Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, April 14, 2008

BLOGBreaking News: Is It Unconstitutional

Something has happened. It appears as if the Bridge Co. has had enough. The stakes are much higher today than they were last week for the City of Windsor and the Mayor and Councillors personally aren't they! Especially financially.

The Bridge Co. has picked up the challenge thrown at them by the Mayor and Council. It seems that the Report at Council tonight, Agenda Item #12, has to be viewed by them as just another stall tactic since it sets out no new criteria for demolition or exemption for their homes in Sandwich but deals with "process" which was well understood already! It pits the City not only against the Bridge Co. but the citizens living in Sandwich as well. And against the Senior Levels too.

Really, isn't that what the Greenlink ad blitz, the CKLW interview and Henderson column were all about: to transform Eddie from the indecisive and weak leader into our hero and champion when the war actually begins against the "enemies!" Just see my earlier BLOG today.

Thanks to the passing of Bill C-3 (for which Brian Masse takes credit), there is a Federal statute which makes it absolutely clear which level of Government has control over border crossings and bridge safety and security. It's NOT the City. It's the Feds. If the Feds are asked the question, they will have to support the Bridge Co.'s position or they will have gutted their own legislation!

In fact the City's position on the Rail Lands by-law also hurts them.

Thanks to Eddie's statements at the Senate hearing on Bill C-3 such as the following, it is clear that the City's position regarding the Ambassador Bridge is indefensible:
  • "I agree with you, in terms of the jurisdiction that the federal government has over general works for the advantage of Canada -- the bridge, the plaza, the facility, and the immediate area."

And it should be clear now which road will be built to the border by the Senior Levels and why. It is NOT Greenlink. The City has no voice except to the extent that the Senior Levels choose to listen to it. Sure the City can sue but what happens if that is viewed as bad faith too!

It is time for the City's silly posturing to stop already and to start dealing in good faith with the Bridge Co. and the Senior Levels. If Eddie refuses, then Council has no choice but to become the Voice of Windsor for the border crossing issue, not the Mayor. If that happens, then Mayor Francis will have morphed into being ex-Mayor Hurst in his last year as Mayor!

How much will it cost taxpayers if the City still tries to oppose the Bridge Co. if a bad faith law suit is started by the Bridge Co. and they win!

Will individual Councillors who acted in bad faith be on the hook personally as well?

This matter ought not to be considered as a small concern either. I do not know what the City's insurance covers but I doubt if it covers intentional acts or "bad faith."

Under the Municipal Act, bad faith is not covered either:


448. (1) No proceeding for damages or otherwise shall be commenced against a member of council or an officer, employee or agent of a municipality or a person acting under the instructions of the officer, employee or agent for any act done in good faith in the performance or intended performance of a duty or authority under this Act or a by-law passed under it or for any alleged neglect or default in the performance in good faith of the duty or authority. 2001, c. 25, s. 448 (1).

Policy decisions
450. No proceeding based on negligence in connection with the exercise or non-exercise of a discretionary power or the performance or non-performance of a discretionary function, if the action or inaction results from a policy decision of a municipality or local board made in a good faith exercise of the discretion, shall be commenced against,
(a) a municipality or local board;
(b) a member of a municipal council or of a local board; or
(c) an officer, employee or agent of a municipality or local board. 2001, c. 25, s. 450.

All of this and putting the City at risk financially. For what?

The fun and games and taking free shots are now officially over! It is time to resolve the border issues, put people to work immediately and to tell the world that Windsor is open for business.

Councillors , do your job finally!