Where In The World Was Mayor Eddie Francis
Take the luncheon on Friday with the Premier of Ontario where Eddie did not show up and where Councillor Marra was the only elected Windsor Member of Council who was there. I know for a fact that a number of Councillors could not make it because either they were already out of town or just coming back. I have not heard anybody taking a shot at them.
But if the Mayor doesn’t attend, then how many of the naysayers in town would say that he “snubbed” the Premier!
Just because Eddie happened to be in Germany when Dwight Duncan had a pre-Budget meeting or he was too busy on the Tunnel file to meet with John Tory doesn’t mean that Eddie snubs Senior Level politicians.
Just because at a time when Ministers Duncan and the Pupatello were in town to hand out money to Windsor, "Mayor Eddie Francis did not attend because he was at a read-a-thon at General Brock elementary school" does not mean that he was not grateful.
After all, he knows those are the people who have all the money that the City desperately needs. He does not want Councillor Valentinis continually asking why no one listens to Windsor.
We learned from the Windsor Star that
- “Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis had a "long-standing family commitment" and didn't attend the event.”
Apparently, this talk about the Mayor snubbing the Premier probably arose from a most unfortunate event that took place at the luncheon. I believe from what my inside moles tell me that a Senior provincial government insider was seen speaking with the Premier just before the Premier’s speech. A person happened to be eavesdropping and heard the words “Eddie Francis” and “clog” being bandied about.
The person did not hear all of the conversation and jumped to the conclusion that the word clog was being used with respect to the description of Eddie Francis being an “an obstruction or hindrance.” Of course, that would be a natural when one thinks of the border file and our Mayor. No wonder the person thought what he/she did.
On the contrary however the word was not being used in that context at all. You see that is the problem when people only hear parts of the conversation and then spread gossip. Misunderstanding and bad feelings can arise out of an offence that never took place.
The word “clog” was being used in a completely different manner. It was used in this sense:
- “A type of shoe or sandal made predominantly out of wood.”
Of course, most people associate wooden shoes with Holland and the Dutch people. And that is exactly what the Premier must have been talking about when this person overheard the snippets of the conversation. Unfortunately, the eavesdropper did not hear the entire conversation or else the malicious comments would not have been spread.
Eddie was out of town I believe. The following is completely and totally unsubstantiated because I do not know exactly where the Mayor went but it could well be what happened.
After the meeting on the jail on Thursday where the Province told him exactly where they were going to put that facility and not move it, the Mayor knew that he lost that battle. Notwithstanding that defeat, the Mayor left the meeting and rushed out to YQG to take a flight that was ultimately headed to Amsterdam, Holland.
The Star I believe, who would know absolutely everything about the Mayor, gave us a hint in the Saturday Star. The editors must have been sworn to absolute secrecy because of the delicateness of the conversations yet their journalistic instincts required them to print something that they could point to in the future if someone asked why they didn’t report the story. Here is what was published:
- “Dutch want Heritage status for canals
AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government wants the 17th-century canals at the heart of Amsterdam to be declared a UN World Heritage Site because of the district's cultural and historical significance, its culture ministry said on Friday.
"The structure of canals, roads, bridges and land around the Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsensgracht is an international icon of urban planning that is still intact after four centuries," the culture ministry said in a statement.
The four concentric semi-circles of canals are big draws for tourists. Boutiques, cafes, upmarket restaurants and handsome residences line the canals.
The government plans to put its case to the World Heritage Committee by February 2009. The Netherlands has seven listed World Heritage Sites, including a 19th-century fortification in Amsterdam and the country's oldest reclaimed area.”
I bet you understand now. The Dutch called Eddie over since he is considered to be the world’s expert when it comes to using “heritage” in a political environment. I mean, after all, look at how heritage is being used by the City in Sandwich and with the homes on Indian Road with respect to the Ambassador Bridge Company. It is sheer genius.
The Dutch have an issue with the World Heritage Committee and I am certain that not only is Eddie able to help them with that Committee but also he can explain to them the way to get money out of the World Heritage Fund. That money, millions of dollars worth, can be used
- “to provide international assistance to States Parties in the following areas: preparatory assistance for the nomination of sites, training activities, technical cooperation, emergency assistance, or promotional and educational activities.”
It is of course not all one way. What is the latest exciting vision of our Mayor and for what are the Dutch famous? What is it exactly that the Dutch want to be declared as heritage?
The answer my friend is blowing in the wind from the windmills: CANALS!
Eddie has obviously formed an alliance with the Dutch whereby he helps them with heritage and they help him with canals. It is a brilliant move that I am certain we will hear more about in the future.
In case you have been wondering where Dave Cooke is, he will be rewriting his already finished Report on the canal vision once Eddie returns with the new information. Although my belief is that the Report should have been issued by now, it is no wonder that it was not released already. I expect now that the Report will say that building canals in Windsor is feasible and that the costs will be substantially below the amounts that have been quoted before.
Those people who thought that an outrageous sum of money was put forward initially just so that the actual budget would come in below that are nothing more than naysayers. Who would ever dream of doing something like that?
What a nice Dutch treat to have after all this bad news about plants closing, the number of vacancies of retail storefronts increasing and having just about the highest unemployment rate in Canada. What a terrific opportunity it is for us that I am certain that the Mayor will capitalize on when he demands from the Senior Levels millions and millions of dollars of infrastructure funding to make this newest of dreams come true. GO BIG OR GO HOME will be our newest slogan building on the THINK BIG Schwartz campaign.
With the help of the Dutch, our new canal is a sure thing just as heritage status for their canals is a sure thing along with the receipt of millions of dollars after our Mayor advises them. It is the perfect partnership.
Unfortunately, stories spread. I certainly hope that I am correct in what I am suggesting. If I am right, then a number of people owe our Mayor an apology for doubting him.
I know that it is troublesome for Eddie to be open and transparent. Sometimes though it might be helpful for him to do so. We do not need any more idle chatter in this town.
It's all Gouda from now on.