Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, April 24, 2008

News, Fast And Furious

Here are more news items that you may find interesting


Some readers have asked what the correct answer was for the exam question that I presented the other day.

Interestingly, I am told that only one student in the entire business class got an A+ on the question. The perfect answer was to reject all of the suggested answers and to say that the entire process should be scrapped and started all over again. The conflict of interest made it impossible for the organization to demonstrate that there was no bias in the selection process.

That is called out-of-the-box thinking by that student that seems so popular in this area after the City's Strategic Planning Session of several weeks ago. Except that in our City, to think outside-of-the-box, one has to create a box first.

Irony of ironies, unfortunately for that student, while at the top of the class, no one wants to hire him/her. Apparently that person is much too ethical.


I guess some ad genius thought he/she was being cute. I guess the ad was designed so that border crossers would think that the Tunnel was so easy to use now with the Ambassador Gateway project being started that it was just like being on the "Highway to Heaven."

The only problem is that the "narrow" part defines the Tunnel's major problem, for commuters especially. It is only one lane in each direction. Thus if one is a Nexus commuter, if one is stuck behind a bunch of non-Nexus vehicles in the Tunnel, then one is stuck with nothing that can be done about it. That's a main reason why the Bridge Co. wants to add a lane in each direction so Nexus users will be able to go through the border more quickly.

Of course that means that the Tunnel will lose traffic won't it? No wonder Eddie is not too unhappy if nothing happens with the DRIC or Enhancement Project bridges for years, or at least until someone is foolish enough to finance his Tunnel deal!


I am really annoyed.

I wrote this wonderful BLOG including a copy of Dan Stamper's letter that was buried in the City's Order of Business and explained its significance both with the respect to Canadian constitutional law and how it could impact personally on the Mayor and Councillors.

Did the media pick up on it? Did anyone wonder why no one mentioned it at Council during the agenda item that dealt with Sandwich? Did anyone ask the Mayor or Councillors whether they felt at risk personally? Did anyone wonder what the impact of that issue was with respect to the homes on Indian Road?

Hrrrump. Hardly a ripple. The best that I saw was the last line of the Battagello story posted online that was written right after the Council Meeting. He wrote:

  • "But company president Dan Stamper has sent the city a letter indicating it is a federal entity and should be exempt from municipal rules."

I must admit when I saw this late at night I was quite excited. It was in the key spot in Star articles, right at the end so that most people wouldn't see it. I expected a massive exposé to come.

Imagine my disgust when I opened up the newspaper and saw that this line had been cut, eliminated, removed, taken away! What was the reason for this? Surely it could not have been for lack of space. Wasn't this huge challenge by the Bridge Company worth at least a mention?

Oh well, at least you, dear reader, know something that may in fact impact the border issue significantly in the future that most of the Star readers don't know. They will be surprised but you won't be.


Now this is a BIG aside:

  • "Lawyer Cliff Sutts, who is representing the city, said Tuesday that aside from financing, completion of the deal hinges on how quickly Detroit moves in responding to the most recent revisions to the draft agreement."

However, look how quickly time flies on this deal or does it mean that a cast of thousands have been working around the clock even now. Only a short time ago Mr. Sutts said:

  • "Sutts said the transaction should be complete within 60 days, pending certain surveys "that are holding things up at the moment."

Now he can say:

  • "I have been waiting to receive revisions they are making to a draft agreement I prepared,” he said. He described the deal as “virtually complete.”

But is this the reason for the 60 days:

  • "There has been some discussion about an application with the City of Windsor and Infrastructure Ontario,” said Steve Dyck, a spokesman for the agency. “It’s at the due diligence stage — looking at information that will be required in terms of processing the application.”

    He said the tunnel deal would qualify under the loan program, but Windsor has not yet indicated when the application will be made."

The guidelines state:

  • "The application process is estimated to take six to eight weeks from Infrastructure Ontario’s receipt of a complete application including all supporting documentation."

Poor City of Detroit....they just have wait some more to find out if Windsor and the Province will solve their Budget problems.


Here is what industry does to make the border work better:

  • "(From Perrin Beatty is president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce....A small number of companies representing a significant portion of trans-border volume have voluntarily undertaken hefty costs to be designated as low-risk shippers and receive expedited crossings."

As their reward for doing so and so that their trucks can cross the border more quickly, here is how the Government proposes to thank them and incentivize others:

  • "Ownership would be with the government of Canada, but you need to know how much traffic will be on the new bridge, how much tolls will be and so forth,” Butler said. The surveys given to trucking firms will gauge interest in paying an extra fee to travel in a dedicated Nexus or FAST lane that will start along the highway to the next bridge."

The Ontario Trucking Association should be thrilled with these additional costs that the Governments may be proposing. It's a nice trial balloon to see if the Association will shout and scream. If so, the proposal might be dropped since OTA is a very powerful industry group.

Obviously though, the Governments need money desperately from private investors to pay for the DRIC road...."Cheap" solution here we come. Thanks Eddie for the stalling! Now we can get the worst of all worlds and the Senior Levels will point the finger of blame right at you!


What was the purpose of the Joint Council/Library meeting:

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis and some councillors objected to being blamed for cutting funds leading to the closure."


  • "Hemingway: I am getting to know the rich.

    Colum: I think you’ll find the only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.

What else can one say about the $14M vacation home in Arizona.

The National Post actually ran the story first.

Here is the Arizona story