Eddie And The Fiberals
The climax came at Sandra's nomination meeting when the Star reported:
- "Mayor Eddie Francis sent in a letter of support."
I must admit that I should have expected this after the Star reported:
- "I think we are being respectful of the city because we all want the best solution," [Sandra] said. "In my discussions with the mayor I feel we are very much of the same mind on what we would like to see. "
You have to ask the obvious question why he got mixed up in a Provincial campaign. Is that what Mayors do? I do not remember anyone saying he sent in a letter of support at Dwight's nomination meeting. The Eminence Grise worked the pressure on Sandra so that the Liberals had to capitulate. Mind you, it is a long time until October so Eddie has been neutralized as well and not necessarily to Windsorites' advantage!
I wonder what Eddie got in exchange for "supposedly" leaving Sandra alone so she could get re-elected. Hmmm do we get
- a Univeristy Engineering complex downtown (I hope the financing structure is not like that of the Medical School....a big amount BUT payable over 20 years).
- a transportation hub at the airport with money to create "shovel ready" land?
- a brownfield redevelopment of the Zalev lands?
- another few million for the Tunnel Plaza Improvements (whatever happened to that)
- money to do the Tunnel deal with Detroit (whatever happened to that)
- the big prize, Sam's road.
It should be interesting to watch what happens over the next few months.
I hope the Fiberals' negotiator was smart enough to include the Windsor Star's support of Sandra and Dwight as part of the deal. Otherwise they will continue hammering the Fiberals and Sandra in particular. Eddie would be able to look innocent and say straight-faced that he has no control over the press. But then again, we know that the Star could never be part of such a deal or their credibility as a newspaper would be destroyed.
The deal gives DRTP and Borealis/OMERS, the Province's financial source, a new lease on life. In reality, what they get is a stronger position over the Macquaries and Alindas of the world to be the P3 partner of the Governments for the new crossing.
Of course after Sam's new presentation comes out, Dwight, especially since he is the stronger Minister of the two in Windsor, and Sandra will say things such as:
- Improving the flow of people and goods through the Windsor- Detroit gateway is a top economic priority for our government... It's part of our plan to strengthen our economy by investing in our critical transportation infrastructure.
- described the Schwartz plan as "extremely well done and well thought out."
"This is the foundation for a long-term solution," said Duncan. "This is a very high priority for Ontario. We are going to do what it takes to solve the problem. We believe we have to spend the money to do this right," said Duncan. "The border is essential to the economy of Ontario. If it requires more money we will find a way to get it there."
- the $300 million already pledged by the federal and provincial governments is "not enough." ..the province is working on an agreement for "Phase 2 funding" that would use the recommendations of U.S. traffic expert Sam Schwartz as the foundation for easing the area's traffic woes.
"We will invest in our roads, rail, highways, the ferry, intelligent transportation systems as well as the bridge and tunnel plazas,"
- We are taking the first steps to implement the Schwartz report," "Have there been discussions around E.C. Row? Of course, there have been.
- Both Dwight (Duncan) and I have said E.C. Row will not be used for trucks -- period," Pupatello said. "I can't be more emphatic than that."
- It's not our intent to use the expressway as a truck corridor
- the increased truck traffic would be temporary until the city's preferred option becomes a reality.
- Everybody knows Dwight Duncan and Sandra Pupatello have been working on (the border issue) since the beginning of time,"
- Here's the $500M Gong show money.... but not until after 2010...We wanted to show a full commitment to the Schwartz Report...I suppose we should have held it back, but good news is good news at any time."
- we hope the funding announcement would "spur our federal counterparts to move quickly to come to the table as well."
- 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...
"My expectation is to have the province and city be on the same page on this and we are working towards that."
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."
Pupatello called the delay announcement a "good sign" since it means serious discussions are taking place."
I was just trying to be helpful. That is what was said after the first Schwartz Report came out. It played well in the boonies so may as well do it again. Perhaps that was all the deal was about. Eddie gets his stall time again and the Fiberals get more time to pressure the Feds with Eddie on their side
And just so you know, if a renewed Nine Point Plan comes out, Eddie won't dare snub THAT meeting.