Political Vaudeville And a Nursery Rhyme
I am sure that you are wondering what I am talking about. You must have seen the story on page 5 (surprisingly, not on page 1) of the Windsor Star about the meeting amongst the City and County mayors. Probably not so surprising since Eddie was made to look foolish and like an obstructionist by the County mayors.
From the description of the meeting, I would have thought that Eddie would have had indigestion as his food did not go down very well when he took all of the heat from the County mayors.
On its face, the whole session does not make sense when it was obvious that it was going to be Eddie against the County. After all they recently just had the Joint Councils meeting so what was the purpose of meeting again?
Why would the Mayor who cannot tolerate being questioned nor can deal with any blame allow himself to be attacked so viciously by County mayors? They are saying what Windsor citizens have been saying for a long time, and being ignored, and what our Councillors should have been saying as well but are seemingly afraid to do so.
Look at the headline in the story using the word “confront.” Eddie can’t deal with confrontation. That’s why he has the Councillor kill button on the microphones. He can cut off any Councillor at any time that he wants:
- “County mayors confront Francis over border
Six mayors…had a tough time getting past animosity around the city's ongoing fight with the provincial government over the route to a new border crossing.
Much of the 90-minute strategic session Wednesday at Willistead Manor was dominated by a border showdown between Windsor's Eddie Francis and his county counterparts.
Both Tecumseh's Gary McNamara and LaSalle's Gary Baxter said it's time for the city's posturing by Francis and his council to end, so work can quickly get underway on the $1.6-billion parkway concept put forward by Ontario's transportation ministry to upgrade the Talbot Road-Huron Church Road corridor.
"Cooler heads must prevail," McNamara said. "With the whole issue of seeking courts or lawsuits in delaying these projects, my fear is that upper level of government will abandon the situation and go someplace else."
Windsor has created a perception, rightly or not, that this area is against serving as a route for international trucks unless it gets a tunnel, Baxter added.
He said the city needs to realize its fight has gone far enough and stop appearing "self-motivated or obstructionist" so construction can get started.
"It's up to our counterparts in the city to make peace with the people at the helm of the process and funding it," he said. "We need to get some conclusion to this for the sake of the whole region.
"We need these jobs now. With jobs dwindling, we need this more than ever to stay competitive."
But of course, Eddie and the Eminence Greasie knew all of that before Eddie called the meeting. It was totally predictable what the County would say and totally predictable how Eddie would respond. I’m sure that the food is not that good at Willistead Manor unless there was a purpose to the meaning. And of course there was.
It was all good drama for Windsor citizens to swallow when Eddie capitulates but is made to appear our Saviour instead.
In reality, follow the money and you will get your answer. In the end, it is all about the money that can be taken from the pocketbooks of the Federal and Provincial governments for whatever agenda our Mayor has.
Deep Throat was right. We are coming right now to the climax of the border file and the E C Row Expressway is the key.
We have seen the bit players performing their roles admirably. How many times recently have the Star Editorial writers demanded a compromise? How many times has Gord Henderson threatened our local Cabinet Ministers, Sandra and Dwight to compromise with Eddie? How many times has Eddie changed his position on no trucks on EC Row with his concern being sequencing now? I happened to tune into the Joint Councils meeting replay on Cogeco cable the other day and heard Eddie say that to the County officials.
Once again, here are the Schwartz slides that prove that to be a rewriting of history so Eddie can flip-flop on trucks on E C Row:
We are starting now to see the kind of money that our Mayor wants. Take a look at this comment from the Rail Lands Study Star article:
- “The 75-page report recommends abandoning the old CN railway line being used by Via Rail between Chatham and Windsor. Via would instead use an enhanced CP Railway corridor, located further to the south, and also relocate its station in Windsor, likely to an area off Crawford Avenue or Wellington Avenue.
That combination alone would cost about $175 million, the study indicated.
It also called for abandoning the CASO rail corridor in South Windsor, again in favour of freight trains using the enhanced CP corridor at a cost of about $38 million…
Mayor Eddie Francis told council he has been informed by the rail companies there is no way implementation of the recommendations can happen without federal government funding.
"You need Transport Canada to mediate to get (the rail companies) to share traffic," he said.”
And here is the key in the Star story about the border crossing:
- “But Francis countered the city was not being overly confrontational, and that there's no reason to back off now, given how only 1,000 metres of tunneling and about $120 million in projected construction costs are separating the two sides.”
Big numbers of $100-200 million plus are being thrown around at this time for a purpose obviously. The Rail Study was presented to Council at this time for a purpose obviously. The Joint Councils meeting and the Mayor’s meeting with his County colleagues took place at this time for a purpose obviously. And do not forget the Dave Cooke canal study which report is due soon that will say everything Eddie wants is doable. It will come out at this time for a purpose obviously. My goodness, the Francis $100 million investment fund was revived at the County meeting too.
That purpose is for money for Eddie to use as he wishes for his agenda. Obviously.
Clearly, we are being set up for another failure by the Mayor. Except it will not be presented as a failure by the sycophants and cheerleaders but rather a stratagem that was worked out by our brilliant Mayor (and the Eminence Greasie behind the scenes who is actually calling the shots).
I like the definition of a stratagem because it is so fitting:
- “a cleverly contrived trick or scheme for gaining an end.”
That is Eddie written all over about what has gone on here for years, everything from the Schwartz Report to Full Tunneling to Greenlink and Son of Greenlink. and we as taxpayers have been used as pawns with the Greenlink presentations, advertising blitzes and wasting of taxpayer money on lawyers and consultants.
Now the County Mayors are part of this. Why else would Eddie sit there for an hour and a half and be attacked by them. He needed them as his excuse for backing off on E. C. Row. He needs a reason desperately because his claim to fame has always been his consistency. Remember when he ran for Mayor the first time:
- “When I announced that I was running for Mayor, I wanted everyone to know that I have always had a clear, and consistent position with regard to Truck traffic in our city..
Our roads need to remain community roads, for our residents, for our business and for our future. We need a solution that gives international trucks a direct connection to the border that bypasses the city and protects our neighbourhoods…
The border crossing issue is fundamental to the well being of Windsor, and one of the most important issues facing our community.
As Mayor I will:
Continue to support the position taken by council in favour of Windsor citizens, your neighbours.
Continue to oppose… the expansion of EC Row for Tijuana bound trucks…
Maintain my consistency on this issue.”
Eddie desperately needs a way that he can back off his statement such as this:
- “A federal government report Thursday calling for widening of E.C. Row Expressway to handle international trucks triggered Mayor Eddie Francis to vow council will "do whatever it takes" to stop such a plan.
"We are back to the same old song and dance," Francis said. "Their position has not changed that E.C. Row needs to be expanded. Everyone in this community understands that means a negative impact on quality of life.
"They will not be able to move to do this. Council and myself will do whatever it takes to protect this city. We will not sit on the sidelines and let this community's quality of life be deteriorated."
He has already backed off because of his comments on sequencing. Councillor Valentinis backed off on John Fairley's show on behalf of Councillors effectively. But today’s story in the Star tells us exactly what he wants. He wants the Province to tinker with the tunnels on the DRIC road so that when he capitulates he looks like a hero. He wants to be able to say that he will compromise on what would be ultimately the best solution for Windsor because of the PRESSURE of the County mayors. He’s doing this for regional cooperation.
However, what Eddie wants is at least $100 million worth of Senior Level money to be put in his pocket before he backs off completely. That is what all of this posturing has been all about. He needs the County mayors to help him get the money. Follow the money.
A good tactic…perhaps in the mind of a politician as certain Senators called Eddie but not in a complimentary way. I do not agree that this is a prudent way for a Mayor to operate especially when he has no power against the Senior Levels. It is even more dangerous when this region is in dire economic shape, as is the entire economy, and the risk is that the Senior Levels can pull out as Mayor McNamara stated. Given his Liberal connections and Sandra Pupatello's comments re lawsuits, that is a huge risk
Deep Throat was right that the three Governments are united against a common enemy, the Bridge Company, and what is taking place is squabbling amongst “family members.”
Our big risk is that Eddie’s tactics have so annoyed the Senior Levels that Windsor becomes the Black Sheep of the family. With a new Transport Minister who may not have the baggage of the past to bother him, Eddie, and Windsor, may now be in a lot of trouble! The new Federal Cabinet may decide that they do not need Eddie any more. My Provincial sources have told me that a long time ago about the Province. Why else would Dwight, whose riding includes Tecumseh, say wihtout fear and clearly with the approval of the Premier
- “THE MAYOR IS WRONG. THE MAYOR IS WRONG.”
To put it in nursery rhyme language we need to hope that
- Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for my master,
One for my dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
does not turn into this variant:
- Two for the master,
one for the dame,
but none for the little boy
Remember that alliances have broken down before over “spoils” of battle, even before the war is over.