Who Will Save Eddie's Tunnel Deal
Well I am in good company. Included are the Mayor and Council of Detroit, Windsor Councillors and Windsorites. Now we can strongly suspect it was a "done deal" between the Mayor and...whom, and for how long a time.
It became so obvious once one started looking at the Tunnel deal. Eddie is effectively now in total control of the tunnel companies since he and two subordinates will be the only directors of the Boards. No Councillors, no Tunnel Commissioners to ask questions. As for taxpayers, oh no, they are "private companies" so we have no rights.
And after watching the titillating performances of Council on Monday nights, I have pretty much given up on them anyway. They have been neutralized by the "Integrity Comissioner" threat as Councillor Halberstadt warned.
The Province---nope, they cannot run an international border, don't have the constitutional power to do so and don't have the cash to pay for it.
That leaves only one party, the Feds. Just watch, Eddie will back out and the Feds get a seat at the bargaining table with Detroit. Eddie has softened them up for the Feds. The deal will be done. No wonder the Feds got so upset when the Bridge Co. announced their 200 booths and said they wanted to operate the Tunnel for Detroit. The Feds were planning on doing it. That's why the Deputy PM was so aggressive in trying to stop the Bridge Co.
- Canada will run the US half and will buy out Alinda, maybe (Alinda may operate the whole Tunnel still. See below)
- Canada may be forced to pay at least another US$25M to do the deal and keep the Detroit Mayor and Council quiet and to get Council on-side
- Canada will buy out or lease for a long term Eddie's interest in the Tunnel so that he gets the money he wants to spend on his frivolities.
- Canada justifies the deal based on it being in Canada's national interest to control an important border crossing no matter what the price
- Eddie is painted as a hero as we all praise his genius
- Don't worry, there will be a P3 for the Tunnel deal with a Government guarantee to back it so that taxpayers do not pay out cash in the short term and a private investor backs Canada---probably Alinda but maybe Borealis or both....why else is Alinda bidding $60M. In any event, "Alinda Capital Partners has closed its Alinda Infrastructure Fund I on $3bn - three times the original $1bn target."
- a precedent is now set in Windsor for a P3 for the DRIC bridge
Just to complicate matters a bit, this may not take place directly but indirectly by including the DRTP Rail Tunnel deal as part of it. You see, with Windsor deals, if there is a choice to do something in a simple manner or a complicated way, the complicated prevails most times. This has been years in the planning.
As for Alinda's bid of $60M, or is it $70M, is it a real one? Are they a real bidder or is it all part of the drama? Who knows? Was it designed as a pretend bid to justify Eddie's $75M bid? One can say, Eddie was right in his amount even though we have not yet seen any appraisal he has, since a private investor bid almost the same price as he did.
Oh there is a complication...Canada running both sides of the Tunnel itself. Perhaps the US Homeland Security will get mad as the Detroit Councillor suggested, perhaps Canada and the US will set up an Authority for the Tunnel....who knows how that issue gets resolved.
But why do you think that Canadian Ambassador to the US, Michael Wilson, is involved and not the Transport Minister, Lawrence Cannon. We are dealing with a possible international incident here now. We need the big shooter involved to smooth things over. Transport Canada has failed in its mission to scare off the owner of the Bridge Co. Wilson's Mackinac comment is proof of that. We don't need another "softwood lumber" incident that sours Canada/US relations for years so the Ambassador is out there schmooooooooozing.
And one other matter that ties eveything together. Why do you think Eddie pulled the Tunnel Plaza Improvements meeting and has not rescheduled it. Everyone knows it is for "reverse customs" or at least Shared Border Management. As you know, SBM has died in Fort Erie so far because of the excuse of "fingerprinting" under the Charter of Rights. I would bet that very soon after Canada takes control of the Tunnel, we have the Tunnel Open House rescheduled and SBM talks re-open as Canada "bows" to the US pressure. It's all so contrived isn't it and so obvious already.
Didn't I predict a lot of this some time before. [BLOG, March 15, 2007 "Did Alinda's Detroit/Windsor Tunnel Deal Give It All Away."] And the border fun is just getting better and better since so much is involved.
Now you don't have to feel like a fool. I don't!