The Trequel: Sam And The Border
I'm sorry I just could not help it. When I get up as early as I do to make sure that you get a BLOG on your desk first thing in the morning, my mind sometimes plays tricks on me.
The image of Eddie Francis making a "Herculean effort" that we have "never seen before" to fight the "seemingly implacable foe" was just too funny for words. Eddie is now morphing into our Steve Reeves!
Do you really think that anyone really cares what Sam has to say tonight? Windsorites certainly don't. How do I know, it's simple. The location rooms for Sam's presentations have become smaller and smaller as time goes on.
The first one was at the Cleary. Then there was one at the Ciociaro Club, a smaller room. This one is in the Council Chambers, the smallest room. The next one, and there will be another one, will be in a toll booth at the Tunnel. If Eddie was so confident of the support of Windsorites, don't you think he would have booked the biggest hall possible to accommodate the huge crowds.
Tunnel, Shunnel. Schwunnel.... Now that people know whether DRIC will expropriate them or not, their questions have been answered. Except for "how much" if their home or business is to be taken. Windsorite's real protectors now are the several law firms who want to fight for more expropriation money. Co-incidentally, that is Brian Masse's big issue too. That should speak volumes.
Honestly, somebody at City Hall has to be reading my BLOG even though they say they don't. There is no other explanation. I state that Eddie has not used the word "PLAN" very much in the last few weeks and then almost every other word on the Tuesday CKLW morning propaganda show with the Mayor is the word "PLAN."
I mention how Dalton will be able to change his mind even though he said he really liked the DRIC solution and in the Star it is written
- "Despite expressing support for the DRIC proposal during his Windsor election campaign stop, Premier Dalton McGuinty "said he wants to work with the community," said Francis, and both Windsor MPPs who sit in cabinet "are prepared to work with the city."
Why Eddie just won't come out and say that he already has a deal with the Liberals makes no sense to me because obviously if he did not have one he would have made it a Provincial election issue in this area. Games, games, games.
At least the Ambassador Bridge people should be pleased for the time being. They are not the main "enemy" at this time. They can wait for a bit. The "seemingly implacable foe" is now DRIC. I guess that Eddie has learned from history not to fight a war on two fronts.
I couldn't believe what I heard on the radio this morning. We are going to be hit by an advertising extravaganza that will cost us who knows how much money that will last over two months by the time it is done. Eddie really must be afraid of WeACT and what may be uncovered in the Windsor Utilities Commission fiasco to keep the border road issue going for so long. I am sure that two months of Sam will also make sure that any bad news about the arena gets put on the back pages of the Star.
The Eminence Greasie must be revelling in all this. It allows him to do what he hasn't been able to do for years. Come on, you don't think that Eddie has got the skills to do all this alone do you. No, His Greasieness has been working on this feverishly for a long time making sure first that the Liberals are onside and then designing a campaign to ensure that Eddie is our hero. I'll bet that certain sycophants are using their thesauruses today to find all kinds of words of praise for our Mayor.
I wonder who in the media has already been let in on the secret so we can see, read and hear about all kinds of interesting drawings, stories and maps tomorrow. You don't honestly believe that they would have time to do all of this given their deadlines.
What's funny about all of this is listening to Eddie on the radio when he talks about a 5 1/2 year time period on the border issue as if this is something that we should be proud of. If it is now the 11th hour and 59th minute according to him, then who has made the crisis? For heavens sake, he has been the Mayor for most of this time and has failed, and failed miserably, to find a solution.
Now he wants us, the citizens of Windsor, to forget all of that and to bail him out. After all, it is being positioned as OUR fault if this fails, not HIS, since it is up to EACH of us to support HIS PLAN.
- "local citizens to pick up the torch and help fight for the best new traffic route to the border."
And if it totally fails, then what can a small town Mayor with no authority and no clout do against such seemingly implacable foes. We just might have to send him to Ottawa to continue this battle in the coming Federal election. Sorry Brian, you may be a victim in this war since Eddie's house move means he has to run against you. But don't worry, in his new Ministerial role, he will fight to get you a high-paying, Border Authority job or a Senate seat.
And this will go on for months and months and months as we were told on the radio. No wonder the Star sent a reporter overseas to see how the war was fought in Afghanistan. Interestingly, the fellow who wrote the story about DRIC today, Doug Schmidt, was that reporter. He needed battle experience because we have a war to fight! I wonder if he will be our new war correspondent, and not David Battagello who usually writes these types of stories.
I don't get it. In all of this time, if we'd had a Mayor who knew what he was doing, we would have had negotiations with the Senior Levels that would have arrived at a solution by now. Instead of a report by Sam that will counter what the Senior Levels are doing, we would have had a report that would be co-operating with the people with all the money and the power to put the road wherever they want it to go.
The one thing that everyone must remember in all of this brouhaha is the fact that Windsor is in serious economic difficulty. We could use thousands of jobs now, high-paying jobs, that will be created by building a road to the border. Heck, we already lost the $300M BIF funds since that program ended.
I have to tell you that I just do not understand what is going on. I know that it is a public relations exercise but what I do know is what it is designed to accomplish. My only thought is that someone made a calculation that we might have a Federal election shortly. There was talk that the Conservatives would call an election in mid-October after the Thrown Speech.
Since an election would take several months, Eddie and the Province might have been able to use the advertising campaign as pressure on the Conservatives. As we know, the Province is desperate for Federal money and wants the Federal share of infrastructure money to be increased above the 50-50 split that they have in place now. The Province also wants more money spent in Ontario for cross-border trade and not as much spent on the Asian Gateway in British Columbia.
Remember what I said before, Windsor is the testbed for the Federal/Provincial fight not Toronto. Neither party wants this kind of a fight when they want to win seats in Toronto and in the 905 area code geographic area.
As for Eddie, the ad campaign would work well for him if he chose to run federally and could also be used as a tool to try to help Jeff Watson's opponents. He could try the same game with the Conservatives that he played with the Liberals and with Sandra Pupatello's seat. He was successful against her and the thinking must be that he can be successful with Watson's seat being vulnerable.
Or, is this part of the Eddie stall while he works on whatever it is he really works on that we don't know about. We went through this after Sam's presentation in Tecumseh and it went nowhere but took up a lot of time.
So Sam, here we go again. Don't expect a standing ovation this time around. Make sure that no one asks Parsons Brinckerhoff about the Big Dig in Boston and the huge cost overruns. Make sure that no one asks about the falling concrete that caused a tragedy there. Make sure that no one speaks about scrubbing tunnel exhaust or people being stuck in the tunnels if there's a backup at the border.
I hope that the artists renditions are as good as the first time and that you have some of those cute animations too.
Oh what the heck, a job's a job and the pay is good. And don't worry, since this was done for David Estrin, all of your work is solicitor-client privilege protected so we mortals will never get to see any of your background work even though we paid for it all.