HOWARD MEET BRIAN
I wonder if the federal NDP ever speak to the provincial NDP. I think an introduction service might be a good idea right now to get Howard Hampton an appointment to meet up with Brian Masse.
Can you believe it, Howard comes to town and makes a big announcement with respect to the border. When he is asked about it, what does Brian say:
- "he couldn't comment on the plan because, though he discussed Windsor's needs with Hampton, he wasn't aware of what was announced."
Why isn't that ducky. If the leader of the Ontario NDP thinks so little of Brian, the self-proclaimed expert on the border, that he will not share with him the details of the announcement in advance, then why should we take Brian seriously.
Howard really should have talked to somebody who knows something about the border. I was going to suggest that he talk to the Bridge Company but that might be heresy for a member of the Party that wants everything publicly owned. After all, who needs facts.
Good old Howard would spend $1.8 billion for his share of the costs. But he only talks about funding for four years in an amount of $250 million per year. And that is the cost for the road only. When you factor in the interest cost, and the uncertainty about where the money is coming after four years, the NDP plan doesn't make an awful lot of sense to me.
ANOTHER COUNCILLOR BEING SUCKERED
I just can't believe it! How can the Councillor formerly known as Councillor Budget be so dumb. Hasn't he seen what happened to Junior? Doesn't he think it could happen to him as well? I guess he was too dazzled by all the glowing tributes in the Gord Henderson column.
Lucky Junior was made Chair of WUC in the year that it had a financial scandal. If in fact part of the plan in all of this is to privatize the water system, Junior is going to have to sell that concept to his union buddies as the Chair when he knows that privatization means union layoffs. Eddie must be splitting a gut laughing.
And there we have the Councillor Brister, in Gord Henderson's column, being made a scapegoat for what we know are going to be huge cost overruns. Eddie will say that he didn't know about that because Brister was in charge. You know, the financial wizard, the Council watchdog, the tightwad who predictably will oppose anything that costs money. Mind you, his outrage at spending all that money on the Detroit Grand Prix was hardly deafening.
Heaven help us. Didn't we hear the same expression with the revisionist history about the funky bus terminal. Now we hear it with the arena:
- "On schedule. And on budget. Brister's eyes glitter as he delivers those words."
Weeeeelllll, it's might be on budget if you don't include the cost for the arena land and the extra cost for the environmental problems for the property downtown. Then there is $8M extra for getting there: McHugh Street will be extended to link Lauzon Road and Florence Avenue. The four-lane road is budgeted at $3.6 million for phase 1 and is currently under construction. A bridge will be constructed over Little River Stream with a budget of $4.4 million.
We all know that there is not enough parking at the site for 6500 spectators plus another 900 people who can sit in the three other rinks. So expect some genius to say we better buy some extra land for an additional parking lot. Having a whole bunch of Transit Windsor buses to move people after a game just isn't going to cut it. How many buses would be needed after all?
Remember Lasalle and the extra costs there. "To bring services and bring the roadways that are not part of the recreation site -- that are not part of the building -- that's where some of the additional costs come in." They increased the costs by 44% above initially announced projections.
I feel sorry for Brister. He is self-destructing in front of us and he's proud of it. He's even giving us the language for it:
"Brister knows he pinned a bull's eye on his back" and
"My credibility is on the line."
So much for Brister running for mayor. And thanks to Gord, Eddie has the perfect way out of the arena mess! Just blame it on Brister.
PRIVATIZING ESSENTIAL SERVICES
Did you see the story about
- "Members of a coalition fighting what it calls the Liberal government's "secret" plan to privatize Ontario's energy supply is challenging Energy Minister Dwight Duncan to a debate."
I liked Dwight's non-reply although he better start being more polite and less combative if he wants to look like a statesman as our next Liberal leader:
- "Duncan, meanwhile, said Kahnert "can debate me any time and anywhere by running for public office. "
It's too bad that this challenge did not come out before. With Dwight self-destructing in the WUC matter by his schmears, any good candidate could beat him with the right campaign aproach.
Speaking of privatization, you know, dear reader, that our friends at OMERS, one of the DRTP owners, through its investment entities BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust and Borealis Infrastructure is a big investor in the Bruce nuclear plant. It has a a long-term agreement with the Ontario Power Authority. Once everything is finished up at their project there,
- "Bruce Power’s output [would be] the source of about 25 per cent of Ontario’s electricity on a typical day. Following the restart, the company’s eight units will supply the annual power needs of more than four million homes."
Now I have been wondering about the WUC matter and maybe soon the sewers. It is such a fiasco and the numbers are so big that I have been wondering what is really behind it. Remember, that I have already speculated that WUC could be privatized right. Heck even Gord Henderson was suggesting that it was a good idea.
If you will notice, Junior, the WUC Chair, seems to be the spokesperson on the WUC matter promising to talk to everyone who has concerns. Don't you think that is odd given that the Mayor was front and centre before.
As for me, I think that privatization is something that our Mayor wants to do in a whole bunch of areas but he just won't let us in on the secret yet. The Tunnel deal for US$75M was to be his first coup.
WUC Chair/Councillor Lewenza is out there talking the WUC fiasco Mayor since Eddie has no nerve to meet anyone about it. But there is more. When you hear more big numbers thrown around---wasn't it over $800M for WUC---and more big increases in payments by residents, then watch also for privatization talks.
I can hardly wait until a card-carrying union guy like Junior is forced as Chair to support privatization and the laying off of union staff "for the greater public good!"
I think that Dwight has a fear of losing politically. I think his "melt-down" as henderson descrtibed it has had an impact on him that he can never forget or live down. How else to explain that he looks at everything it seems through political glasses.
We have seen his schmears on Schnurr, his attack re Hydro and now his classic comment respecting the immigration matter:
- "What's important is that we quit playing political games and start working together."
What a statesmanlike comment except for the fact that we just learned a few paragraphs above in the story:
- "Watson said the province received $8 billion in federal funding this year for social service delivery, which includes money for refugee claimants...
"The province is paying for 80 per cent of the costs. We're working with the City of Windsor and the mayor," [Duncan] said Sunday.
"With this kind of volume (of refugees), the other 20 per cent should not be on the shoulders of Windsor's ratepayers. It should be done by the federal government."
Duncan said the sharing of financial responsibilities between the federal and provincial governments when it comes to refugee claimants has been the subject of debate for many years."
You see, it is all a phony issue after all. It is all politics. It is all part of the fight between the Province and the Feds for cash. Just like whether the Feds will pay MORE than 50% for the border road as the Province hopes.
And Eddie is helping his Provincial buddies by scare-mongering. Wow, what a deal he must have struck with them eh!