A Year Of Options
It is no wonder that Councillor Brister is afraid to go on John Fairley's Face-to-Face interview show. When John lifts his eyebrow, watch out. John would make minced meat out of him.
John has a different style for different people. Take a look at his interview with Councillor Postma and compare it with that of Mayor Francis and you will see what I mean. In both cases though, John gets the information out there through the mouths of the interviewees and in their own words. He just has the knack of asking the right question to put these people on the spot. Since they feel obliged to answer, we can watch them squirm and tell us what they wished they did not have to reveal.
If that happened with Councillor Brister, he would fold. At the least, the Councillor should be congratulated for knowing his own weaknesses and not going on television for the entire Community to see them being made apparent. I can just picture John raising his eyebrow as he asked the Councillor the first question about the Arena and its budget.
In John's year-end interview show with the Mayor, the Mayor’s bravado out of his own mouth destroyed his own credibility as a Mayor and as a Leader in relation to the border file as you shall see later.
If you can last until the end of the show, because there is such an information overload, you will find that the Mayor all of a sudden is not so definite that he is only a two-term mayor. Is that a signal that he’s going to run again? Of course, that could be nothing more than a technique to try to keep the Councillors in line. On the other hand, where could a person go and make over $200,000 a year when he has not been able to achieve very much in five years so far as Leader of a City!
You can watch how he attacks the Ambassador Bridge Company on the Indian Road homes, forgetting of course that he only gave them 10 minutes in front of Council on their billion dollar transaction. You can also see how he tries to fool them into coming back in front of Council again. He forgot that they learned their lesson after the turn-down by Council of the demolition of their fire damaged home.
You can again hear him talk about the Tunnel transaction with Detroit and how we have to save the 5,000 commuters from disaster. He makes it clear that the Tunnel competes with the Bridge for traffic. However, he refused to tell John how much Infrastructure Ontario was prepared to loan the City on the transaction and also refused to tell John how it was such a good deal for us. We learned how much money the Tunnel made for us in the past but there was no recognition that the Tunnel is not making any money for us now and may not in the future if the DRIC bridge takes way 25% of its traffic.
Of course, the Mayor has to attack the naysayers. However, he did not recognize that he wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on the booklets that the Windsor Star sent out to encourage people to invest here with his headline grabbing comments about the death of this City. He still has not realized that he is his own worst enemy.
The most interesting part was right at the beginning when he talked again about Greenlink and the DRIC Road. It is so tedious already… Greenlink good, DRIC bad. Why oh why didn’t they study Greenlink he moans. The answer is easy. His Schwunnels are too long. Since they do not meet the criteria that the DRIC set up, whether the criteria is right or wrong remains to be seen, there is no need to examine the project. It fails. What could be easier to understand than that?
He broke the news to John about Greenlink’s award but you and I, dear reader, know the truth about that now thanks to the effort of Blogger Chris Schnurr. More PR nonsense that the Mayor tries to use as justification for a project that will never get off the ground, or under it.
The most shocking comment was when the Mayor accused the Premier of, in effect, biasing the DRIC process because of comments made when the Premier was in Windsor a week before the December 12 closing of the submission period to DRIC.
He accused the Premier of compromising the integrity of the DRIC process. He said that his remarks were very prejudicial. He in effect stated that the Premier said “don’t even bother” making comments to DRIC.
To be direct about it, I would have expected our Mayor/lawyer to denounce the Province for this improper meddling. I would have expected him to tell us that no Minister of the Environment who wants to keep his job would dare turn down something that the Premier, Minister of Finance and MITI Minister all approved. I would have expected him to tell us that he was taking immediate legal action to right this horrific wrong that has been committed against the people of Windsor by the most senior Politician in the Province.
There was no longer a need to wait. The entire process was flawed. Black letter law, lawsuit, judicial review would be our battlecry. Who cares how much more in legal fees we would spend when the future of Windsor is at stake. Or at least, his vision of it.
After all, for the second time, David Estrin had been brought into town to harangue us for hours at Council about everything wrong with the DRIC process. We now know that Council approved legal action. The Mayor has told us that legal action was always a possibility.
Instead, the Mayor gave us his timetable about the process and that we should expect nothing for a year or two from DRIC rather than action being taken right away. The best that he said we might get would be some movement of utility lines perhaps in 2009.
All this lead up to the dramatic climax of the Mayor telling us that Council has a “year of options available to us.”
A year of options----Oh brother. Another year of this. Another year of manipulation. How many more Greenlinks are we to see? How many more Greenlinks will be turned down by the Province. Rumour has it that there was another submission by the City to the Province: Greenlink, the next generation. I wonder when the Mayor will share that with the community if in fact there was something submitted. If there was a third one, which one did Sam present to the awards body to get his prize? Nothing like the Mayor negotiating against himself and compromising.
Greenlink is a joke as we know now because of what Eddie said in a media scrum:
- "City council and the city of Windsor and myself would be the first to stand in support of this project if the province of Ontario guarantees 20,000 jobs will be in this community at the beginning of 2009."
It is nothing more than a negotiating tool.
A year of options----All of the Estrin pictures in the newspaper was bluff. The Estrin presentation at Council was bluff. The Henderson column about judicial review was bluff. The Gignac remark was bluff. Even Councillor Marra was used when he did not want the City to start a lawsuit. All bluff. The Councillor did not have to worry because the Mayor told us that he has “a year of options.”
A year of options----Everything that our Mayor does is bluff. Another year of options when the Premier has prejudiced the process and compromised its integrity. Unbelievable!
The problem for Eddie is does anyone believe him anymore. Does he have any credibility left? Has he squandered that too?
Do the Senior Levels? Does the Bridge Company? Do Windsorites? Honestly, how could anyone? He has threatened lawsuits so many times that it almost becomes predictable and then he backs off. That has become predictable too.
In fact, as I said before, Henderson called his bluff and is laughing at him too because he knows that Eddie will not act (except few understand how he did in his column):
- “Sadly, given the damning environmental evidence we heard this week, it would be unconscionable for the city to do anything less than fight for the health and safety of its constituents, even if it means seeking a judicial review.”
A year of options----If Eddie does not act now and using the tools of his profesion, then Henderson can denounce him for acting in an unconscionable manner when matters of health and safety are involved.
A year of options---- what a sign of weakness. What a sign of lack of guts. What a sign of lack of leadership. What a sign of bluffery.
Oh, and we learned why the Mayor was not at the Premier's lunch even though Eddie got word a month ahead about the date. It was his wife's birthday weekend. Perhaps CKLW's Lisa Williams could ask Eddie some of her "tough" lob questions on her interview show with the Mayor about what he did for her celebration. She may have some insight that she could share with her listeners about the event.
And all thanks to John Fairley's eyebrow!