Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, March 30, 2009

DRIC Bridge And The Jail

The Mayor stated at the CIBPA meeting the other night that there was some kind of announcement that was going to be made in a few weeks that will demonstrate the great relationship between the City and the Federal Government.

Now we can suspect why Transport Canada Minister Baird was in town and why the Star has not published very much information about their meeting.

The most significant matter between the two Governments is the sale of Brighton Beach for the DRIC Plaza. We should expect therefore that there is such a deal and that the purchase price will represent a number of millions of dollars that will come into Windsor’s treasury to be wasted by Council on some frivolities.

Money burns a hole in our Council’s pockets. Perhaps that explains why the Canal Vision has been delayed until sometime in April as well. Or perhaps that money was to impress the Lifthansa people who were around the airport recently doing their due diligence work for the transportation hub. Surely NOT for the Tunnel deal or Tunnel Plaza improvements

I expect that the Federal Government will be paying the City of Windsor in the neighbourhood of $25-$35M for the property based on the acreage. Obviously, the reason that the announcement was not made at this time is because the DRIC people need to get as much bang for the buck as possible to try to scare the Ambassador Bridge people even more.

But now I have a problem with respect to the Mayor/Chair of the Police Board's position about where he wants to put the jail. I thought that he wanted it in Brighton Beach as well.
  • “There is no question that a new facility is required," Francis said. "So we welcome that there's going to be a new facility. But from a policing perspective, we had recommended another site."

    Francis said the city had suggested the Brighton Beach industrial area near the Detroit River since it's closer to the courts and in a less commercial area - which might make for easier transportation of detainees back and forth.”

I doubt given his statements about the horrific health issues about pollution that anyone who is concerned about people’s health would allow a jail to be built near the new DRIC bridge and plaza. It would be dangerous if the Mayor is correct for the inmates and dangerous for the people who work there.

Did the Mayor outsmart himself? Obviously, part of what he was doing was building up the price for the Federal Government to pay by suggesting that there might be an alternative use for the Brighton Beach site. However, by working people up against where the Province wants to put the jail, how is he now going to back off from that position? Does he have another location to put the Jail? If so, where?

Will there be a massive lawsuit started by the owner of the property if the Jail is moved?

What about the Province, how happy will they be? Will Dwight and Sandra teach Eddie a lesson by having the Jail moved to Tecumseh which is part of Dwight’s riding or to LaSalle or perhaps to Chatham?

Here is something that I found very interesting as well. A number of Councillors decided to open their mouths about the jail location in advance of the Council meeting and it would seem without knowing the facts:

  • “But Ron Jones, Postma’s fellow Ward 2 councillor, said he won’t support a jail on the location. “It’s going to be defeated,” he predicted of what will happen in a council vote.”

    “I’m in complete opposition to that jail being located on that site,” said Ken Lewenza Jr. He said both he and Coun. Bill Marra will support residents who don’t want the institution in their midst.”

I would have thought that the Ontario Realty Corporation now has a very nice appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board in the event that Council turns down their application for approval for the jail location based on a reasonable apprehension of bias.

Another fine mess.