Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Star Story That Never Was

No room for this story in the published Star again?

It's incredible. I am in shock and awe. The war between the Province and the Windsor Mayor and Council is a serious one now. It is a real fight. Unfortunately for Windsorites, we will all be the casualties in the end in this losing battle. The Province has the big guns and all of the financial and legal resources to win.

Previously, who could take seriously frankly Councillor Junior's remarks. But when Councillor Gignac gets angry, and that is so untypical of her, then we know that there is a real war going on. Her attack on Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan, as reported in the Star was a real shock to me. Clearly front-page news!

Wait a minute you say. What are you talking about? What Gignac attack? What Star story?

Oh I forgot, you probably weren't up around 11 PM last night to see the online story that was prepared by Dave Battagello. But I was and I have a copy of it. I wanted to see where it was placed in the published Star today but it was not there at all. I went back to the online version to see what comments were made but the story was not online any longer nor in the Star archives when I checked this morning.

When I clicked on the link that I received from my news aggregator about the story, I was directed to this story instead: "After-hours clubs to keep late closing time."

Interestingly though, someone slipped up at the Star because the first few comments clearly had nothing to do with this story but rather the Gignac story.

Why wasn't the story published? It is clearly a very important one. Was the Star trying to protect Spanky since he is one of their big favourites or is Councillor Gignac another one of the Anybody But Bill possibilities in case Dave Cooke does not run for Mayor?

In any event, here's the story in the continuing war. Now you understand why I'm so concerned about the Senior Levels pulling out of Windsor. If you don't see the handwriting on the wall after this story then you will never see it.

Gignac vs. Duncan
Windsor councillor questions MPP's support of city
Dave Battagello, The Windsor Star, Published: Monday, February 04, 2008

The ongoing war of words between city council and local MPP Dwight Duncan (L -- Windsor-Tecumseh) took another turn Monday when Coun. Jo-Anne Gignac expressed her frustration over his refusal to support a proposed local tree research project.

The city last fall applied for job creation grants from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to support creation of the Kentucky Coffee Tree Grove & Hackberry Grove. It is anticipated to cost about $550,000.

Council previously passed a resolution to provide close to $100,000 toward the costs.

The council resolution was sent to local MPPs, who were asked for support.

But Duncan, Ontario's finance minister, responded in a Jan. 29 letter to the city that he would not provide support, citing his role as a cabinet minister and saying he can not be perceived "as attempting to influence or interfere in a decision."

That triggered Gignac's anger during Monday's council meeting.

"We got a letter back saying sorry but he is a cabinet minister and he couldn't do that," she said tersely. "We need to ask him how he advocates for this city."

Council passed a motion Monday backing Ggnac's request to send another letter back to Duncan, asking him to clarify his letter and better explain why he feels it's a conflict to offer support for the city's provincial grant application for the tree research program.

Both council and Duncan have been at odds over a looming decision to resolve Windsor's border truck traffic problems. A few weeks ago, Duncan told council and Mayor Eddie Francis to call off its lawyers, who are threatening to delay a Manning Road expansion project in the county.

Francis and council, in turn, have accused Duncan of trying to develop Manning Road as a new border link for international trucks between Highway 401 and E.C.Row.