Stories Never Stop
LARRY HORWITZ FOR PRIME MINISTER
From reading what is said, is Larry the official candidate of the Liberal party for the riding or is this just an invitation to come out to the nomination meeting and Larry is merely one of the candidates?
The reason for my question is that I had heard the other day the name of someone else who was running supposedly for the nomination. I wonder if that person dropped out of the race.
I certainly hope that the Liberals are clearer when they set up their policies. Who needs confusion.
WHO CAN SAY NO TO PAMELA
If Larry Horwitz becomes the Liberal candidate in Windsor West, then Brian Masse may well lose the election. He certainly will have his first competition in a long time. No matter what he does, people will say that his campaign is a bust.
One of Larry's insiders was bursting at the seams to get this matter off his chest. I was told that Horwitz has a big, secret weapon that he intends to bring out to help him during his campaign: Canadian superstar Pamela Anderson.
I expect that this is one of the matters that the two of them discussed in Vegas. Interestingly, this was not reported in the Henderson column about Horwitz's trip there.
Let's be real. If Pamela came knocking on your door with her big smile and asked you for a favour, to vote for Larry, how could you resist?
In passing, will the media when Horwitz makes a comment, if he remains as President of the Downtown Business Association, keep on asking him if the comment is made to help him with his run for office or whether it is done in good faith to help out the Association. After all, that is what CBC TV News did to Chris Schnurr during his WeACT press conference.
MORE ON ESTRIN'S CONFLICT OF INTEREST
That is the chair of Gowlings holding up the T-shirt in the Law Times newspaper. It is a shame that the T-shirt was not around when David Estrin and another of his partners were doing conflicts checks to see if the Firm could act for the City of Windsor and for the Ambassador Bridge Company at the same time. It might have prevented a lot of problems for everyone, including a lawsuit against the Firm by the Bridge Company.
You might have thought that a conflict was impossible given the fact that the Bridge Company had used the Gowlings firm for over twenty years.
Yet, David Estrin had said in a Star article:
- “Every firm tries its best, but sometimes the conflict screen breaks down," Estrin said.”
In its decision, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated:
- “Estrin claimed to be even more clueless: “Until a few weeks before Centra filed this lawsuit, I was completely unaware that Centra, DIBC, or CTC had retained Gowlings on any other matter.”
And it was not just Estrin as the Court stated:
- “For instance, in June 2005, Stamper sought Gowlings’s assistance in certain tax work. Before accepting the work, a Gowlings attorney searched for any potential conflicts of interest but did not identify any. Then again, most importantly for the case at hand, in November 2005, CenTra sought Gowlings’s assistance in creating a $700- to $800-million bond offering by which to finance the twinning of the Ambassador Bridge. Shortly thereafter, Windsor employed Gowlings to help the city oppose the Bridge Plan.”
The Trial Court stated:
- “Defendants do not dispute that they entered into a conflict of interest by representing Windsor and Plaintiffs with regards to various parts of the Bridge Plan and that any conflict check that Defendants undertook did not discover the adverse representations.”
I found this comment in a Law Times article on the CBA's Conflicts Report that came out recently:
- "Jolliffe tells Law Times he knew it was time for the CBA to take action on conflicts of interest after twice being asked to speak on the issue to managing partners at conferences.
“It became apparent to me that there was a great deal of confusion, and we had a conflicts regime that was not simply confusing and difficult to understand, but impractical,” says Jolliffe."
He says lawyers have been using these “very technical” rules as a tactic in legal actions. Many are bringing motions to disqualify opposing counsel to “delay a case, to cause confusion, to put the opponent off its game, so to speak, by forcing them to change counsel.”
I believe that at the time when the CBA set up the committee Estrin had already been sued but the Trial Court decision had already come out. Do you think that this incident might have piqued Mr. Jolliffe's interest in the subject as well.
Joliffe had said in a Toronto Star article:
- "Conflicts have become a management nightmare because the rules are so vague. Clients are using conflicts to gain a tactical advantage over opponents by handicapping or restricting their freedom of legal choice," said Scott Jolliffe, national managing partner of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, who is chairing the task force.
Mr. Jolliffe should know. Earlier this year, CenTra Inc., the Michigan-based owner of the cross-border Ambassador Bridge, launched a legal action in the state's district court to disqualify Gowlings from representing the city of Windsor on the grounds that the law firm also acted for CenTra.
"They were essentially trying to bully us…"
Gowlings is continuing to represent Windsor."
Based on the US Appeals decision, it may not be as simple as Mr. Jolliffe tried to make it appear. Mr. Jolliffe may owe the Bridge Company at least an apology for his comments by the time this is all finished.
WE ARE GETTING AN EC ROW UPGRADE
The memory of John Tofflemire still lives in our Public Works group!
You would think that this document would have been part of the Administration Report dealing with the Dougall truck issue. It wasn't. It was buried in the Communications Package because it will weaken the City's bargaining position.
Item #6 Council Question 8-2008 Diverted Dougall Truck Traffic is not supposed to be seen by the masses. Then we would understand why both the DRIC Road and Greenlink may never be built. They were both mere diversions. Instead we will get an upgraded E C Row. uploaded by the Province, as I have predicted before.
Now THAT is a cheap solution, probably all that Ontario can afford at this time.
Of course it will be presented as an interim step as had been suggested before. Of course, it will be as interim as our income taxes.
NO MONEY FOR DRIC
At the Cropsey hearings, a strong suggestion was made that if the State of Michigan could not afford to put up its share of the money required for the new DRIC crossing, then the US Federal Government could put up the balance.
Well, that might be a nice thought in dreamland but the reality I am afraid is something else. Check out the following article.
In the end, the only way that a new DRIC crossing will be financed is by some kind of a P3 type deal. Even forgetting that this kind of transaction is not legally allowed in Michigan and would require a legislative change, the likelihood of someone financing privately a billion dollar deal and having to compete with the Ambassador Bridge and the Tunnel is very unlikely.
Now you know why the Tunnel will have to be wrapped into the DRIC bridge P3 deal, why Senator Fortier is talking to the Mayor, what the Tunnel deal is all about and why the Bridge Company needs to be bought out or put out of business.
- "U.S. road fund short, may pinch big projects
Big projects could face pinch unless Congress acts soon
BY JOAN LOWY • ASSOCIATED PRESS • September 6, 2008
WASHINGTON -- The federal highway trust fund will run out of money this month, requiring delays in payments to road projects in Michigan and other states, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said Friday.
The trust fund -- a federal account used to help pay for highway and bridge projects -- will run about $8.3 billion short by the end of September, Peters said during a conference call with reporters.
The shortfall will mean short delays -- and in some cases a temporary reduction -- in payments to states for infrastructure projects the government has agreed to help finance.
Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Shreck said the agency wasn't sure how the funding crisis would affect roadwork under way in the state. That includes the enormous $170-million Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project in Detroit, "but it's headed nowhere good right now."
"A lot depends on what Congress does," Shreck said. "We're concerned but in wait-and-see mode."
But Shreck said Michigan had been notified that payments made to the states would be reduced by 20%-30% starting Sept. 18. He called the shortfall "the first real volley in a crisis" over transportation funding as fuel consumption declines nationwide, reducing revenue from gasoline taxes."