Why Is Eddie So Afraid To Sue
Is Councillor Marra the only Member of City Council with any brains? Is he the only one with common sense? Given his position with New Beginnings, he probably understands the legal system a lot better than his colleagues, even the one who is now so familiar with Black Letter Law. With his political connections, he probably understands what the consequences are of the City acting stupidly. It seems though that he is a voice in the wilderness.
What we still do not know is how many other Councillors feel the same way that Bill does although I suspect that none of them are prepared to cross the Mayor at this time because they have so committed themselves to Greenlink. They would look like fools otherwise. Mind you, they will look like fools for allowing what seems to be happening to continue on. Only Bill will be able to look residents in the eye and say that he tried.
- “Coun. Bill Marra says the city should think twice before seeking a judicial review that would delay the $1.6-billion border feeder highway.
"Any decision that may prolong the process has to be given second thoughts," he said. "Before we proceed with legal action we should make sure we exhausted all opportunities.”
What happened to some of the other Councillors who supposedly prevented our Mayor from suing in the past? Are they loopy in a way that Councillor Marra is not. Have they been told some inside information so that they can be assured that they will not be harmed when they run for re-election? Instead, we get the macho Councillor Gignac saying:
- “Coun. Jo-Anne Gignac gave the first public indication Monday that council will pursue a judicial review…
“People keep telling us explore whatever option is available so we are not getting a project that negatively impacts us. They said, 'we want you to fight for our rights.' Council has instructed the mayor how to approach this."
Then our Mayor has to say so that he is not outshone by a mere Ward 5 Councillor:
- “Francis said he supports legal action.
"We have come this far and believe there is a better solution. Unfortunately, the province doesn't want to compromise," Francis said. "Actions the city takes over the next several months are actions that are justified by the process that belongs to them.”
It is no wonder now that the Mayor has been out there talking over the last week or so about jobs and how nothing will get done for at least another year with the Environmental Assessment. He did not want to get blamed if the Senior Levels pull out if in fact he does sue as Minister Pupatello’s Office warned.
There is Windsor’s weapon of mass destruction confirming what the Mayor is claiming:
- “Toronto lawyer David Estrin -- the city's hired legal expert on border issues -- says there are legal grounds to challenge DRIC through a judicial review.
The legal process involves convincing a court to find a decision by a government official invalid or illegal, he said.
Council approved proceeding with a judicial review during a closed-door meeting earlier this month. The process normally takes six to eight months, Estrin said.
"It could be done shorter than that, particularly if both parties want it to happen earlier," he said. "It's not something necessarily that will delay ultimate decision-making."
But once legal action is launched, delays are possible because of court schedules and requests by lawyers for more time.”
Hmmmmm. Delays are possible. How about instead delays are likely, very likely.
Let me see now, how many years has the Hamilton lawsuit started by Estrin against the Federal Government been going on? The Bridge Company/Estrin lawsuit which is a relatively simple matter has taken a year so far after an appeal and not much has been litigated. Accordingly, to suggest a complicated matter like the DRIC process with all of the experts that would have to be involved can be dealt with in such a short period of time is ridiculous to me.
Poor Councillor Marra will be attacked as weak, accused of selling out and we will be told that he will be a poor choice for Mayor. I can hardly wait to see the Henderson columns and Star Editorials denouncing him.
Of course, Bill is right in what he said and that should have been our position years ago. Had we had a Mayor who knew what he was doing, we would never have been in this mess in the first place
In the end, remember that most people in this City are no longer adverse to what the Bridge Company wants to do as the various media polls, forums and call-in shows demonstrate. It is not because they are loved but because they are actually doing something with the Gateway project. They are actually doing something on the border while the Canadian Governments do nothing. People understand that the Bridge Company will build their Enhancement Project. People believe that the City is stalling everybody and that Eddie is costing us jobs in a time of economic distress.
The only people who have any interest in this story now are a few environmentalists who want everybody to bicycle, a few anti-Americans and the few people who live on the DRIC corridor. The latter group is only interested so that they can get ensure that they are treated fairly and that they receive the amounts that they should get since their property is to be taken over.
Does anyone really believe that our Mayor will sue? He has been crying “wolf” for so long that it is tedious already. How many times has he threatened a lawsuit and backed off? Why doesn't he just have the guts to do something? Why doesn't he just act instead of talk? He is losing his credibility not only as a Mayor but as a lawyer as well.
Will he do something this time? Who knows. He might surprise us all. No one believed the little shepherd boy when the wolf ate his flock of sheep after he called "Wolf" so many times. None of the townspeople came out to help him because they no longer trusted his word.
The Star stories with the Estrin photographs were designed to get a reaction and that everyone was supposed to be terrified that Eddie was actually going to sue. Nothing happened. No one took him seriously as usual. The matter had to be escalated. The big story on page 3 of the Star was designed to do that. Moreover it was designed to show that there was no longer any unity on Council so that made it even more likely that there was going to be a lawsuit. Such drama.
My guess. Everyone will ignore that story too. My inside moles were not able to get anybody to tell them anything about what happened at the in camera meeting where supposedly the Council made some decisions. All of a sudden now we have Councillors telling us what happened in the media. Why would they do that? We have the Reporter telling us
- “Council approved proceeding with a judicial review during a closed-door meeting earlier this month.”
Gee, I thought that was to be kept secret. We were not supposed to tell anybody our legal strategy. That would hurt our legal position if the other side knew what we were going to do. Instead, we are telling the world what action we are going to take. Not only that, Estrin, in his several hour extravaganza at Council, told the Senior Levels what his arguments were going to be. How accommodating of him.
Don’t you get it. This is Eddie’s last desperate attempt to get the Senior Levels to back down or to get the Bridge Company to do something. Problem is no one will because no one believes his threats. He has lost his credibility.
In any event, I think that this is a gigantic charade. It is all being orchestrated. What else was being done in that infamous ride with Eddie in Dwight's car to Toronto Airport? I just cannot take it seriously and I do not intend to. As I told you before, I am tired of being manipulated as you should be too. Let us see how it plays out rather than speculating about what the game is.
There is no doubt that Dwight and Eddie probably cannot stand each other. How else to explain the story in the Star today telling us about how hard that Dwight worked for five weeks to help get the auto companies deal. He needed to do something to show that Eddie’s little letter was meaningless. He needed some credit as well for all of his efforts. After all, he is merely the Minister of Finance who writes the cheques to the auto industry. He is, after all, the one to whom Chrysler came. They ignored the Mayor. But who is trying to get all the credit?
We saw that game being played out before with respect to the call centre jobs where Eddie was made to appear to be the one who is responsible for the success when in fact it was the MITI Minister who should have received the real glory. Dwight is not prepared to take a backseat to Eddie to keep up the car analogy!
Nevertheless, he and the DRIC people are under the Premier’s thumb and are not allowed to slam the Mayor. Instead, they are required to hold their noses and to work with Eddie.
Whatever the plans of the Senior Levels and the City were, the economic meltdown has killed them for the near term. Attempts will still be made to harass the Bridge Company so that they will sue. If that does not work, and Eddie has now been positioned that he will be our Saviour, then he will start the lawsuit. Or rather, Council will demand that, except for that weakling Bill Marra, and they will instruct him to take action. Councillor Gignac already fell into the trap and said that in her quote above. Has she no sense not to take the hit! As usual, Eddie will take the credit if it works out but not the blame if it does not.
Because of the lawsuit, or rather because of the economic meltdown but you will never hear it from anyone, we will not get the DRIC road today nor will we get Greenlink but we will get our cheap at grade or, perhaps, below grade road to the Ambassador Bridge. It has to go to that Bridge because there is no P3 money for the DRIC bridge either now.
It would not surprise me to see the Senior Levels back off on their opposition to the Enhancement Project either. After all of the things that they have been saying about the importance of this border crossing for so many years, there is a need for a new bridge to be constructed so that traffic can flow smoothly across the border.
The Bureaucrats have created their fallback position, ready for the telling if they are criticized. They always do because they plan for everything. It will all work out in the end or so the Bureaucrats are saying now.
They always wanted the crossing to be beside the existing Ambassador Bridge. The Ambassador Gateway project was designed to accommodate a second bridge. All that is happening is that their grand ambitions are being delayed until traffic improves and the economy comes back to normal. Then they can go after the Bridge Company again as they are doing now even after the FIRA settlements supposedly settled the relationship between the Bridge Company and the Federal Government.
At that time, when there will be a road to the two bridges and the new bridge will be built, the Governments will start harassing the Bridge Company again to force them to sell out cheaply as they have been doing now.
It won’t be so bad either for the Governments. At that time in the future, they can show P3 investors a fully completed and functioning project rather than one that is just being proposed. Just imagine how much extra money the Senior Levels will get then. They expect that the family that owns the Bridge will be much more amenable to selling out at that time too.
You see, bureaucrats can find a silver lining in any cloud.