Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lots Of Stories

Here are some interesting items for you to consider


A reader claims that the Red Bull people are furious over the City/CUPE strike because it would impact their event negatively, or so they fear.

If that is true and if the race has to be cancelled, Eddie should expect a lawsuit designed to recover all amounts paid out as well as lost revenues. I wonder if there was a force majeure clause in the agreement to protect the City?

Which group would ever want to come here with this kind of negative publicity. Another Windsor black eye! Poor East End arena too! They might not be able to book any acts without a big guarantee of funds I would suspect.

I would guess that RedBull have issued a deadline too to the City. Since the race is a month away, I would expect a deadline of say, May 18 and then they would pull out.

My reader guessed that CUPE Local 82 will be back to work on the 14th and 543 on the 19th.

If he/she is right, then I have another inside mole!


Is another senior official in the Region out of a job? That is what another reader of mine claims.

Let's see if something is announced soon. Obviously, I was NOT going to call the person and ask if the story is true so I cannot share the name I was given with you.


I cannot deceive you any longer, dear reader.

I really was not ill a week ago when I was not writing BLOGs. Rather I and my team of financial advisors were trying to put together a package to buy EH-Channel.

Yes that is right. Remember, I had been arguing for investors and others to help me start an online newspaper/TV station. With the crash in value of media properties, many are going broke and many are for sale at distress prices.

Well we tried very hard to raise the money. Heck we even thought of approaching OMERS since they will have so much cash soon as a Super Pension Fund.

Unfortunatley, I fell short. I could not find enough financial backing to beat out Shaw's price of $1 for EH-Channel Windsor. I was able to find 85 cents but that was it.

Do not worry though. I have a fall-back. I hear the Windsor Star may be for sale and I will definitely put in a bid for it if it is. Given what you know I think of the Star, why I am sure you can figure out how much I would offer.

Frankly, I would not give it my two cents worth!


This will be the next big financial crisis in a few years as investing in speculative illiquid investments will cause disasters. What will be shocking if I am right is that seniors will be hurt badly as their assets are reduced significantly in value. The problem too is that pensioners have NO control over what their investment managers do and cannot take their money out of their pension plans.

  • Billion pound council pension fund in hedge bet

    LONDON (Reuters) - Berkshire County Council's 1.05 billion pound pension fund has made a decisive move into hedge funds as part of a new 17.5 percent allocation of assets to alternative investments.

    The scheme has decided to allocate 7.5 percent to hedge funds alone, at the highest end of exposure currently taken by traditionally conservative pension funds.

    It has also more than halved listed equities exposure in a bid to generate more stable returns and diversify its portfolio.

    The hedge fund move is further evidence that domestic pension funds are keeping faith with alternative asset classes despite the fact they have offered little protection from the steep declines in financial markets over the past 12 months.

    Hedge funds made a loss of 19 percent in 2008, according to Hedge Fund Research.

    In March, the 6.5 billion pound West Midlands Pension Scheme moved 8 percent of assets into absolute return strategies including hedge funds. The 23 billion pound Universities Superannuation Scheme has confirmed it plans to gradually double its overall alternatives weighting to 20 percent.

    The Berkshire fund, which manages the pension assets of local government employees in the Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, has also made its first investments in commodities and infrastructure with allocations of 9.2 percent and 6 percent respectively.


I read this interesting report written after the 2003 blackout. And some want Canada to run a border crossing:

  • "My name is Colonel Michael C McDaniel, and I serve as the Assistant Adjutant General for Homeland Security for the Michigan National Guard. As such, I serve as the Homeland Security Advisor to Michigan’s Governor, Jennifer M Granholm...

    The Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, the busiest commercial landport in the United States with 16,000 tractor-trailers crossing daily, was also affected.

    Interestingly, both the bridge and U.S. Customs had their computers interrupted only momentarily until their back-up systems activated. Canadian customs, however, lost their computer datalink, and thus their ability to verify trucking manifests electronically. As a result they were forced to visually and manually inspect the manifests and, if warranted, the freight itself. This resulted in an approximately four-mile backup of traffic for almost 24 hours on the U.S. side."


Wow has Eddie ever changed his tune about audits. Remember this

  • "Francis challenged McNamara to come forward with information that would warrant a forensic audit.

    “If he has information that is credible and leads him to believe a forensic audit is needed, I would urge him to come forward with that information otherwise this political attack on the development commission and creating or insinuating there are issues hurts our efforts to attract investors and jobs to our region.”

Now it is this

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis said Monday Windsorites will get back any dollars saved by the city during the strike by municipal workers.

    “The city does not need the money and we do not need a strike to save money,” Francis said. “Our proposal would be to return those dollars to each household...”

    When asked how residents can be assured what the city saves during the strike is accurately reflected at the end, Francis responded: “There will be a full accounting. If you want to come in and audit it, you are more than welcome.”

I wonder if this offer now applies in other situations so I can come in and be welcomed with open arms:

  • Forensic Audit of the Undevelopment Commission
  • Full audit of WUC, not the whitewash kind
  • Audit of Enwin and the Tunnel
  • Audit of the 400 Building
  • Audit of the East End Arena construction costs
  • Audit of the legal and consulting fees for the border and Tunnel deal files
  • Audit of the expense and travel accounts of the Mayor, Councillors and Senior Bureaucrats
  • Audit of the sewer surcharge, WUC levy and debt reduction fund

Any other suggestions?


It must be that some mayor comes up with an idea at one of these meetings and before you know it, every City copies the idea. Here is what Hamilton wants to do. Gee, they did not have to use a Foreign consultant either. Maybe we could just copy their ideas and save time and money:

  • "Just loaded with potential

    As road, rail, air and marine hub, city could be at centre of boom

    The Hamilton Spectator (Apr 28, 2009)

    Fully capitalizing on Hamilton's geography and transportation network could bring close to 60,000 jobs to the city over the next two decades.

    Properly promoting the city as a gateway for goods movement could also inject $4.8 billion into the region's economy each year, says a report released yesterday by the McMaster Institute for Transportation and Logistics.

    Hamilton is uniquely positioned to be a hub for the convergence of road, rail, marine and air transportation, said Pavlos Kanaroglou, director of the institute."