for an instant that the federal government would not seize this opportunity,'' McGuinty said.
``If you take a look at he wealth we generate here, that benefits the entire country. ... I'm convinced they're going to want to come to the table and ensure that they make sure that this particular economic engine is firing on all cylinders.''
McGuinty admitted the total price tag for the plan will likely be in the $30-billion range once interest and other costs are factored in, but he said the expense is worth it, and he relishes the chance to do something big for the region.
``Every once in a while you have an opportunity to do something bold, that speaks to the long-term,'' McGuinty said, adding that his government's plans are similar in scope to the construction of Toronto's first subway line about 50 years ago, which was also Canada's first.
``I thank God that somebody had the foresight to take that on. It was expensive, it was bold, it took a while to put it together, but now we're going to do the same thing for our children and our grandchildren...''
All the construction work would create more than 175,000 direct jobs and would spur the economy by reducing the $2.2 billion that's lost annually to lost productivity due to congestion, McGuinty said...
But the entire plan presumably depends on a favourable outcome for Ontario's Liberal government in the upcoming October election...
Opposition critics said voters can't trust the Liberals to stick to the plan, given their past record of breaking promises and their newly exposed weakness in southwestern Ontario.
``I think it's another promise made at election time, and this premier and this government does not have a good record on fulfilling the promises,'' said Conservative critic Joyce Savoline...
New Democrat Peter Tabuns said he doesn't oppose transportation spending, but questioned why it wasn't in the provincial budget, and why the province didn't seek a solid commitment from Cannon in advance.
``It's a very conditional promise ... with real questions about substance or deliverability,'' Tabuns said.