Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, July 10, 2009

Snakes And Rats In Windsor

No I am not talking about politicians!

This story on CKLW interested me:
  • "There are snakes in the grass and there are snakes on Parent Avenue. A family in the 1500 block has found a 4 foot Eastern Fox snake on the front lawn. Homeowner, Georgina Homme, blames the CUPE strike. Her house is just 5-doors down from the CUPE building where mounds of garbage are piled up. The Ministry of Natural Resources says it's likely the snake was attracted by tall grass left uncut because of the strike and by an increase in the rat population attracted by the garbage."

I know another fellow, a contractor, who lives in the area who also saw one of these snakes near there.

We may now be in serious trouble in Windsor:

  • "In Ontario the eastern fox snake is listed as threatened and protected by the Species at Risk Act (SARA)."

I am not certain what the consequence of this is but remember the story about the boblinks:

  • "The discovery also means that, even if the civic strike were to end tomorrow, there would be restrictions placed on any immediate mowing, said Phil Roberts, president of the Essex County Field Naturalists Club.

    “If you wanted to cut, you’d need a permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service,” said Roberts. The Migratory Bird Act, an international treaty, prohibits the harassment, killing or nest removal of bird species named in the act while they are actively nesting, he said.

    While the bobolink is neither endangered, threatened nor listed in the Migratory Bird Act, “I doubt the CWS would issue a (mowing) permit,” said Roberts. Pratt said bobolinks and meadowlarks may not be endangered, “but they’re rare in the sense they’re a declining group of species.”

Are we coming to the situation where the garbage cannot be removed because the snakes would not be able to feed on the rats attracted by the garbage? Do we have a case of protecting snakes as we did with the rattlers for the DRIC road? Have we now created an Ojibway Nature Reserve East around the CUPE HQ that demands protection?

These are serious matters to contemplate. This may become another issue between the Mayor and the pesky environmentalists that was never considered when the decision was made to have a strike!

Christie Pits in Toronto may never be the same either!

However, speaking of politicians, I liked Dalton McGuinty sneaking in and out of Windsor. I think he was afraid to make his presence known or he might have been picketed. No, no, no, not by CUPE but by Windsor Councillors who would have been demanding that he attend at Council to be cross-examined over Greenlink!

It's too bad that Windsorites could not have taken him on a tour to see where garbage is piled high. However, in keeping with his strategy to crush public service unions, it is better for him to say:

  • "My hat's off to the people living in this community ... because they're acting responsibly. There's not a tremendous amount of visible evidence that we're mired in a garbage strike, here in Windsor or back in Toronto," McGuinty said."

There is no doubt that he was being driven around Windsor by his Chauffeur, Dwight Duncan, in the same limo that Dwight drove Eddie to the airport. As you may not know, that vehicle has tinted windows so that passengers may NOT see out. That is why the Premier saw little garbage in Windsor.

Here is another accurate but narrow comment made in the Star:

  • "McGuinty didn't meet with Francis on his swing through the area."

True but not 100%. They had a top-secret, never to be disclosed, Blackberry text-messaging conversation using pseudonyms so no one would ever be able to trace it to them!

According to a source deeeeeeeep, within City Hall, so deeeeeeep that an Integrity Commissioner would never find the person who leaked this to me, the Premier and Mayor had a talk about the G8 Summit coming to Windsor. You know, another event to put our City on the world's stage.

I will give him credit. The Mayor was very cagey. He begged the Premier to demand that the Prime Minister hold the next G8 Summit in Windsor. In fact, the Mayor said he would fly to all the capitals of the world as many times as needed, out of YQG of course, and stay there as long as it took to get the world leaders to come here.

No need to worry about the state of affairs in Windsor while he was away. Everything would be put in limbo just like it was for CUPE negotiations while he was doing his latest business trip/holiday in Europe. Just to make sure, the citizens of the City and more particularly the Councillors would be told specifically not to think while he was away and not to have the effrontery to hold meetings in his absence!

The Premier made no promises but according to a source deeeeeep in Dwight's limo, the Premier could not understand why Eddie wanted the Summit here. He may have thought that even if protesters at the next G8 Summit destroyed parts of the City, no one could tell given the sad conditions around us now.

And you thought Dwight wanted Red Bull again! He had you fooled too. I expect that the Minister had to be in on it given the thawing of relations between him and the Mayor. He could not think that Red Bull would come here again after crowds dropped from 750,000 to about 300,000. He did play his role well though:

  • "Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan added that he’s already planned to meet with Red Bull officials in Toronto in the coming days to discuss that possibility.”

I wonder if Red Bull meant G8 officials in reality if the Premier and the PM ok'd it!

The Mayor, as usual, was one step ahead of everyone. As the National Post reported after the recently concluded G8 Summit:

  • "Of course the trip to Italy wasn’t entirely without the obligatory tossing around of taxpayer dollars. The government ponied up $5 million to building a youth centre in L’Aquila, the host city for the G8 summit recovering from a recent Earthquake."

If my math is correct $5M, or let's say $6M because of inflation by the time of the next G8 session, from each of the 8 participants equals $48M. Amazing, isn't that exactly the amount of the canal cost estimate!

I can hear the gondoliers singing now!

PS. The Mayor needs the Premier's help because Canada hosts the next G8 session in Muskoka so the Premier would have to give some goodies to that region if Windsor was to take it over.