Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, February 25, 2008

Windsor Depression Coming

Read this article from Today's Trucking Online. Is it me or does our Mayor sound like a spoiled little brat who will have a temper tantrum if he does not get his way. The problem is that if he has one, then we all suffer. By that I mean not just Windsor but the economies of two countries.

And I wonder if this is part of his game-plan as actually pretend to start a lawsuit to tie up the border for years to get what he wants. If you read his language carefully there is no doubt it is part of a legal case that may be in draft stage already for all I know.

The childish threat of another lawsuit to block the building of a road to the Ambassador Bridge is exactly what we need here to make this area a retirement community for rich Torontonians. Who needs 15,000 high-paying infrastructure and spin-off jobs when "hopefully" the Mayor might get 50 from sending our goods to Germany after his taxpayer paid trip, not vice-versa, and we can get thousands of minimum wage call centre ones and for looking after retired folks.

Eddie will fight "till the end he claims." Since his end as Mayor is in about three years when he will start his next career, I guess he must be talking about the end of Windsor as a viable community!

That's the future we have to look forward to with this Mayor.

  • Mayor says he'll fight for GreenLink truck route 'till the end
WINDSOR, Ont. -- Despite mounting opinion that Ontario will choose to disregard Windsor's enviro-friendly GreenLink truck artery plans, Mayor Eddie Francis says he's still optimistic -- albeit cautiously-- the plan isn't dead yet.

High-ranking Ontario Liberal cabinet ministers -- including Windsor's own MPP Sandra Pupatello and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan --are said to prefer a different, cheaper plan to construct a dedicated commercial road from Highway 401 to a new border crossing in the Ojibway Industrial area.

Francis and much of city council vow to keep fighting for their solution, though. That, incidentally, has also bothered the provincial politicians in Toronto, who criticized the city for its recently announced plan to spend more money on a pro-GreenLink campaign.

The Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) study -- a team of Canadian and American bureaucrats overseeing the new crossing and its supporting infrastructure --has until nest month to approve that "parkway" plan or go ahead and endorse GreenLink, which tunnels 65 percent of the Huron Church Road-Talbot Road corridor below grade and insulates the route with greenery and parkland.

To avoid "walls of trucks" separating neighborhoods, Greenlink offers a 65 percent tunneled route In a recent interview with, Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis says residents and businesses overwhelmingly support the city's idea over the province's favored design, which only offers 25 percent tunneling and less parkland than the $1.6-billion GreenLink plan.

He wonders, however, if DRIC hasn't already been influenced by Queen's Park. "I would also hope this is not a political exercise DRIC is undertaking."

He points out that despite the opinion coming out of Toronto, DRIC still has a responsibility under its own environmental assessment (EA) mandate to approve the most viable plan. "And the EA mandate is pretty clear that DRIC needs to consider all alternatives that better address those factors that have been identified to improve air quality, connectivity and protect neighborhoods," he tells us.

"If you go through all the factors that have been enumerated by the EA process, all our plans are clearly superior to DRIC's. They are obligated under the EA to consider (GreenLink). If it's easily dismissed, then they're going to have issues on their hands to explain how our plan in fact doesn't do all those things."

It would be an unforgivable mistake if the border route decision were heavily based on cost, continues Francis. While the price tag is a significant factor, the value of GreenLink far outweighs its competing solution when the impacts on the community are considered.

"This is not about building a road through empty space, the province wants to build a road that goes through a community, which was ultimately the result of the province making the mistake of ending (highway) 401 where it did. We're all paying for that now. What we're saying is do it right so that 50 years from now we're not making someone pay for more of our mistakes today."

So, what happens if DRIC gives GreenLink thumbs down next month? It depends on their reasoning, says Francis, adding that if the city isn't convinced the EA was properly followed, council will have "recourse."

"We don't want to unwind the process," says Francis. 'But we'll have to see and assess the situation."