Do You STILL Want A Public Authority For Windsor
There is one thing I will say about Brian Masse. He is a very smart politician. He knows when to pick up an issue and when to drop it. In other words, he is a very good follower.
Take Greenlink for instance, it seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. It's after November 15 which I thought was the date by which the City was going to submit its position to DRIC. Does anyone know what the City said, have we been told, or, as is the usual around this Mayor and Council, has it been submitted secretly and without giving the Public any information.
What I find fascinating is the lack of comment by Brian on the subject. To me it means he knows that it is a non-starter for most of the people in his riding, people who would be directly impacted by the road. Most people just don't care and will be happy with the DRIC road. Brian is not going to waste his political capital on something that is a loser, even to help of his good buddy, the Mayor.
If you want proof of this just check out Brian's latest Windsor West Update. His Dear Friends introduction talking about his role as NDP Transport Critic did not mention a word about Greenlink. Instead his newsletter dealt with Brian's latest boondoggle, a Public Border Authority.
You know already what I think about the value of public border authorities in relation to international crossings. I note that Brian wants to have elected board of governors for this Border Authority. Naturally as the MP for the area, I'm sure that he'd want to be on the Board.
Should we go along with Brian on Public Border Authorities? Let's take a look at the Blue Water Bridge and some activity that has been going on there.
Interesting quote from Mayor Bradley of Sarnia that should again destroy the myth of Public Authorities running border crossings in our area. I wonder what Brian Masse would have to say about this:
- "On Thursday, tolls on the Canadian side of the Bluewater Bridge will change to $2.75 in both Canadian and U.S. funds.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said he was surprised by the announcement, especially since the fees will remain unchanged on the American side of the bridge...
Bradley said Sarnia residents feel like they "don't have much of a choice" when it comes to bridge tolls.
"People tend to be fatalistic about it," he said. "The bridge is an independent entity.... What they do and how they do it is up to them."
Just so you know, the US rate for cars was INCREASED from $2.50 to $2.75 instead of the Canadian rate being DECREASED from $2.75 to $2.50. I guess that makes somebody a few extra bucks.
So having a Public Authority doesn't seem to be the nice, friendly border operator that Brian Masse has been urging us to accept for the Windsor area.
What's also very interesting, and this was not in the story, were the toll rates going into Canada. Either the rates going into the US are much too high or the rates into Canada are much too low. Take a look at the table below.
Oh dear, I just find these public bodies just so confusing. Thanks Brian but no thanks!
UPDATE: Kevin Black, Windsor/Essex News Director of Blackburn Radio Inc. 96.7 CHYR tells me that they ran this the day after the Schwartz Presentation
- "The latest Sam Schwartz proposal looks good according to Windsor-West MP Brian Masse.
But he says he's upset Schwartz felt he had to downgrade his original proposal because of cost.
Masse says cost shouldn't be an issue for something that is being put forward to two upper levels of government.
He also says the provincial government still hasn't committed any funding to the border plan, and that they should be prepared to fund the infrastructure that's needed.
The new proposal is the cities response to the DRIC proposal which outlines a new approach highway to a new border crossing."
What is interesting in going back is that the Windsor Star only reported on October 13:
- "MP Brian Masse (NDP -- Windsor West) has expressed concern DRIC and Queen's Park may negotiate down many of the key features of the Schwartz plan to save funds.
"It's clear the province has negotiated down the plan (away from full tunnelling) and the question I have is, will they continue to do so? Are they going to pick apart this plan and lower the expectations of the community's residents."