Henderson Destroys Francis With Praise
There is no Columnist who can destroy a politician the way Gord Henderson does while seemingly praising the person. He is the Master at doing so and not even his Editorial bosses can claim otherwise.
He totally and completely shows that our Mayor, Eddie Francis, is incompetent in a way that no one else can. It is about as brutal a condemnation of a politician that I have ever seen. And he does it with a smile on his face.
The headline to the Column was a classic as well:
- “Fiddling as Rome burns”
That sums up as far as I’m concerned the mayoral terms of Eddie Francis. Fiddling around with consultants and lawyers while stalling and ignoring problems as the City sinks more and more into oblivion. It was not just last week that Windsor’s rate of unemployment was the highest in Canada and we are still waiting for Eddie’s plans to send people out West. Oh, that won’t work either now with the oil industry dying as well with low oil prices. It was not just last week when it was clear that the auto industry in Windsor was in trouble. It's today that we learn that "Windsor vacancy rate six times national average"
It is alright though… we can have a celebration about an East End Arena that cost us over $50 million and more than it should have in a location that makes no sense. The circuses have come to town while people here need bread. Just wait until the Red Bull announcement for which we can cheer about but for which we will not hear about the cost to the taxpayers of millions of dollars for the Sponsorship. Did you think it was free?
Do you know what is really funny? At 8:50 a.m. when I am writing this BLOG, the most read story on the Star website is not the Mayor’s story but rather “Celine coming to Caesars.” Celine's story is now #2 behind the Mayor's at 11:15.
Gord continues on with the Front Page story “Bailout auto industry or Windsor dies, Francis warns” about Eddie’s letter to the PM. Talk about grandstanding when it is too late. Or has Eddie’s friend in Ottawa, Brian Masse, told him that a package is coming because he is the auto industry critic for the NDP. Eddie can then take the credit and claim that the Prime Minister was shaking in his boots when he got Eddie’s letter and immediately acted thereafter.
Other Mayors in Ontario ought to take note about how our Mayor operates. Whatever happened to the “Ontario Mayor's for Automotive Investment” of which the Mayor was part? Check out the City’s page where that group is mentioned. Their last activity supposedly was in 2006 http://www.citywindsor.ca/002171.asp
Why isn’t the Mayor calling upon them to act collectively again since there clearly is more power in numbers? Oh I forgot, that would not give him the headline in the Star to show how concerned he is.
Do you want to know what the funniest part is? It is so sad that it turns my stomach as well. The Mayor sent a letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty as well warning him of Windsor’s problem.
- “only a fool could fail to recognize the danger posed by the company's threat to close its Windsor and Brampton assembly plants and shift production to the U.S.”
I consider Chrysler's threat to be a big problem don’t you.
Wait a minute. Wasn’t the Premier in Windsor last week? Where was the Mayor? Where was City Council other than Council Marra? Was Eddie in a one on one meeting with the Premier demanding immediate action, calling out for help for this community? Did he hand deliver his letter to the Premier so that he could save a few taxpayer dollars on courier costs at least?
Not our Mayor. Neither he nor Council was there and even Councillor Marra was not interviewed about the problems of the auto industry. Here is the signal from the Mayor about how important he considers this matter:
- “Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis had a "long-standing family commitment" and didn't attend the event.”
I will let a member of the traditional media discover and let you know, dear reader, why Eddie was away. I was told why and where he went by my inside moles but in confidence so I am not about to reveal it. Clearly, he did not seem to be as concerned a few days ago as he now claims to be or he could have rearranged his schedule to accommodate the Premier’s plans.
- “Mayor Eddie Francis is pleading for this country's leaders to wake up and smell the coffee.”
What has the Mayor been smelling for years? Or is he admitting he is not a leader?
How long have we been studying economic development in this region? How long has the new Economic Development Commission been around? Other than going on several trips to Europe, firing their first president, not hiring a replacement yet, asking for more money because they did not have any brochures for investors, spending huge sums of money on useless marketing campaigns and creating at least one new job that I can recall, what has this group done under the Mayor’s watch?
Eddie cannot be responsible for the failure of the automobile industry. But he does have to take responsibility because he called its problem cyclical not structural at first. As Mayor of an auto town, he dropped the ball. He failed to recognize the immediate need for Windsor to diversify. Oh it is fine to talk about it and to bring in experts to show their Powerpoints about it but it is another thing to actually do something about it. But then again that is our Mayor. All talk and no action. Failure to execute.
This is what our Mayor is good at:
- “Francis fired off letters Tuesday to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty begging for fast action on a co-ordinated, comprehensive response. "At this stage, a refusal by the federal and provincial governments to act is nothing less than a decision to allow the death of a community," wrote the mayor.
"If this industry fails, you're going to lose a city.”
Whew, it is all up to THEM to do something, not him. He “fired off” letters so he can no longer be blamed. It is up to the Federal and Provincial governments to solve this problem not our Mayor. If this City dies it is THEIR fault, not his.
Our Mayor should be careful about throwing stones. I hope he did not move to a glass house:
- “He views the circus in Ottawa as something akin to Nero fiddling while Rome burns.”
Sure the Arena is important but more important than the auto industry? On the day before the Premier came to town, did Eddie try to rearrange his schedule? Perhaps, but he also found the time to do something else as Gord let us know:
- “Last Thursday, on a tour of the new facility with Mayor Eddie Francis and parks czar Don Sadler…”
He's a tour guide for a columnist now. Did other media types get the same royal treatment?
What is so important to our Mayor that he had to send an e-mail around to his Councillor colleagues in a panic recently? Something to do with the auto industry? Nope, commemorating the opening of the Arena.
Did the Mayor go to Europe to develop more trade with people like his onions investor. No he had to go there to get us the Red Bull weekend so we can spend several million dollars of Sponsorship money.
Then the ultimate, the pièce de résistance. It is the quote that will haunt the Mayor for the rest of his political career, assuming that it lasts longer than the remainder of his mayoral term. It is the laugh of laughs, the joke of jokes, the farcical statement of farcical statements. Henderson allows the Mayor to destroy himself out of his own mouth, using his own words. Who can complain if the Mayor actually said it himself:
- “Francis, who believes people lose their grasp of what really matters when they spend too much time in the halls of government, away from the real world, has one snarky bit of advice for distracted politicians: "Get your act together."
You know, dear reader, exactly what I am going to say. He lives in his own world having been involved in Government since 1999.
- “City readies to fight over green space
Windsor council says it could take its battle to court if the province fails to provide more green space and environmental protection in the final blueprint of the planned $1.6-billion border feeder highway...
“The city through Mr. Estrin will do what we can to ensure the proper outcome is arrived at,” said Mayor Eddie Francis. “Legal (action) has always been an option.”
Oh Eddie, get over it. Get YOUR act together already. The city is about to die remember and you are passing up on thousands of jobs because of your own ego.
I am sorry. I will not say any more about Eddie and the border in this BLOG. If you have been a loyal reader, then it has been said so many times before by me that I do not have to say it again. His performance has been a disgrace given the power that the people gave him when he was first elected. He squandered that, for what?
I really did laugh when I read this Column. It was so destructive about the career of a politician. The irony of it will be that most of the cheerleaders and sycophants will not understand it that way. Astute readers, like those of this BLOG, will appreciate the hidden meaning.
That is exactly what the Sheriff intended. You really have to give the guy credit. No one can take his place.