Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, May 11, 2007

Nine Hours In Camera On The Border

Honestly, I was trying to figure out what Council was doing in secret over the past quarter on the Border file. Nine out of the twenty hours spent in camera dealt with the border.

I knew it had nothing to do with the City spending $75M on the Tunnel deal with Detroit since the people I talked to had no idea about it until it hit the media. It was too complicated for Councillors anyway so why bother them about it. All that high finance stuff you know.

I knew it had nothing to do with the Ambassador Bridge Co's enhancement project since the Mayor and Council saw no need to speak to them since they get their information on the border from BLOGGERS.

The only thing I could think of was a discussion about a tunnel between Highway 401 and the border. So I thought I should remind you of what was accomplished or rather, how you were fooled by Council as the Motion on the tunnel was passed.

Moreover, I thought I should also remind you how the Mayor is trying to muzzle Council so that no one says or does anything except himself. And have you noticed that there has hardly been a border story in the Star for weeks now. I imagine that the City's lawyer has had something to say on that! But it's OK....the public does not need to know anything anyway.

Oh, and there may have been some discussion about bringing Gridlock Sam back for another one of his THINK BIG presentations. This time it will have something to do about a tunnel I believe.

Now you know what is done in secret.

I am posting below the Motions as passed by Council respecting the border.

You will note the wording of the main Motion which totally guts the tunnelling concept since it is restricted to only ONE route. I'll explain why Marra's broad initial wording could never be passed.

The second Motion is very interesting....It is designed to stop the Three Blind Mice in their tracks and probably to prevent any Councillor from opening his /her mouth or to write a BLOG too. Eddie is NOT the negotiator but "the voice of Council on this matter."

If it means that Eddie is merely the "spokesperson," then the Motion is harmless. But if it means he has total control then it should be ignored by everyone.

It seems to me to be a violation of the Procedural By-law since no one "waived the rules." But then again, that ignoring by-laws does not stop Councils under this Mayor.

  • "13.9 Notice of Motion
    a) Notice of all new motions, except motions listed in Section 12.6, shall be given in writing and may be delivered to the Clerk prior to noon of the Wednesday preceding the date of the Council meeting or may be introduced at a meeting of Council but shall not be debated until the next regular meeting of Council. In either case, the Notice of Motion shall not be before Council for the purpose of discussion and/or debate until the next regular meeting of Council."

If I was a Councillor, I'd also ask my lawyer if Council can give to the Mayor such sweeping powers under the Municipal Act. Councillors cannot delegate away their statutory duties:

  • Sec 224. It is the role of council,

    (a) to represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality;

    (b) to develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality;

    (c) to determine which services the municipality provides;

    (d) to ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures and controllership policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of council;

    (d.1) to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of the senior management of the municipality;

    (e) to maintain the financial integrity of the municipality; and

    (f) to carry out the duties of council under this or any other Act.


  • Moved by Councillor Marra, seconded by Councillor Hatfield,

    M74-2007 WHEREAS tunneling projects are common throughout the world; and

    WHEREAS the City of Windsor wants to protect neighbourhoods and get trucks off local streets; and

    WHEREAS tunneling combined with capturing and scrubbing emissions will significantly improve local air quality; and

    WHEREAS the Town of LaSalle adopted Resolution 7652/06 supporting tunneling and has advised Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) of that position; and

    WHEREAS the Town of Tecumseh Planning Committee adopted resolution PC-41/06, supporting LaSalle's resolution on Tunneling; and

    WHEREAS the Warden of the County of Essex stated that tunneling is the least intrusive option; and

    WHEREAS there have been numerous public statements and correspondence from the City of Windsor urging tunneling;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Windsor advise DRIC that they must have a tunnelled solution as the design of the highway through the corridor determined by the final DRIC process, with an absolute imperative to mitigate any and all impacts on local residents and the community as a whole from Windsor Border Traffic. Adoption of this motion in no way indicates or implies any support for any existing Border Crossing Operator or Proponent of a new Border Crossing.



  • Moved by Councillor Gignac, seconded by Councillor Lewenza,

    M75-2007 That Council RECONFIRMS previous direction with respect to communications on the border matter, to allow the Mayor to continue to be the voice of Council on this matter.

Now here is why Councillor Marra's Motion could NOT pass. It was in conflict with the previous Motion that was passed at the infamous City Council meeting held in Tecumseh. That Motion did NOT suggest tunnelling except for a very limited area.


  • That City Council, in response to the DRICP Area of Continued Analysis, ENDORSES the Schwartz/Estrin Proposal, which includes tunnelling under Talbot Road from Highway 401 to Todd Lane, with a full environmental assessment in terms of all alternatives west of Huron Church Road

Who Needs Council Meetings

Should we be upset if Council meetings are held biweekly given the new Council secrecy stats?

Why should we worry--delegation lists and agendas now are posted in the last minute so there is little time to prepare and sometimes with surprise add-ons that never appear online or the Order of Business is posted too late.

Eddie Francis who ran for Mayor on a platform of weekly meetings is now saying:

  • "Some city councillors are uncomfortable accepting a recommendation to cut back on the number of regular council meetings, but Mayor Eddie Francis said there's no need to worry.

    He would like to see regular weekly meetings replaced with bi-weekly meetings for normal council business, with the off weeks set aside for single-issue meetings or discretionary meetings.

    "There's enough work to keep us busy," he said. "What we really need to look at is the form of our meetings."

    Francis said issues such as the ongoing border debate, the community strategic plan, transportation or any other big-ticket matter could be stand-alone items on the off weeks."

Let's take a look at the past to see what might take place in the future:

  • How many public meetings have we had on the border during the last term? A handful
  • How many People Based Budget meetings did we have? We don't do that any more
  • How many public arena meetings did we have before a decision was made to go to the East end of town? Very few
  • How many public strategic plan meetings are held? A few at the start of Council's term and this year "The public was barred from a city council meeting Thursday to discuss the top issues facing Windsor in the next four years" since the CAO over-ruled the Mayor
  • How many public sessions to look at the Tunnel Plaza Improvements project? The last one was cancelled and never rescheduled.
  • How many public sessions to discuss asset sales and leases? I don't remember any
  • How many public meetings to discuss the Enwin problems? I don't remember any
  • How many public meetings to discuss the bleeding red ink at the airport? I don't remember any
  • How many public meetings to discuss Council's #1 issue: development of the transportation hub and the airport lands? I don't remember any
  • How many public meetings on the urban village? The last I heard was that Eddie "said a report to council in February will enable the city to issue a request for proposals and there are strong indications of developer interest." Now, none are needed
  • How many meetings so far on the Engineering complex moving downtown. Zero
  • How many meetings so far about spending $75M on the Tunnel deal. Not a one

Well you get my drift....We would have not filled up the other "off-week" with work either.

Now I have a better idea. Remember the stats over in camera meetings:

  • "January to September 28, 2006. Twenty-nine (29) in camera meeting have taken place in that time with 137 items being considered during a total of 47 hours and 48 minutes. By comparison, thirty-four (34) open meetings were held with 430 items being considered during a total of 91 minutes and 25 minutes."
  • Council met for nearly 26 hours in public session over the course of 10 meetings held between October and December 2006. During the same period, council met for just over eight hours behind closed doors. (Of course this was election time so we would hardly expect Councillors to waste too much time in secret meetings when they had doors to knock on!).
  • During the first quarter of 2007, Council met 24 hours in public session, 20 hours in camera

And remember also that dinners have to be paid for since Councillors come in early on Monday afternoons for the in camera work before the public sessions.

Why don't we just ban in camera meetings completely unless, say, 2/3 or 3/4 of Councillors vote for one on a specific subject.

In that way, Councillors can come in right at 6 PM so they can eat dinner at home, they won't have to figure out behind closed doors what they are going to do in public and we can have true debates about the issues in public.

Why don't we just admit reality...certain members of Council are uncomfortable about appearing in public other than getting his/her name in the paper or having a 30 second clip on radio or television. Would you believe it that a certain Councillor still has not gone on John Fairley's Face-to-Face interview show although invited many times. Some cannot stand being confronted and being told to their face that they have messed up or at fault. Decision-making is so much easier behind closed doors so that conflicts and differences of opinion can be covered over.

Oh heck, why have any Council meetings anyway. Even the Councillors are left in the dark many times on the big issues.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

How Does Your Salary Rank

I saw the story below on MSN/Sympatico Finance that was prepared by John Caspar, Vice President and Investment Advisor with CIBC Wood Gundy, a division of CIBC World Markets Inc. John is the money analyst for the CTV News in Vancouver.

I found it fascinating and quite frightening for the future of Windsor after reading some of the stories about public employee salaries, the loss of high-paying union jobs and the call centre jobs that Windsor seems to be gaining.

It should be pretty clear that we cannot build an economy in Windsor based on call centre employees whose salaries will generally be under the median income of $12-12.50 per hour.

The "59 of 95, or 62 per cent, of city employees in the high earning bracket are police." They rank in the top 3.4% of wage earners. The chief's salary of "of $189,659.72 including taxable benefits" puts him in the top 1.3%. He was joined by John Skorobohacz, Windsor's CAO. As for other police officers:
  • "With any kind of overtime or taxable benefits, our staff sergeants are going to be on there," Stannard said.

    "It's not going to get any better."
Those in the .07% of top incomes in Caanda included Ross Paul, President of the University of windsor, Dr. Martin Girash, Windsor Regional Hospital CEO, Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital CEO Neil McEvoy, Dr. Allen Heimann, medical officer of health, Ontario Court judges - - Guy DeMarco, Micheline Rawlins, Sharman Bondy, Harry Momotiuk, Douglas Phillips and Samuel Zaltz.

Our Gazelle minder is in the top 1.3% with his $169,000 salary.

Take a look at the story and see where you ranked:

  • Surprise! We don't make that much money

    By John Caspar
    April 04, 2007

    ... how much money are people making out there, and where do you stack up?

    All the data here is for the 2004 calendar year, which is the most recent income data available.

    ... we'll start with median total income. The median is the mid-point, where half the included population is higher, and half is lower. “Total income” in this case includes income from employment, investment, government transfers, private pensions, registered retirement savings plans and other income... And the median total income for Canadians with an income was…$24,400. If you made more than $24,400 in 2004, congratulations, you were in the top half of income earners.

    Now, before you calculate that fully half of Canadians work for less than $12.20 an hour, bear in mind that “total income” will capture part-time employees, after-school student jobs, etc. Those people will pull down the average with a low income that may not be representative of hardship...

    The median employment income for Canadians in 2004 was $25,400. That's just counting the working folks... In 2004, you were in the top third of incomes if you made more than…are you ready? $35,000...

    Only 19.8 percent of Canadians with an income made $50,000 or more in 2004.

    Now, although a bit over 12 percent of individuals had incomes between $50,000 and $75,000, the atmosphere thins out pretty quickly above that. Only 7.6 percent of people had incomes of $75,000 or more in 2004. Only 3.4 percent made $100,000 or more. And by the time we get to the $150,000 or more category, we're down to just 1.3 percent of income recipients.

    People with 2004 incomes of $200,000 or more were a rounding error: only 0.7 percent made $200,000 or more. And you can be 99.5 percent sure that any randomly selected Canadian earned less than $250,000.

    Those are the stats for individuals. The nice folks at Stats Canada also track the incomes of various family groupings, so we can get an idea of where entire households compare by income. “Couple families” are couples (married or common-law, including same-sex couples) living at the same address, with or without children... The median total income from all sources for all members of such families in 2004 was $64,800. Less than a quarter of such households had total incomes of $100,000 or more. And just over 8 percent had incomes of $150,000 or greater.

Are The "Public" Bridge Justifications Still Valid

I used the word "public" in the subject title to distinguish the new bridge crossing from the Bridge Co.'s enhanced bridge. Let's look at the reasons given by various people for a new bridge and see if they remain valid:


(i) Capacity problems ie bridge will reach capacity in 10-15 years because of increased traffic volumes

(ii) System connectivity ie lack of a proper road from Highway 401 to the border

(iii) Border processing problems ie a Customs issue and not really a part of the DRIC mandate

(iv) Redundancy

Mark Butler, Transport Canada Globe and Mail story "A bridge too far?"
  • "...a new gateway that distances itself from the Ambassador Bridge is essential to Canadian and U.S. economies.

    DRIC has "rejected the twinning of the Ambassador Bridge," Mr. Butler says, citing concerns that Mr. Moroun's twinned structure would hurt neighbourhoods and also be vulnerable to a terrorist attack that could wipe out both bridges at once.

    "What we do know is that any new crossing must be safe and secure and be managed and maintained for the long-term benefit of both countries," Mr. Butler argues."

Steve Tobocman, Michigan State House Representative, WDET program

  • "they [DRIC] projected increases in the traffic over the border in the coming years, and that we face significant constraints in about a decade...I know that certainly on the Homeland Security front, twinning the Ambassador Bridge has raised huge issue, national security experts talk about redundancy and resiliency about how we would recover from a terrorist attack putting two bridges right next to each other, is not the optimal solution... that’s why I supported measures like public ownership of additional capacity at the bridge."

Brian Masse, NDP member for Windsor West, WDET program

  • "The big issue is still getting to the border crossing... Because it doesn’t take away the main problem – that’s going to and from the border crossing in the Detroit-Windsor region and that’s important to note... The reality is, is that the current proposal that you’re putting on the table will have significant economic and risk factors that they don’t solve the real problem is to the actual crossing from the 401... that’s why I believe we deserve what every part of the country between Canada and the United States is virtually getting is that public ownership and accountability."

Remember when this all started....oh my goodness...the border crossings were going to be jammed up as the capacity sky-rocketed higher, doubling over the next years. Well that is not happening even though Rep Tobocman does not seem to know that. He is so out of date. You would think that the Democratic, Majority Floor Leader in Michigan would be better informed than that. It is shocking. I guess he had not heard, being so busy with saving Michigan's economy, that DRIC dropped their traffic projections several times. He obviously had not seen the graphs showing actual against projected traffic at the Blue Water bridge and here.

Oh well, even the head guy at the US DRIC consulting firm has admitted that "it is believed (by Joe Corradino) that the market won’t support three bridges."


Well what about Customs issues? Those really aren't DRIC issues. But don't you find it odd that one branch of Government is working with the Bridge Co. to make the existing border work better---Customs on both sides of the river--but another branch refuses to do so?

Anyway, with the new clearance programs in place and the new Bridge Co. processing centres, border capacity can be quadrupled, security enhanced, and the destruction of Sandwich and Delray eliminated.


Now we are faced with the security and redundancy bogeymen. While the Bridge is identified as a problem, why doesn't anyone talk about the Tunnel? There are worse issues there according to US Customs. But since the Tunnel is "public" being owned by both cities, the Tunnel's problems can be ignored. Who cares if it is a "unique security risk!"

I have already discussed why security is not an issue if reverse customs was put in but if you want to justify a new bridge, how can that happen? And we know the M.O. of the bad guys so let's ignore that too. I assume that the redundancy for the new bridge would be the "old" Ambassador Bridge so why can't it be the redundant bridge for the enhanced bridge too?


So we are left with the real issue, the big issue---the failure of Brian Masse and his colleagues at all levels to finish the road to the bridge. Gee, how do you pin that on the Bridge Co. since their job is not building roads?

Dan Stamper had some fun at Brian Masse's expense during the radio show

  • "There is a road that Windsor and Canada have failed to improve, while the U.S. did their improvements for the last 80 years. And that piece of road, is part of the fix for the DRIC within 2 km of the Ambassador bridge."

The Americans are finishing their roads to the bridge with the Ambassador Gateway project in which they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars. But Canada and Ontario have not spent a penny to build the road to the Ambassador Bridge, an existing crossing under the BIF $300M program. Interestingly, money has been set aside for their competitor, the Tunnel, and the Feds seem willing to put more money into the Tunnel to help out the City with their agreement with Detroit.


So we are left with one issue: public ownership.

We have heard a lot about public/private partnerships by the various governments involved. Well, technically it's true that there will be ownership by the government but when you let a private border operator build and run a new bridge for 50-100 years, and make all of the profits, that is a distinction without a difference. I guess they forgot about the existing P3 with the Bridge Co. that seems to have worked for about 80 years.

But the 2 representatives do not talk about a P3 bridge but a public bridge. Now who is going to pay for this: Ontario and Michigan with their financial problems, US and Canadian Feds who are moving towards the private sector for help?

I have already talked about who would finance either a P3 or a public bridge with the Ambassador Bridge as an active competitor.



Any way you look at this and for every reason given, there is an answer why the DRIC bridge is a mistake. Their justifications do not hold water.

The MDOT Director said the following which really confirms what I have said above:

  • "Stuedle said construction on the bridge needs to begin somewhere between 2015 and 2030 depending on traffic flow. If the governments in Canada and Michigan continue working toward reaching a DRIC agreement, bridge construction could begin as early as 2013."

There is no capacity, economic or security need for a new DRIC bridge now in other words. If one is to be built to be completed in 2013, when it may NOT be needed until 2030, it is for political reasons only. And a waste of billions of dollars with the potential bankruptcy of crossings in SW Ontario and SE Michigan unless they are heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

MDOT has also said that they had "no opposition" to the Bridge Co.'s enhancement project. Its Director

  • "has called the Maroon [sic] bridge concept a "viable private option." MDOT Director Kirk STEUDLE said he has not taken a "specific position" on the idea but told MIRS, "We certainly are supportive of his proposal moving forward, but with the realization that he's still got a number of hurdles to get across, as well…that isn't there yet."

When the Bridge Co. gets its clearances on both sides of the river by year end, then they are ready to start work. In that case, according to the state's leader of the public project, MDOT's Mohammed Alghurabi, said

  • "only one span will be successful. The private plan is further along in the process."We've been clear that the intent is not to have two bridges," Alghurabi said. "If the Detroit International Bridge Co. were to succeed (in getting cleared for construction), then the (public project) will not continue."

If this is the case, then why is there this continued opposition? Why is there a race? The Legislative hearings, the Globe story, the Face-to-Face interview, press conferences and so on point out clearly that the Bridge Co. is moving forward.

I have tried to offer a face-saving way out for Governments. I am sure that they can come up with their own thoughts.

In the end, they should declare a victory, (I am sure Mr. Moroun will not mind) work with the Bridge Co. and then let's truly develop a Let's Get Windsor-Essex AND Detroit-South East Michigan Moving strategy.

It's time to stop this stupidity and incredible waste of taxpayer money!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Gazelles In Action: 4 Positions To Be Filled

Just saw these positions being advertised. Get your CVs in quickly

Oh, just be careful that you do not fill in the Stream application. It pays a lot less

Director Business Attraction / Director Business Retention & Expansion / Director Innovation Development


Windsor Essex Region was awarded the distinction as the #1 Best Overall Top Small City in North America for investment by the UK's Financial Times FDI Magazine. The Windsor Essex Development Commission is a regional economic development partnership with a new mandate and a five-year funding commitment from the City of Windsor and the County of Essex.

The Board of Directors of the Windsor Essex Development Commission has approved a major restructuring resulting in the creation of a number of new positions.

We propose to intensify our efforts in Business Attraction and as well strategically focus on new programs of Business Retention & Expansion, Small Business Development and a new program of Innovation Development, targeting the identification and development of innovative entrepreneurs in the region.

The Development Commission is currently seeking applicants for the following positions:

Business Attraction Division
Director Business Attraction

Business Retention & Expansion Division
Director Business Retention & Expansion

Innovation Development Division
Director Innovation Development

Candidates should have a relevant university degree, preferably post graduate, and studies in economic development will be considered an asset. Experience in corporate business development and/or regional economic development is required. Interested parties can obtain more detailed information on these positions at the Development Commission's web-site at

Please submit resumes on or before May 18, 2007, indicating position of interest to:


The Board of Directors of the Windsor Essex Development Commission
• Seeking a person to work on a part-time basis as Board Liaison
• Reporting to the Chair,
• Position entails working 15- 20 hours per week
• Flexibility required for weekend and evening hours to accommodate both the Board and Board Committees’ meeting schedules.

Famous Windsor Quotations

It's time to record for posterity some great comments made in Windsor recently.

The first is from Ward 2 Councillor Ron Jones just days after the Operating Budget was passed by Council:

"We look good at budget time ... but now we're paying for it," said Jones.

This comment was made in light of areas in his Ward looking like "a "disaster area" as a result of the mountains of curbside waste left behind following this year's exodus of university students."

I guess this must be a new problem that was never known before in the Ward. Hardly. Congratulations to the Ward 2 Councillors for ensuring that we have a premier but delayed East end arena for which we can find money but "There's an expectation we provide this service, but there's no budget for it," said McConnell, the city's manager of environmental services.

Another hilarious entry is from the Editorial writers at the Star. We have just been informed that Council spends almost as much time in camera as they do in public. After a relatively tame slam at the Mayor and Council, the Editorial concludes:

"That said, the city deserves credit for producing these sunshine reports on the number and nature of their closed door meetings. It provides the media ammunition, but it also provides taxpayers a quarterly snapshot and measure of accountability. The practice should be emulated by all Essex County municipalities."

Yes congratulations to Council for wanting to have bi-weekly meetings, for having agendas over the past few weeks that are laughable, for not producing records to citizens that other municipalities offer up freely thereby requiring Municipal Freedom of Information applications, for springing agenda items on the public such that no one knows about them so cannot appear as a delegation.

Oh what the heck, only 2 or 3 people out of 200,000 care.

Security As The Anti-Bridge Co. Weapon

We've heard it all before with Senator Kenny's Report. Now as a last-ditch argument it--security--is being brought up in Michigan. We need another bridge for security reasons we are told.

Shhhhhh, let's keep it between ourselves. Reverse-customs would solve the problem but why should we have it? Seriously, security these days has to be a non-issue since Shared Border Mangement was turned down recently at the Peace Bridge but it is a big deal here.

Of course the Bridge Co. has been advocating for it for years but why listen to them. Frankly, if there was reverse-customs at the Bridge would anyone use the Tunnel since it does not seem to have the space for it now.

Is the failure to implement reverse-customs merely a "competition" matter. If there was Shared Border Management at the Peace Bridge, then the Governments would be forced to allow the Bridge Co. 200 booth proposal to move forward wouldn't they. Why that might even help the flow of traffic and hurt the need for a "public crossing!

Surely, if one talks security, why doesn't Mr. Tobocman talk about the unique security risk at the Tunnel if he is so concerned and demand action there? The reason should be obvious.

Here's the latest scare story:
  • Tobocman Challenges New Ambassador Bridge
    MIRS Capitol Capsule, Friday, May 4, 2007

    A Detroit lawmaker said he is shocked that the federal government is considering a private plan to build another bridge between Detroit and Canada when plans are proceeding to construct a new span with public funds.

    House Majority Floor Leader Steve TOBOCMAN (D-Detroit) said the proposal offered by Manny MAROON, who owns the Ambassador Bridge, has already been rejected because building two bridges adjacent to each other is a homeland security risk.

    "Frankly, I'm a little shocked by how our federal government has been evaluating it," Tobocman said. "It puts our security at risk to build two huge assets right next to each other...

    Tobocman has his own ideas and his own efforts on what should be done to connect Ontario and Michigan, but Stamper said claims of a homeland security risk are Tobocman's own opinion and not based on any official information he's received. His bridge has its own security officers patrolling it at all times.

    The Ambassador Bridge folks have been in the process of building another span since the early 1990s and have steadily received the necessary Department of Environmental (DEQ) permits and presidential clearance. The Department of Transportation has written the U.S. Coast Guard to say the plan is fine by them.

    "Steve is twisting something here," Stamper said. "I don't know what to tell you."

    What is Tobocman's solution to the security issue:

    "Tobocman said he favors another site about a mile downriver from the current Ambassador Bridge."
So is a mile separation the answer? Hardly! It is not realistic at all to consider that moving the new crossing a mile away would solve the problem given the multi-targt approach used by terrorists. So how many bridges should we build here so we would feel secure? Here is a story that demonstrates this perfectly:
  • Crossings searched; Anonymous threat forces closure of bridge, tunnel;
    Windsor Star 10-20-2001

    A threat to blow up bridges in the U.S. caused the Ambassador Bridge and Windsor-Detroit Tunnel to be shut down for about half an hour Friday afternoon.

    Federal Customs and Immigration officials in Canada and the U.S. sent out an alert at about 2:30 p.m., advising bridge officials that an anonymous threat had been made against the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a bridge in Laredo on the Mexican border and against a "crossing facility" on the northern border.

    "The threat was for something to happen at 3 p.m. so we thought it prudent to clear the bridge to ensure people's safety," said Ambassador Bridge Co. vice-president Remo Mancini.

    Motorists entering the United States found themselves speedily waved through customs by agents who barely glanced at ID cards. Once the bridge was closed, oncoming traffic was backed up on to the freeways.

    Dan Stamper, president of the Detroit International Bridge Co., said security officers did a visual sweep of the bridge as well as a sweep with metal detecting equipment.

    At the bridge were Detroit firefighters, customs agents, Army National Guardsmen and officers from the Wayne County Sheriff's department. They did not appear to be searching for anything in the plaza and stood on the road leading to the bridge until the all-clear was given after 20 minutes.

    When asked if she was nervous, one customs agent nodded quietly. Others said they were expecting some sort of disruption to occur eventually.

    Bridge traffic was congested for about an hour but began to clear soon after the alert was cancelled.

    The tunnel was also closed and evacuated, from 2:50 to 3:20 p.m. to allow a team of officers from the Detroit police department to sweep the facility, said Carolyn Brown, director of administration for the tunnel.

    Brown said the threat to a "northern border crossing " was taken "very seriously" and the tunnel relied on "high alert" procedures that have been in place since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. Under those procedures, she explained, the tube and the plaza at either end of the tunnel were evacuated and staff moved outside the perimeter. Then the police officers, in two trucks, entered the tunnel.

    She said all traffic entering and inside the tunnel is under surveillance at all times from a bank of cameras monitored at four positions. There were no special precautions taken to check vehicles entering the tunnel after the tunnel reopened.

    Following reopening, traffic faced a half hour wait at the tunnel. By 4:20, one hour after traffic began moving again, the holdup remained a half-hour.

    A third border crossing, the Bluewater Bridge in Sarnia-Port Huron was closed, but none of bridges in the Niagara Falls area were shut down, said Mancini.

    Stamper said the incident again highlights the urgent need for people and cars to be checked before they cross the bridge or enter the tunnel. Truck drivers echoed Stamper's concern and calls for reverse inspections.

    "I believe that the two customs booths should switch sides," said Rob Grieve, who drives for Mastronardi Produce in Leamington. "Anything could come across on anyone's trailer."

    Ken Mailloux, driving from Chrysler's minivan plant to Michigan, said it's unnerving to be stopped on the bridge or in the tunnel. "Security is always on your mind, especially with what's been going on over the past few weeks," Mailloux said.

    The Ambassador Bridge now hires off duty Windsor Police officers and has a permanent armed, private security force which patrols the bridge 24 hours every day.

    "We also have other security measures in place but we're keeping them private," Stamper said. "We want people to feel safe and get the economy moving."
My suggestion for Mr. Tobocman---Do what Congresswoman Louise Slaughter in Buffalo who supports Shared Border Management is doing instead of introducing useless Border Authority bills:
  • "I will continue to fight for common-sense solutions to Northern border problems that will keep us safe while defending our economy from self-inflicted harm.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Would Masse Debate Stamper

After listening to Brian Masse and Dan Stamper fight it out on a Detroit radio station, Brian would not dare! The problem for Brian is that Stamper would challenge him on the facts and would not be afraid to correct his errors.

I get another opportunity to take apart what my NDP MP, Brian Masse, says on the border crossing issue. Below are Masse excerpts from a program on WDET in Detroit involving Brian, Steve Tobocman a Democrat in the Michigan House and Dan Stamper of the Bridge Co.

Thanks to Chris Schnurr for typing out the full transcript of the show. Read it for yourself at

Brian: Well, I think it’s really important and is that um, this has evolved past the state of ownership by a particular individual and a particular border. [Actually not...Bill C-3 was directed at the Bridge Co. and the ownership of the Bridge] We’re looking at now, you know, new regulations and new ah, types of procedures that are necessary coming out of security and trade issues that have been building up. Not only in terms of our corridor, which is really, the good example of lack of proper planning and foresight that really needs to be coming, to ah, you know, a new model that looks into the future and that’s what really this is about. [The only lack is a road to the bridge; everything else is functioning. And that is a Governmental obligation] And the new legislation, Bill C-3, the International Bridge and Tunnel Act isn’t just about the Ambassador Bridge, it’s about border crossings across the entire country, ah you know, between Canada and the United States, so, it’s important to recognize that aspect and this is what we have, you know, is a difficult problem with regards to it in our region because we haven’t had that modernization that’s so necessary and that’s critical for not just our region, but also across our country. [In effect, Brian has indicted the entire "public" bridge system, public authorities and the lack of Government action! Clearly the "modernization" that he is talking about is the Windsor roads system and the lack of completing the road to the bridge. THAT'S A GOVERNMENTAL FAILURE SINCE THAT IS ITS REPSONSIBILITY! The Bridge Co. has done its job being the best border operator between Canada and the US]

Brian: Yes, essentially there is 24 international bridges and tunnels that have vehicular and trade traffic that goes between Canada and the United States. So of those 24 crossings, 22 are publicly owned and operated and many have what’s called border authorities and actual operation mechanisms related to the legislation that created them, you know so say for example, up the highway there, we have Sarnia where they actually have a border authority there, and Fort Erie and whole series of others, even in Southern Ontario, so we didn’t really have regulations that were standard across the board so this new legislation actually has, and they’re doing the regulations for it, more the details about that now, that has standard procedures and practices that deal with everything from maintenance to the operation and to um, whatever the reporting are going to be, available now to the government and the public. [There is nothing in the Act that says everything will be available to the public. "Confidentiality" is still an issue]

So it’s a real big change, and it really comes for accountability and its about doing that standard procedure across all our border crossings to make sure that they’re going to be good because the border is more than a trade route or a profit zone, it’s really a social conduit between our two countries, and we have to keep that in context. [The Bridge Co. supported all of the safety and security aspects of Bill C-3. There's that ugly word "profit" thrown in. Perhaps now Brian understands that profits are re-invested in a business to keep it #1. Compare that with the Tunnel that had a dividend of almost $7M that has shrunk to about $1M as we last heard even with a toll increase]

Brian. Yes, thank you Amy. Dropping all the conspiracy theories, we actually have facts here. [Some conspiracy theories may prove to be real. We are finding out more as time goes on!] And the facts are the Ambassador Bridge is not only looking just to twin, their actually looking to increase their capacity beyond twinning. So that’s very important to note is that their proposal that they’re putting forward, in front of the public, is one that’s going to increase their current capacity. [Actually, their new processing center has quadrupled capacity of the existing bridge, reduced the need for secondary inspection, means the plaza size need not be increased as at the Tunnel, improves traffic flow on Huron Church and means that Sandwich and Delray need not be destroyed. It is a "bogeyman" to say that the bridge has increased capacity when its volumes have decreased since 1999.] Second to that Amy, is that beyond anything else, they’re, if we actually go ahead with our current model that the Ambassador Bridge is proposing, it’s going to be a man-made disaster. That’s what it’s going to be. Because it doesn’t take away the main problem – that’s going to and from the border crossing in the Detroit-Windsor region and that’s important to note. [If traffic volumes are the same, why is a more efficient and free-flowing new enhanced bridge a disaster? BRIAN IDENTIFIED THE PROBLEM. IT'S HIS FAILURE BOTH AS A CITY COUNCILLOR AND AS A MEMBER OF THE PARTY THAT HELD THE BALANCE OF POWER IN PARLIAMENT TO FIX THE ROAD TO THE BRIDGE, ESPECIALLY SINCE THERE WAS A $300M FUND TO DO SO!] So we have to start looking at the border in much different light. It’s not just a business zone between one location to the other, its very important for our national economies that we actually keep the toll rates as lowest as possible. [Brian keeps forgetting that the Tunnel tolls are higher. Why do truckers choose the Ambassador Bridge as their preferred crossing even though the Blue Water bridge tolls are lower? The answer is easy---they get through the border quicker in Windsor] That’s very important as both Michigan and Ohio, as well as Ontario and Quebec are being pummeled in terms of economic development and loss of manufacturing jobs, it’s a whole series of things like that. And more importantly, is we start to look at continually planning our future. And that’s why I like Mr. Tobachman’s border authority bill that he’s proposed over in the Michigan side and I’m working on one on the Canadian side, and it’s really important to note these are things that are happening in other regions that are not happening in ours. [And isn't it a mere co-incidence that the "private" Ambassador Bridge is the #1 border operator!]

And we have to keep that context. So that’s why the DRIC proposal ruled out the Ambassador Bridge, [No. DRIC ruled out the Bridge Co. based on THEIR criteria and NOT what the Bridge Co. offered as a solution] ruled out the DRTP, and quite frankly I’m tired of having to face private sector opponents buying newspaper ads, TV ads, sending mail to my constituents, promoting their own personal interests as opposed to a public accountable process that’s going on in other parts of our country in Canada and in the United States. [How shocking that "private" intersts dare let the population know their side of the story. Why, they should just let Brian and his friends do all the thinking for us] It’s about time we looked at the benefit of a regional border and the way its done out in the open, accountability and actually has some type of evolution beyond just trying to look at current capacity and our problems. Because its about our environment. It’s about our economy, and its about making sure our friends on both the Canadian and American have strong vibrant relationships and this all changed on 9/11 and that’s why we have to look at a different model altogether. [I have no idea what Brian is talking about, do you? If the "private" model makes Windsor #1, perhaps the other crossings ought to change]

Brian: I don’t think that any listeners going to believe that one map and one drawing eliminated the Ambassador Bridge as the proposal for the twinning as the preferential model for the next, most important border crossing between Canada and the United States. I just don’t think listeners will buy that. [I don't think that Listeners will buy what Brian says if they actually read what DRIC said in their Report about the impact on Sandwich. Here is what US DRIC said: "The X-12 crossing, plaza and roadway options in Canada have more impacts than those in the U.S. Specifically, the existing plaza in Canada at the Ambassador Bridge is approximately 20 acres. A suitable plaza size to meet the requirements of border agencies, accommodate all international truck and auto traffic and connections to a second span of the Ambassador Bridge is 120 acres." The Bridge Co. never offered up a solution for 120 acres and have said that they have already bought all the land required for their enhancement project.] The reality is, is that the current proposal that you’re putting on the table will have significant economic and risk factors that they don’t solve the real problem is to the actual crossing from the 401 and also most importantly, deal with the logistical issues that are necessary in a modern environment and that’s why the proposal of twinning the Ambassador Bridge, and as well, the DRTP, the rail corridor, were ruled out, by the DRIC process. [If the problem is the road, that is Brian's problem and the other politicians at all levels, not the Bridge Co.'s issue. I like how politicians do not acknowledge their responsibility to find a solution even after all of this time!] And this is a process that has four levels of government involved and I think the suggestion is, that if you’re going to hang your hat it on being one drawing, they did all of that to remove it is a weak argument. The reality is we have to look forward and its very much important to recognize the fact that there is accountability in a process. There’s stages in a process. And it was ruled out.

Brian: No I’m not, in fact the Canadian government has finally moving forward with actually making sure our custom’s official will have sidearms, we’ve implemented programs. In fact, there’s new standards, as you know, with Bill C-3, which your company fought so viciously against, up here, in Ottawa, for you know, your own particular interests, will bring accountability, not just in terms of your particular crossing but crossings in the entire country. [That is not true about about what the Bridge Co. said in Ottawa. The Bridge Co. made it clear that their objections were not “health, safety and security” issues but “ownership” issues and “micro-management” issues of a bureaucrats telling them how to operate their business on a day-to-day basis] And that’s important. And it’s not just about your particular issue, and your particular crossing, this about standards and procedures which are necessary for all us. And you are right, the Ambassador Bridge does some very very good things. And there’s some good people working there, and there’s some, you know, some important things that you’ve done procedurally that can be used in other areas. The bottom line at the end of the day is, it will be, it is an unmit, it is a very much a disaster in terms of Windsor and the economy if we just twin the Ambassador Bridge and we don’t deal with the real problem is that it is in the wrong location for the wrong time. [No, the real problem is that the politicians did not do their job over the years and are now trying to pin the blame for their failures on the Bridge Co. The bridge has been there for 80 years. Highway 3 was made the road to the bridge. Politicians allowed the area to be built up without make a connection to Highway 401. They are afraid to make the decisions required for fear of being tossed out of office. It is much easier to blame someone else, to oppose, and not offer up a realistic alternative that does not destroy Sandwich and Delray!]

Brian: Yeah, well we’ve fought many times to try and get those enhancements, and I’ve been pushing for that as a non-government member, [He had his opportunity when the NDP held the balance of power in Parliament and what did he accomplish for us!] we wanted those improvements, but the reality is that a provincial and a federal government decided not to finish the highway to the Ambassador Bridge and I’m not going to penalize the churches, the schools, the houses, the businesses with economic degradation as well as, because on top of that trucks are sitting in front of them just for the profits of the Ambassador Bridge to twin. What we need is a new model and solution… [So punish the Bridge Co. for politicians' failures! Bizarre!]

Brian: Well, I think that it’s important to note that there is only one other private crossing and it’s the International Bridge in Fort Francis and it also has some of the highest rates, as well for crossings. This is very important. So when we’re looking at why would we want to add another layer of profit on top of the actual crossing that we have. It’s important because it is going to affect where businesses are going to locate. It’s going to affect the infrastructure in perpetuity and that’s why I believe we deserve what every part of the country between Canada and the United States is virtually getting is that public ownership and accountability. [See above re tolls and profits. Using Brian's logic, public crossings should be the #1 operators but they are not.] And that’s important. And that’s not, there’s nothing sinister about the Ambassador Bridge wanting to make profit between the trading conduit that we have between our two countries. That’s the way it works there and that’s fine.

Brian: We actually want lower tolls. [See above re the Tunnel tolls] We want to actually have accountability for the future and investment. And that’s, who knows who’s going to own the Ambassador Bridge in ten, fifteen, twenty years from now, I mean, Mr. Stamper’s offered it up for sale ah… [No he did not. If this is what Brian believes, then he should set out how much he thinks the Government ought to be prepared to pay to buy it. I am sure that he will suggest a fair price won't he!]

Brian: Well, it’s very much, the plan that they are proposing is very hostile to the community and its one that has been rejected openly. [Not it seems by many people who have seen the actual plan] What they propose is that they will live with a border crossing to the west of them. We are looking at legislation that could have an economic zone as part of the new border crossing. [Oh, just like the promises to the people in Delray such that when push came to shove, MDOT said that the people in Delray would have to partner with others!] John was correct in terms of talking about redevelopment and opportunity. That’s why we have to do something different as we’ve done before. The Canadian government as well has indicated, that the Canadian side will be publicly owned and there will be funds available for that as well and they’ve indicated that in the most recent budget. So, when we’re looking at the situation between the DRIC process, where we actually have a procedure that is rolled out there, as opposed to the Ambassador Bridge proposal. [The bridge proposal has a legal procedure that it is following as well eg EA requirements on both sides of the river] There is the proper logistics, financial and other support to do that. The big issue is still getting to the border crossing… [And what is Brian's real and practical solution that works and will please everyone?]

Brian: Well, at the end of the day if you believe all that, and it works the way it is supposed to work you still have the problem of the trucks and the cars can’t get to the 401. And that, at the end of the day, that’s the real problem. [AGREED. it's about the only thing that I can agree with in all of what Brian said. Now if he will only admit that he and other politicians at all levels have failed on this problem, we can get somewhere] That’s why there’s been such discussion in our community over the years to come up with a, something that’s going to be healthy for the local area, as well as, the flow of the traffic through our region and that is important for the rest of the United States and the rest of Canada, but also is important for our regional economy. And once again, that’s why the Ambassador Bridge twinning or twinning plus in terms of this proposal is one that doesn’t work. [The Bridge works, the road does not. Fix the road and you fix the bridge!] It’s also one, that even, I know there’s been Senate hearings that have identified this as a security risk. [Why hasn't Brian advocated for reverse customs that solves the problem entirely without spending billions] It also doesn’t provide for redundancy in the future in terms of any of the things that can be thrown out on us, [The old bridge provides the redundancy] so, once again it just comes down to the bottom line of how do you get to the through traffic from the 401 that needs to go there and also capacity for local businesses and also more importantly, to our commuters. And that just won’t be successful under twinning or twinning plus as proposed. [Bald assertions do not make it so!] And that’s why I think we need another capacity west of the current proposal and we’ll just see where it goes from there. [Yes, shall we destroy Sandwich or Delray or both] The Ambassador bridge is going to try and continue to move forward, but there is a process on the Canadian side and it’s one I think they are going to have trouble with, because once again you need to have a spot you need to launch from and you have to have a spot to land to. [They have both spots: their existing plazas]

Brian: Well I think we have to look forward to the 21st century and the fact of the matter is that we are in a region entitled to the same type of practices across the country and that’s for greater accountability, its for lower tolls and its for a future that looks at the border as not just a conduit for the economy for the nation, but locally as well to and socially and culturally. And that’s why I believe that we need a new border authority, we need a new border offering redundancy and quite frankly we need to look at new solutions and trying to shoe-horn an old proposal unto old an old environment isn’t enough for the region. [Whatever that all means! Why I can just hear this being said when the election is announced. Obviously, Brian is getting the message out early. Sloganeering rather than offering a concrete and realistic solution!]

Monday, May 07, 2007

No Money--Or A Bridge--For Windsor

It is becoming more and more clear that the Government money for Windsor is drying up. It is also becoming clearer as bureaucrats are testifying before the Legislatures that the justifications given to build a new DRIC bridge are falling by the wayside. What happens then?

First the money side:

  1. Another half billion for the Asian Gateway but no more for Windsor
  2. $300M BIF program is ending
  3. No money added in the Provincial Budget
  4. $400M only for a road in the Federal budget
  5. Financial problems in Michigan and Ontario
  6. Eddie keeps begging the Senior Levels for money

It's not an issue we are told....The DRIC bridge will be a P3. The DRIC bridge will be paid for over time by users.

Two small problems

1) The Ambassador bridge tolls will be significantly lower so who would use the new bridge unless forced to go there

2) Michigan legislation does not permit P3s to be entered into! I do not remember being told that. With the anti-DRIC mood in the Michigan legislature, do you really think they would introduce legislation to allow that!

Here's an interesting story out of Michigan that has some startling information:

  • New Bridge Needs New Partnership
    Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

    To get the Detroit International River Crossing underway (DRIC), the Legislature will have to consider allowing the Department of Transportation (MDOT) to form some kind of relationship with a private corporation.

    MDOT Director Kurt STUEDLE told the Senate Transportation Committee that such a partnership would help the state and Canada get stable, upfront funding for the project. Stuedle appeared before the committee to follow up on a presentation he made about six months ago.

    Though Stuedle said he wasn't advocating that the Legislature immediately move to give MDOT the authority to form a relationship with a private entity, they might have to in the future.

    Stuedle said construction on the bridge needs to begin somewhere between 2015 and 2030 depending on traffic flow. If the governments in Canada and Michigan continue working toward reaching a DRIC agreement, bridge construction could begin as early as 2013.

    When asked how the bridge would ultimately be paid for, Stuedle said the same way other bridges have been paid for: Tolls.

    "At the end of the day it's paid for by tolls if there's a toll on it," Stuedle said.

    Stuedle also addressed the economic impact of international crossings on Michigan. In 2006, 40 percent of the passenger cars that crossed the border spent money on dining, entertainment and casinos and more than 10 percent spent money on shopping.

    "Michigan is more closely related to Ontario than we are to other states," he said. "

This story is astounding for what it says. The person being quoted is the Director of MDOT.

Did you catch the new information also that we are told---"Stuedle said construction on the bridge needs to begin somewhere between 2015 and 2030 depending on traffic flow."

What no congestion or capacity problems for potentially 23 more years! issue with respect to security or redundancy. So why are MDOT and the other three Government even considering building another bridge! Just to force the Bridge Co. out of business? Is that what this DRIC exercise is really all about?

The reality now---if we are to get a new bridge here, then the Bridge Co. is the only one who will build it! They have the money and the will to do so. And if Government has no reason other than a "forced" buy-out, then some lawyers will be very busy for the next dozen or so years.
Oh and one further quote from the MDOT Director in another MIRS story:
  • "Meanwhile, the head of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has called the Maroon [sic] bridge concept a "viable private option." MDOT Director Kirk STEUDLE said he has not taken a "specific position" on the idea but told MIRS, "We certainly are supportive of his proposal moving forward, but with the realization that he's still got a number of hurdles to get across, as well…that isn't there yet."

Numbers Game

Here are some interesting numbers for you to consider. This was prompted by a reader who sent me this note:

Three minutes and Four seconds after 2 AM on the 6th of May this year, the time and date will be: 02:03:04 05/06/07.


I guess that is what the WTC must be doing as traffic volume numbers keep eroding.

I still have difficulty believing that the number, $75M, is an accurate one for the value of the American half of the Tunnel. According to Eddie, Goldman Sachs gave that valuation---but they work for Kwame. Who on our side were the advisors that Eddie said also said that this was a good number? I'd like to see how they arrived at that value!

It has been so quiet since Kwame dropped the bombshell in his budget speech. How are the talks going with the Feds? Will they produce the cash for the City OR is Eddie just waiting for them to say NO so he can denounce them and go elsewhere. It's a good strategy---get the Federal money or force the Feds to approve whomever he chooses to partner with or be the one responsible for the deal cratering

Oh well, it's that time again! And it will not be good news to justify a big value for the Tunnel

It's the time to tell you how many more vehicles that the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel lost this year compared with last year. Every month since Eddie increased the tolls, volumes have been sinking like a stone. Moreover, poor Brian Masse has such a hard time attacking the Bridge Co. for profiteering when the Cities-owned Tunnel's toll rates are higher.

The question to ask is why Alinda has not raised its tolls as it did in Alabahma. Have they done a deal so that their management agreement gets bought out so they do not care? Or do they know that if the tolls go up any more, their business will go into the toilet completely?

My information says that the Tunnel has lost in April another 75,000 vehicles compared with April, 2006. The total loss for the year so far is over 300,000 vehicles or another 16% of volume.

Here is a scarier number. The number of commerical buses has been reduced by almost 2,000 buses since last year or close to 25%. If all of these are "tourist" buses that carry 40 or 50 people each, well you can figure out how many less people are coming here.


It certainly is NOT the Windsor area as can be seen by this announcement from the Prime Minister. Some pretty big numbers for our Asian Gateway but no numbers so far for Windsor.

  • "Prime Minister Stephen Harper today outlined that the new investments in infrastructure in Budget 2007 are a significant element of restoring fiscal balance in Canada...

    Canada’s New Government will make a further investment of $410 million in the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, a mass infrastructure undertaking that will enhance Canada’s access to Asian markets.

    “At the dawn of the 21st century, no country in the world is better positioned than Canada to prosper in the emerging global economy, and the Gateway Initiative is obviously critical to realizing our potential,” said the Prime Minister...

    “The long-overdue rehabilitation of our national economic infrastructure will go far in restoring equality of opportunity to every region of the country,” said Prime Minister Harper.

    Today’s announcement, which builds on last year’s investment of $591 million, brings total federal funding for The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative to more than $1 billion.

    “It’s hard to overstate the importance of Asia-Pacific trade to Canada’s economic future. The Gateway Initiative is obviously critical to realizing our potential as a country,” concluded the Prime Minister."


That is the number of direct construction and spin-off jobs that will never be created as the $300M BIF money disappears at the end of the five year program.

Go ask Eddie Francis and Council, Brian Masse, Joe Comartin, Sandra Pupatello, and Dwight Duncan why they have all sat around for five years doing nothing as the money disappears.

Had the road to the Ambassador Bridge been started, since that road fell under the program, then we would have had highpaying infrastructure jobs shielding us from the downturn in the auto industry until the Gazelle feeders could have done their task to diversify our economy.


Is this the beginning of bloodshed at City Hall as the Mayor and Council finally take a look at the number of Administration bureaucrats and decide how many are really needed?

The story says that around $1 M will be saved yet goes on to say:

  • "Despite the cuts, it is hoped no employees end up being forced out the door after bumping rights unfold over the next several weeks, said Helga Reidel, the city’s general manager of corporate services.

    Such a scenario can hopefully be avoided since the city has a number of job vacancies, she said."

All that this says is that for years we have had people in unessential jobs being over-paid. So if they still work for us but in different jobs and we can still save about a million, it means on average, each of them have been overpaid by about $35,700! Now that is quite a number.

Where is Citistat????


I hear Gridlock Sam is back once again. I guess Eddie brings him out every time he wants an out-of-town traffic guru to say something significant.

I wonder if we will hear a third presentation from him...about a tunnel, a new route to the border, a criticism of the DRIC road, the transportation hub.

We'll just have to be patient until Eddie allows him to speak.