Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Quid Pro Quoing In Windsor

Seriously, dear reader, we have to have a contest about who wrote that pro-Eddie canal Editorial yesterday. It was so bad that even the Online Star did not run it or if they did, I could not find it in the usual place. From the writing style and content, I think it was one of the columnists, certainly not an Editorial writer since it was so one-sided.

I am sure you realize that it was so absurd that it had to serve a different purpose. It was clearly designed as a signal that the Star would slap down anyone on Council who dared defy. How else to explain as well that the Star did not pick up the WeACT Integrity Commissioner complaint story. Why let anyone know that citizens might be mad too.

I was interested in the Report that was presented to Councillors about the canal. I wanted to read a copy of it so that I might appear as a delegation. I wrote to the Clerk's Office at 9:38 AM yesterday asking when I could get a copy. No response so far. I guess citizens are cut out of the process until it is too late!

Ken Senior must have nothing to do now since Chrysler is in bankruptcy. Accordingly, he has the time to solve Windsor problems too and to butt in to what CUPE is doing. And write letters such as the one above. It arrived just in time for the Council meeting too I would expect.

If he had just stopped writing after asking the City to go back to the bargaining table, it would have been a nice letter. But no, he had to become a proponent for Eddie's canal. Of course, that letter will cause major problems down the road in a very unexpected way. But that is for another BLOG!

So what is his quid pro quo for Eddie? Could it be come and negotiate with CUPE and I will get the unions onside to support your canal! Lo and behold as CKLW tells us:

  • "There may be a glimmer of hope in the strike by City of Windsor inside and outside workers. The two sides have agreed to open discussions on the main issue of retirement benefits for new hires. Mayor Eddie Francis hopes a discussion of the options leads to a return to the bargaining table with a mediator. The two sides are expected to meet this week."

Hmmmm, I wonder if Senior saw a copy of the canal plans too before the Councillors and Windsorites since he is so positive about it. Does he know something as one of the financing sources that we do not know? What about the Windsor Family Credit Union, developer Shmuel Farhi, the Windsor Port Authority and any others who also provided money. Have they got copies of the Cooke Report too already?

If that is how the game is played, then can we make a connection between Brighton Beach and the Federal infrastructure money for the canal that Eddie's bestest new friend Jeff Watson virtually guaranteed we would get? I would think that it would not be a big leap.

How nice it is that Eddie will tell Council first about the price. I guess he learned something last Friday:

  • "The purchase price for the city land is being kept confidential until a report goes to council for final approval, Francis said."

Who should get credit for this land being available:

  • "It turned out to be a smart move on city’s part to assemble (the land),” said Mark Lalovich, commercial broker with Remax Preferred Realty. “It turned out to be visionary with the new bridge going in the area.”

That was all started under Mike Hurst and John Tofflemire, long before Eddie! As I wrote several years ago:

  • "I cannot prove this but I do not believe that the Brighton Beach lands were ever intended to be used as industrial land. Why all of a sudden did they come out in the Schwartz Report out of nowhere....

    I think it has been a part of the border crossing route by the City for a very long time except we as citizens did not know what was the real intended use."

And just so the Councillors know, the price for Brighton Beach is in the $20-30M range so there definitely is something bizarre if the real estate agent tells us that land has been sold "in the range of $50,000 to $60,000 per acre" recently. This would be 3-4 times higher. It certainly makes what has happened in Sandwich much more understandable to me.

The land supposedly for industrial usage cost the City substantially less than $20M to assemble according to a quote I found from the City solicitor. In a down real estate market, it should be worth even less, not more.

Say, I think I got it! The difference between $20M and the $5M land values---$15M-- is just about what the City would have to contribute as its one-third of the project. What a co-incidence! How sweet! The Senior Levels put in not only their 2/3 amount but Windsor's 1/3 amount too!

Could the Feds be that dumb at negotiating? If so, I think the Auditor General should ask that question and many others about the DRIC process. I wonder if she takes calls for suggestions.

As I Blogged the other day, guess what the quid pro quo is for the $3.2M Provincial money backstopping for Red Bull. If true, you won't be surprised but you may be upset.

But then again, why worry. It is only taxpayer money.