Engineering The Perfect Border Trifecta
The Eminence had determined what was to be achieved. The problem was how to accomplish it. The circumstances of the economic meltdown, border infighting, infrastructure spending being sexy and the Liberal loss in the federal election to most people have no connection whatsoever. To the Eminence, it was the perfect storm that came together to accomplish the objective.
Watch the triple political play take place and acknowledge with awe the brilliance of the Master's strokes
- Dwight Duncan as Federal Liberal Leader? Even though Dwight has learned how to speak French that is not what is really going to happen short-term and Greasie knows it. The word might go out that Dwight is interested but in the end, he will take a senior position with one of the front-runners’ leadership campaigns so that when the Liberals are elected to form the Government, he will get a senior cabinet position as his reward. The PM position can come later.
- With Dwight’s seat provincially open, who better to take it and get a cabinet position but our Mayor. In fact, if you see Eddie getting along with the Mayor of Tecumseh, then you can bet on it since Tecumseh is part of that riding and Mayor McNamara might have his own ambitions to run.
- And with the Mayor’s position becoming available, the gold ring is being held out to Bill Marra to be appointed to the posiiton as long as he stays on the Team and supports the Mayor. There is no need for an election. Of course, Bill will be shafted!
It is the perfect Trifecta.
Obviously, one of the biggest infrastructure jobs in Ontario with billions of dollars being spent for a road and bridge for the economic good of Canada's and Ontario's economic trade, expenditures that in normal times would make no sense whatsoever but in an economic downturn can be justified, will be claims to fame for all three of these individuals. They can take the glory in it.
Whether it gets built or not does not matter in reality. For Dwight, the timing is perfect for the Liberal leadership campaign in the spring. It would be his project and the jobs promised to be created through it. Eddie claims victory as well for his next campaign and Bill goes along with it all.
If only they can get the Bridge Company to sue, then it is perfect. The Company can then be demonized and vilified as the project is postponed rather than the Politicians who know they cannot afford it.
But that is for another time. I will explain it more in another Blog when I talk about the waste of money in this project.
Believe it or not, another urban legend has been created so we know we are coming to the end of the DRIC Road/Greenlink saga. Who thinks up this stuff? Is there someone on the City payroll who stays up at night dreaming up these myths for the Mayor so that Henderson can write about them in his column?
How many urban legends have we been fed so far that we are supposed to believe? I think I’m losing track. I remember Eddie walking through Devonshire Mall and then a Youth Committee was the result. Then there was the lobster pot story at the Rotary event where Eddie and the President of St. Clair College spoke and the next thing we knew the Cleary was gone. Oh I forgot, wasn’t a Tim Horton’s doughnut somewhere in the Cleary story too. Who can forget the wedding in London where Eddie met Mr. Farhi and next thing we knew our downtown arena was located at an old industrial site in the East End.
Now we have the Eddie/Dwight Duncan tête-à-tête in a car going to the airport in Toronto. As an aside, I may file a Freedom of Information Application to find out who paid for the taxi fare if they went by cab or did they ride in a Government limousine. If it was Dwight’s car, did Eddie pay for the gas as his share?
If you believe that story, dear reader, then you will believe the story before the Federal Election that our banks are in terrific shape notwithstanding that the Minister of Finance has just pumped $75 billion into them after the election. Where he found that money is beyond me just as it is beyond me that the US Government can throw over $100B into AIG, an Insurance Company who speculated and lost, and yet not find a paltry $25B for the automobile industry.
Who the heck is this provincial insider who gives Gord all of this great material? It is always so convenient isn’t it? Unfortunately however, both Gord and the insider may well be witnesses in the lawsuit to set aside the Environmental Assessment process. The Column makes it absolutely clear that this has always been a political exercise and not an engineering one.
This column is just another step of the “disrespect” of the DRIC process that would make it so easy that even I could start a lawsuit to stop this process cold and win. Please do not tell me that Dwight and Eddie, and perhaps even the Federal Government, are not making it easy to sue to stop the EA. How many more things wrong do they have to commit?
Give me a break. The DRIC/Greenlink war ended when Dwight said
“THE MAYOR IS WRONG. THE MAYOR IS WRONG.”
When Eddie stopped talking lawsuits or even threatening lawsuits and talked about making submissions to the Minister of the Environment, then everyone knew that he had been given his marching orders. He was not getting anything anymore. He was told specifically by the leak in Schnurr’s BLOG by Sandra and I will bet in Dwight’s car that there was no more and that he had better back off. Eddie was also facing a Councillor revolution that he could not deal with. And if the story is true about polling, then Eddie would understand that citizens of Windsor were not going to put up with his bravado any longer about Greenlink when 15,000 jobs were at stake.
Really, how could Eddie possibly expect anything more given that the DRIC Draft EA has been published. To expect long tunnels at this time would cause a major problem that could require DRIC to go back and start again with respect to the tunnels. It is not going to be allowed to happen. Not when Dwight’s political future is at stake.
There is no doubt that in the drive to the airport, and before, that Eddie would have said that he needed something in order to be our Hero and Saviour. I am sure that Eddie’s supposed Government friend from Ontario and even Dwight would have said that he would get a few tweaks to make him look good. After all, they probably understand the Buzz/Ken Sr. method of claiming total victory when they have an absolute loss.
And Eddie really does not need anything more when people like Gord will rewrite history and claim that Eddie is a master negotiator instead of a failure:
- “This mayor and council have moved the province an enormous distance over five years, from the almost criminally reckless plan to convert the E.C. Row into a gridlock-choked truck route, to a Parkway that's a pale imitation of the city's world-class GreenLink proposal.
But when's the right time to fold 'em? When do you decide you've squeezed every last bit of gain out of the province and it's time to move on? It takes a canny negotiator to make that call.”
As an aside, Gord’s comment is very interesting to me. Effectively, he is saying that this entire process with the City was nothing more than a gigantic game that probably only Eddie and David Estrin knew was going on. Even the Councillors were not in on it and were made to like look like fools.
The Schwartz report, full tunneling and Greenlink were nothing more than negotiating ploys to get stuff out of the Senior Level, as much as possible. As I Blogged previously, this was nothing more than Estrin’s approach in Hamilton except this time the lawsuit was not started, because Eddie does not have the guts to do so, but the stalling technique was applied.
Do you feel like a sucker yet with the way that your emotions have been played? Does your pocketbook feel emptier with that $5M gone? Is this an acceptable way for a Mayor to function? It is the way for an amateur to do things not a “canny negotiator,” not a professional!
Everyone who was a decision maker in this matter knew what Eddie was doing. He fooled no one except the people who voted for him. He could have accomplished what he did years ago. We could have had people working instead of losing their homes or being forced to leave town to work. That is the Francis legacy as a “canny negotiator.”
There is no doubt that our Minister of Finance thought that he had a deal with Eddie after the airport jaunt. He had a bit of insurance, or so he thought. If Eddie got too clever or tried to renege or thought that he might even grab a little bit more of the spoils, the comments about jobs, jobs, jobs in the Star story today meant that Eddie’s bargaining position was just about over. After all how can anyone fight “a glut of jobs?”
Why else did Infrastructure Ontario come down here far in advance of the approval given by the Minister of the Environment. It was designed to pressure Council, the Construction Association, citizens and more importantly, the Mayor. The province had won. It was over.
Dwight kept up his end of the bargain with the wonderful comments about the Mayor and Council as set out in the EH News story last night:
- “We’ve had some differences over the course of last year and those have not been easy on anybody. But I have enormous respect for this Mayor, enormous respect for City Council. We, they, because of their work, their action, we've gone from one additional truck lane in each direction on the EC Row Expressway to a proposal now that I think is a giant step forward.”
How gracious. Did Eddie respond in kind? Oh do not be silly:
- “But Mayor Eddie Francis remains unsatisfied with the design, promising to continue to push for longer tunnelled sections proposed in the city's GreenLink design.
Eddie Francis: ..on May 1st, when they all told us to take a hike and stop providing comments. And you saw what happened several weeks ago with regard to the significant concession that they made…
All members of city council, myself, will be in attendance [at the Public Open houses of DRIC]. We have cancelled the 24th council meeting.”
In the Star:
- “There's a principle of equity and fairness here that they have to apply to those areas," said Francis. "The City of Windsor is fighting desperately for more coverage for those residential areas."
Why should Dwight be surprised? He should understand Eddie by now. Eddie cannot lose. Ever. Eddie runs Windsor, not Dwight. As Gord said for the second time in his column, the Province must bow down to our Mayor:
- “The gap between the city and province -- GreenLink versus Parkway -- involves about 1,000 metres of tunnelling, about 10 Canadian football fields in combined length, and $150 million in additional costs.
Dwight has to be absolutely furious today. I wonder if I should contact my provincial insider and find out how mad he is. There is no point in bothering. Dwight is a big boy and understands the game that is being played by our Mayor. After all, he has been there before with the Mayor.
There must have been a deal over the recent provincial and municipal elections previously as demonstrated by the letter sent by Eddie as support for Sandra’s nomination and that Councillor Marra decided not to run for Mayor although he would have won in a landslide.
Now you know the score, dear reader. What I have been trying to do in my BLOGs is to identify the game and the steps being played. Come on now, none of this is really a big surprise to my loyal readers.
It is a funny thing though about Fate. Fate can never be controlled no matter how smart the genius. Something unexpected can always happen that was never contemplated so that no contingency plan was developed. Even if everything seems to be working out perfectly according to plan, Fate can again intervene in the most unanticipated way to ruin everything. Even the best laid plans of an Eminence Greasie can go off the tracks if one of the participants has an ego as big as all outdoors.
People have asked me if the Eminence Greasie is real and if so, who he/she is. I just smile when asked and say nothing.
If however you want to know if that person exists and who he/she might be, I suggest that you go to the Caesars Windsor Casino, Legends Sports Lounge. If you see a distinguished person betting on trifectas and that persaon has a bald spot as if some hair had been pulled out of that person’s head because of annoyance and worry, then go up to that person say in a low voice:
- “Your Eminence, I know how HE is too.”
If you get a smile back, then you will know the answer.