More Interesting Comments
More and more ideas just keep on coming.
Has the Ambassador been made aware of technological advances and the various programs that can speed trucks through? If not, why not? If so, why does the Government want to spend so much money on a new crossing?
Does the left hand of the Federal Government know what the right hand is saying?
- U.S. security turning border into parking lot, envoy warns
BETH GORHAM, Canadian Press, November 14, 2007
WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection should review and reduce excessive security measures at the Canada-U.S. line or risk turning it into a parking lot, Ambassador Michael Wilson told the agency Wednesday.
Idling trucks on both sides of the border aren't secure or profitable, he said, and fees are being slapped several times on the same products as parts travel back and forth during manufacturing...
Canada wants much of the border clearance process to move away from crossing points, as well as a bilateral vision of what the border should look like 10 to 15 years down the road...
Canada has long advocated cutting red tape and fees while expanding bridges and other infrastructure built two generations ago, when two-way trade was a fraction of the $1-million a minute it is now.
There are particular fears about longer lineups once passports are required at land and sea crossings into the United States as early as next summer.
NOW ROSS PAUL KNOWS HOW SANDRA PUPATELLO FELT
Whew, poor Ross Paul must feel that the entire world is attacking him. I would suggest that he contact Sandra immediately to find out how she was able to resist the Henderson/NDP attacks on her. They came in his column and on the floor during Question Period at Queen's Park with respect to the arena.
Oh I forgot she knuckled under and is now Eddie's best friend, calling him every day, especially after he sent a letter of support for her nomination as the Liberal candidate. I guess that big, multi-million dollar, Provincial donation to the arena helped too.
Story after story, column after column, editorial after editorial slamming the University for not capitulating and jeopardizing its financial future and its students' education so that Eddie can pretend that there may be redevelopment in the downtown core. Who needs Beztak, who needs an arena, who needs the Junction, it's all the University's fault.
I thought though that the funniest story that puts all of this into a proper perspective, especially the nonsense about the St. Clair students rejuvenating the downtown, was the following that was printed in the Star:
- "For more than 40 years, Dominic Giglio and his family have operated businesses in the vicinity of the University of Windsor.
"We've seen the university grow from 4,000 students to more than 17,000," says Giglio, whose family owns and operates a grocery store, flower shop and residential rental units. "But you don't see any trendy shops and cafes around here."
Giglio says Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis and the downtown business association are "dreaming" if they think locating the new engineering building downtown will revitalize the core.
The main campus, with 10 times the population of the proposed new engineering school, has failed to spawn one trendy retail outlet, coffee shops or loft conversion," says Giglio, a U of W engineering graduate.
"Expectations for the engineering school's transformation of the downtown area are wildly unrealistic and optimistic."
- If you want an engineering school downtown...
...just tell Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis and city councillors that the University of Windsor is considering building it in Tecumseh instead.
You'll have a sweet deal done overnight and the shovel will hit the ground in less than a week.
We'll work out all the pesky details later.
Fortunately for Marty Komsa, he can't be attacked since since his tenure as the Chair of the University Board has ended or is about to end. As for Ross, he shouldn't care since he will be leaving the University shortly as well.
We all know that this is nothing more than a salvage attempt on another Eddie Francis failure. Enough already. Save the printer's ink for the Greenlink failure.
IT'S THEIR FAULT NOT MINE
This seems to be the new defence that you should consider using at work if there's a problem and your boss calls you into the office to give a heck. It seems to work very well.
We first heard this excuse being used by the Mayor when he blamed the Windsor Utilities Commission mess on the previous administration. He had said, if you remember, that some of the problems were due to "politics." Fortunately someone corrected him since that would mean, since he was "political," that he would bear some responsibility.
Then at City Council, the Chair of the Economic Development Commission put the blame on the previous administration for the fact that they had no marketing materials. Mind you only took him about a year and $1 million to figure that out but fortunately he did.
At County Council this was set out in much more detail:
- "We don't have the resources yet to compete (with other regions)," said Mancini. "Help us to build the marketing and promotional infrastructure that we need.
"I need you guys on my side," said Mancini. "I'm sorry if I offended anybody but we were given a big mess to clean up."
Mancini said the new board for the revamped commission found it had no plans, promotional material or strategy."
A bemused reader who is very knowledgeable about the comings and goings of the Commission wrote the following to me in response to my BLOG about this matter:
- "Your blog was on the mark; the unanswered question in light of the"empty shelves"--what have they been doing these past 43 months?"
Compare the lack of speed of the Commission with that of the airport General Manager:
- "But it isn't all about squeezing the airport nickels. Nazzani, a fast study and born salesperson, has been on the road repeatedly to pitch the city-formed company she runs, YQG (trademarked as Your Quick Getaway), at airline industry conferences as far away as Frankfurt, Stockholm and London.
In four months, starting from scratch, she's developed a power-point presentation that leaves a listener wondering how an asset with so many advantages, from its strategic location to its relatively clear weather, from its lack of noise and weight restrictions to its exceptional 9,000-foot runway and quick aircraft turnaround time, could be such a dismal performer."
What more can one say!
VOTE OF NO-CONFIDENCE
Mr. Mancini wants to spend a whole bunch of money on "a much needed update of the commission's website, basic printed and multi-media promotional materials and billboard promotions near airports." Obviously this is being done to generate good publicity about the area and to capitalize on our almost 1 year old position as the FDI "best small city in North America for investment."
In passing, speaking of that award, did anyone go over to Europe to collect the plaque for it. Surely it should be hung on the walls of the Commission for people to see as the first thing they see as they enter the office. If there was a plaque, perhaps it was shipped here by FedEx or UPS instead. But I digress.
The Report on "Windsor Airport/Update on RFP 73-07 for the Operation and Management of Windsor Airport" is very enlightening given what happened at Council.
16 parties apparently were interested in running Windsor's airport but only three actually put in a proposal, three very experienced operators as you can tell from their description in the report. They were all rejected.
If we can't get anyone to run our airport, what does that say about this City? Does anyone truly believe that billboard presentations near other airports is going to bring us new economic development as Mr. Mancini is suggesting?
The whole airport RFP scheme had many fatal flaws in it as are identified in the report on pages 8 and 9. The key concern obviously was the exclusion of the airport lands. That's why Serco, the former operator, really was involved. That's where the real money would be made.
This whole exercise is hilarious if it were not so sad. It is nothing more than an excuse so that the City can take over the airport, become a land developer for the airport lands and create, using taxpayer money, shovel ready industrial lands. That's so much more fun than actually operating a City. I'd like to be a land developer too at no risk to my personal finances and at taxpayer expense.
It was a slamdunk that Council on Monday allowed Eddie to run the airport under his Corporation. Surprise surprise it will take another year for a master plan to be created. That's Eddie's technique stall it until you're ready to do something. Another plan, another year.
- "Based on our assessment, the Windsor Airport staff possess the requisite expertise to successfully manage and operate the Windsor Airport... in our research there exists tremendous opportunity for new economic growth and development. Opportunities to position the Windsor Airport asset at the leading edge of new economic prosperity for the City and region are significant and real."
If that was really true, private enterprise would be knocking down the doors of the Airport and Serco would not have left town before their contract expired.
0h, one other matter. I just thought I would let you know that the airport manager is Federica Nazzani. In case you thought you recognized that name, she has held positions on the City of Windsor Audit Committee, WFCU Board, finance and tax committee with the Windsor and District Chamber of Commerce and on the Enwin Energy Board.
WHO SHOULD USE THE 1%
You have just bought a new motor vehicle. You deserve it after all. You work hard, you've been successful and what the heck, you really do need all of those luxuries in the fully loaded model. That seat warmer is nice on those cold blustery days after all.
Of course you're going to wait until after the GST is reduced by 1%. On your $35,000 vehicle, that's $350 in your pocketbook. It's not that much really but you might take your spouse out for a fancy dinner on Erie Street or buy a new suit or use it to help buy that big screen TV or who knows what.
But hold on there. You are not alone. Eddie wants that money instead. Here's what he said in the Star, the Toronto Star that is, not the local paper:
- "Canadian families may save $150 a year from the federal government's GST cut, but their cities will still be crumbling down around them, say mayors across Canada.
The mayors had pleaded with Ottawa to give them one cent on the dollar of the GST, instead of cutting the tax to 5 per cent. They say their cities are plagued by inadequate public transit, ancient water and sewer lines, potholed roads and needy neighbourhoods without services...
One cent of the GST would have put $5 billion into municipal coffers, but Ottawa ignored their call...
It's not just about improving life for residents, it's about the national economy, said Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis.
Canada's busiest border city is in desperate need of infrastructure upgrades, he said.
"Twenty-eight per cent of all trade between Canada and the U.S. is being transported on infrastructure built by our grandparents. If the border isn't working in Windsor, Toronto stops. If Toronto stops, Ottawa suffers ... the national economy suffers...
Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis:
The millions would help the city of Windsor deal with a sudden influx of refugees and help the area's manufacturing and tourism industries, devastated by the high dollar.
"The federal government needs to recognize that there's a place for cities (at the national table) and cities can't do it alone."
Oh really. Does he think that this money would be used for the Windsor/Detroit border. He knows better than that and so do we. It is abundantly clear from his comments that it won't be used to fix up watermains because we're already paying that due to an 86% percent increase that hammered taxpayers. I didn't see anything about helping to fix up roads and sewers either.
My heavens, it will help us pay for the cost of illegal aliens! And to help Mr. Mancini create his brochures.
Come on now, that 1% will do nothing more than help Eddie with his shovel ready lands at the airport. It will probably take time for the municipalities to beat up on the Federal Government before they get what they want. Maybe 12 months.
So on which side do you land? The taxpayers get the money so they can spend it on items that interest them as Finance Minister Flaherty wants to do it (especially because we will be having a federal election soon) or Eddie gets the money to let him spend it as he wants.
WINDSOR IS FOR THE BIRDS
I don't think that can be said anymore.
Expect a giant debate at City Hall soon over the new proposed bylaw. It will make the debates at City Hall on feral cats and pit bulls looked like nothing. It will increase the number of hours that City Council holds in public debate so that certain Councilors will be able to point at how much more time was spent in public debate than in in camera sessions.
No, it looks like Windsor is against the birds. According to the Star:
- "Windsor could soon have a bylaw that prohibits people from feeding strays and pigeons.
The proposed rule, if approved, will target people creating a public nuisance or generating neighbourhood complaints by "bulk feeding" a flock of birds or strays, said Coun. Fulvio Valentinis."
Remind me not to go to Council on that night.
DO NOT DARE SUPPORT THE AMBASSADOR BRIDGE
I want to welcome Senator Alan L. Cropsey to the "Smeared Club."
Membership in the Club is only available to those few brave souls in the Windsor/Detroit area who have dared take a position that certain people view as supporting the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement project and have been smeared accordingly.
The Senator was viciously attacked in Metro Times. The story started off in the following manner so you understand what I mean. Ad hominem attacks are fun:
- "State Sen. Alan Cropsey (R- Dewitt, west of Lansing) isn't a guy you would normally think of as a transportation expert. During his college days at that intellectual powerhouse, Bob Jones University, he studied how to teach math (fundamentalist math, naturally) to little kids.
Nor is he on the transportation committee. But he has been fighting hard to protect the interests of Matty Moroun, the shadowy billionaire who wants monopoly control of commercial traffic across the Detroit River. Old Matt has that now, thanks to his ownership of the Ambassador Bridge."
You see, the Senator's crime against humanity was:
- "2007 Senate Resolution 123
Introduced by Sen. Alan L. Cropsey on October 31, 2007, to support the plan of the Detroit International Bridge Company to establish an enhancement span to the Ambassador Bridge and to urge the Michigan Strategic Fund and U.S. and Canadian authorities to take certain actions regarding this project. Passed in the Senate (18 to 15) on October 31, 2007."
You are not allowed to think in Windsor or Detroit when it comes to the border crossing. You must accept the position that you are against the Bridge Company. You have no alternative. Or else.