Using Greenlink Again To Stall A Border Solution
That is why I am so surprised that the Mayor with his million-dollar advertising budget, the power of his position and with all of his media contacts has not been able to get the community on side to support what he's trying to do. It might be worthwhile in another BLOG to try and figure out why we succeeded and he did not. However there was a good clue in the Star coverage of Eddie's meeting on Saturday.
OMG! A 2-hour Eddie Francis Greenlink presentation on a Saturday morning to work up the converted so that they will storm the DRIC meetings next week. How exhausting. I bet few of the citizens who came out expected to be harangued for that length of time.
They came out strictly to find out how Greenlink was going to affect them as claimed by the Mayor and they will attend the DRIC open house to find out what DRIC has to say. It will be like the Schwartz and DRIC meetings before on the "areas of mass destruction"... if the maps do not show that homes will be adversely affected, people will go back to preparing for the holidays and forget all this stuff. That is the answer to the Councillor who always wondered why people did not get more involved in the full tunnelling debate. They just didn't care any more.
It is more of the phony war with Generalissimo Francis in charge and people understand this. Just read the Windsor Star Forum (and contrary to what a Senior Official at City Hall claimed, I do not write all of the comments or have my friends do them):
- Francis arms residents with GreenLink ammo
- We're here today to arm you
- Go fight
- it's imperative you tell them how you feel
- DRIC option was shown with a "cloud of emissions" covering the entire route
- The mayor urged the GreenLink supporters to band together
- residents must be willing to mobilize into neighborhood lobby groups.
- "has moved beyond merely signing a petition or passive support."
It sure has.
Yes dammit...go out there and pretend that our Mayor has not failed. That is his "cause" cause he is desperate to get YOU, dear reader, to do his dirty work because he does not have the intestinal fortutude to do anything. I wonder if he has already been told he cannot do anything when in Dwight's car to the airport. No wonder he has dropped his sabre rattling and lawsuit threatening.
Eddie is afraid to become the "bad guy" by suing and tries to induce the Bridge Company to be the one who will be vilified. He is saved if that happens. This time around he is trying with the silly games on the rewrite of the Community Improvement Plan report to target the Indian Road homes. I wonder how much of the $22,000 CAO approval contract extension that took up (RCI Consulting - amend contract amount - tasks Olde Sandwich Towne )!
Does he not understand yet that the Bridge Company will do what they need to do when they want to do it and if they need to do anything. They are not reacting to his artificial time-table or that of the Senior Levels. That is why Henderson is in awe of them! They have not followed the script yet but are writing their own.
I guess Eddie does not believe Dan Stamper when he said that the Bridge Company has the legal right to build their bridge. (Actually, he probably does because he knows Stamper does not bluff and that terrifies him. He is about the only person who ever scared Eddie into silence at Council!) Eddie's childishness will not deflect them from their path. In fact, after Eddie lost so pitifully at the Senate and in the Commons, he is viewed as irrelevant by most of the parties.
What happened to our "weapon of mass destruction," David Estrin? Remember that back in June:
- "Mayor Eddie Francis says he will urge Toronto lawyer David Estrin to quickly provide legal options in dealing with the province's controversial border traffic highway planned for the Huron Church Road-Talbot Road corridor...
"(Council) has asked me to pick up the phone, call David Estrin and tell him to hurry up his work," Francis said. "Council wants to know all their options from A to Z -- what are the benefits, pros and cons (and) what steps need to be taken.
"The legal issues will be flushed out more and brought to council for Monday or soon after."
The only thing beng flushed is taxpayer money down the drain. Hmmm, Did Eddie get a wrong number? It's November already. Mind you, Estrin did do something last quarter for which he billed over $300K! I wonder what that was for.
Eddie knows that if he dares threaten a lawsuit, or heaven forbid actually start one, Pupatello's warning may come through. The Senior Levels will pack it in and EDDIE would be responsible for the loss of the project and the jobs. Then the finger would be pointed right at him. He could not hide because he is the Voice of Council.
Let me explain to you what is going on. I have to tell you, in all modesty, that I am a pretty smart guy. Here is what I said over three years ago in a Star article with respect to the Gong Show $500 million that Dwight Duncan and David Caplan promised us for one day only until they had to retreat in shame:
- "What the province has just said is no new dollars until 2010. They just gave the feds five more years to do nothing. To me that makes no sense whatsoever."
In fact, what has been done with respect to the border in those three years other than the left turn lane on Huron Church and the overpass that schoolkids don't want to use. In case you have forgotten about that $500 million and what its significance is let me remind you:
- "Minister sorry for speaking too soon:
Border cash news catches mayor, Pupatello off guard; 05-27-2005
Ontario infrastructure minister David Caplan apologized Thursday for revealing a closed-door government decision to spend $500 million beyond 2010 for new infrastructure to fix Windsor's border problems.
The funding was announced by Caplan and MPP Dwight Duncan (L -- Windsor-Tecumseh) late Wednesday in a hastily arranged news conference inside Duncan's cramped constituency office...
Caplan was on a plane Thursday headed for Vancouver to visit family, but his spokesman admitted the error.
Wilson Lee said the minister's intention to reveal the funding commitment was done to show provincial government support for the city's $1-billion border traffic solution created by New York traffic expert Sam Schwartz.
"We wanted to show a full commitment to the Schwartz Report," said Lee. "I suppose we should have held it back, but good news is good news at any time..."
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the border traffic debate levelled criticism at the province, questioning why the $500-million announcement for funding to alleviate local border traffic woes was not in writing, done with little fanfare and will not start flowing until after 2010.
"(Caplan and Duncan) had no specifics on spending," said Ross Clarke, general manager for Mich-Can, a proposal to build a bridge off Ojibway Parkway.
"They say it's available after 2010. Well, what kind of announcement is that?
"It's political posturing. Show us the money and then we will believe it. I don't want to throw cold water on it, but I don't see a whole lot of hope in this."
Did you notice the funny line about "full commitment" to Sam's concept?
I can tell you what has happened between then and now. We have had stalling with the Schwartz report, stalling with full tunnelling, stalling with Greenlink and more stalling with Son of Greenlink and Saturday morning meetings. What's the purpose?
Is the stalling over and done with? Hardly. We are still in 2008 and we have just over another year to go. What does our Mayor tell us about his action oriented plans:
- "He said the "approval process is not ours but theirs" and, by their own guidelines, DRIC proponents within the provincial government must adhere to a timetable and process that means a final report cannot be presented to Cabinet until December and that must be followed by a Ministry of the Environment review that will take eight to 10 months.
But it doesn't end there. He said those reviews could take "the most part of 2009" and, after that, the federal government would have to thoroughly vet the plan, potentially adding more months."
My goodness... doesn't that bring us to 2010. What a remarkable coincidence don't you think. Just around the time that the Liberal Cabinet Ministers said that the Province would have some money but for the fact that Ontario is now a have-not province.
Years of stalling by our Mayor when jobs are desperately needed here. $5M of taxpayer money already spent and more to come. I cannot explain it. There is more to this border file than meets the eye.