GOLD MEDDLE WINNER
Remember this CP story:
- "Talks continued late into the night in an effort to end the now 15-week old strike by municipal workers in Windsor, Ont.
But neither the city nor CUPE is commenting on the status of the negotiations. Mayor Eddie Francis says both sides must be left alone in an effort to hammer out an agreement."
I wonder how many weeks shorter the strike would have been had the Mayor followed his own advice. Perhaps someone might have to figure that out one day if there is a claim for back wages.
I know 2 Councillors at least who will have to testify under oath and maybe a third who represents the other political extreme.
You know that some CUPE members were angry at the comments made by Catherine Swift, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
- "On behalf of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business' (CFIB) small and medium-sized business members in the City of Windsor, I write to express my outrage at the rejection of the City's latest contract offer by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) locals 543 and 82."
I guess no one told her about the near-riot caused by our Mayor's dumb actions on the Protocol fiasco. Consider her solution:
- "I urge you to continue to stand up to the selfish demands of the union by calling on Premier McGuinty to legislate the striking civil servants back-to-work."
It was exactly what CUPE wanted and the Mayor and Council did not.
In any event, someone I hear is circulating a list of CFIB Windsor members. I assume that the idea is that unionists ought not to shop at those establishments so they can
- "see what it is like without the Unionized workers' business."
NEW BORDER TRAFFIC PROJECTIONS
I read this comment in a news article the other day. I wonder if this was based on something that the DRIC people said. You know DRIC, the people who have been completely unable to project traffic volume numbers after how many attempts.
Now I assume that they will try and shove these numbers down our throats to justify the new Bridge:
- "Traffic should have recovered by time new bridge opens
Traffic at the existing crossings is down dramatically at present - some 25% to 30% below the peak of two or three years ago. This is a combination of the collapse of the once Big Three US auto manufacturers, GM, Ford and Chrysler which are heavily concentrated on both sides of the international border, as well as declines in tourist travel, and more paperwork at the US border following the 2001/09/11 attacks.
However by the time the new bridge is built (2014 or 2015) the expectation is that traffic will have recovered."
If that is the case, then we had all better go out and buy shares of the Big Three on the stock market! After all, the Governments know since they are the biggest owners of Government Motors and Cries-ler.
Shhhhhhhh, don't tell Sean O'Dell about the numbers being down so much either. He might have to tell a few Ministers who are out on a limb now.
WHY DOESN'T SEAN O'DELL TELL US THE AMBASSADOR BRIDGE NUMBERS
He dare not. It would scare off too many P3investors. Better they do not know:
- "NIAGARA FALLS — One month into more stringent requirements for identification at border crossings, and passenger travel volume across the busiest international bridges in Ontario has taken a nose dive.
From Sarnia and Windsor to Niagara and Kingston, fewer people are crossing back and forth between Canada and the United States, heightening fears about the economic toll it will have on communities along the border and businesses and industries everywhere that rely on a steady, efficient flow of people and goods to survive and thrive.
“It’s frightening,” said Arlene White, executive director of the Binational Tourism Alliance.
“Everybody is concerned. We’ve got businesses down 15 to 40%.”
Figures for June show two-way passenger vehicle traffic at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls was down more than 20% last month compared to June 2008.
The Queenston-Lewiston Bridge was down 16%, while the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie saw a 12.5% decline in passenger vehicles.
The trend was similar at other major crossings, including the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel where passenger travel was down 23%, and the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia where it was nearly 13% lower.
IMAGINE IF WINDSOR CONTROLLED THE WHOLE TUNNEL
What a businessperson our Mayor is not:
- "Traffic at the Windsor-Detroit tunnel fell nearly 10 per cent in the month following implementation of new U.S. passport rules on June 1 — confirming the worst fears of local tourism and business leaders...
When June’s traffic numbers at the Windsor-Detroit tunnel are compared to June 2008, the decline is much worse at 22.5 per cent, according to Mark Galvin, executive director of the Windsor Tunnel Corporation.
The tunnel launched and informational campaign focusing on the new passport rule with postings at the plazas, freeway billboards and flyers.
“Obviously, we expected some measure of impact,” Galvin said. “It’s new and hopefully over time people will get the correct documentation.
“Certainly, there has been a drop. It’s difficult to know what to expect with so much going on with the economy and less travelling.”
Imagine "hope" as the basis of a US$75M transaction!
DWIGHT'S NUMBERS ARE SUSPECT
The traffic numbers make a mockery of the claim of the Minister of Finance that $100M was generated for the Red Bull Air Races. It would seem that not too many Americans came over in June.
No one has said yet how many tickets were actually sold. The overlyoptimistic number of 290,000 people participating suggests that business has to be off by about 60% compared with the 750,000 last year.
I heard that restaurants had overstocked this year. You did NOT read many Star stories about happy restauranteurs the way we did last year.
If I was a Member of the Opposition, I would ask Dwight to justify the number. If he is so wrong on it, imagine how wrong he could be on Government finance projections.
SENATOR KENNY MISSED THE RISK
Time he did another Report to keep him occupied so he can stay away from border matters.
Check out the data on EMP Electro Magnetic Pulse http://www.onesecondafter.com/pb/wp_d10e87d9/wp_d10e87d9.html
This might scare you too and the Senator's Committee:
- "Several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication.
EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.
The common element that can produce such an impact from EMP is primarily electronics, so pervasive in all aspects of our society and military, coupled through critical infrastructures. Our vulnerability is increasing daily as our use of and dependence on electronics continues to grow. The impact of EMP is asymmetric in relation to potential protagonists who are not as dependent on modern electronics.
The current vulnerability of our critical infrastructures can both invite and reward attack if not corrected. Correction is feasible and well within the Nation's means and resources to accomplish.
HOW P3 COMPANIES MAKE MONEY AT USER EXPENSE EVEN IF TRAFFIC DECLINES
Since there will be no tolls on the DRIC road, guess who pays and pays even if traffic goes down. Yuppers, taxpayers, you and I, dear reader
- "Toronto's 407ETR loses traffic in recession but revenue holds, and breaking even
Traffic on Canada's big tollroad 407ETR is down 3.8% the first half of this year (2009H1) versus first half of 2008 (2008H1) but a slightly larger increase in toll rates (4.7%) has ensured that revenues are holding. Revenues in 2009H1 were running at an annual $469m (C$524m @$C=90c) based on 292.1k trips/day versus 303.8k in 2008H1, the 3.8% decline. The revenue in 2008H1 was $468m (C$520.2m.)
Depending on the exchange rates this is in the top two or three grossing tollroads in North America.
Vehicle-kilometers traveled were running at an annual 2,076m v 2157m 2009H1/2008H1, also a 3.8% decline.
Unprecedented in the eleven year history of the Toronto pike this 3.8% reduction in traffic is however similar to that experienced on many US tollroads (and tax roads), and far less than the double-digit percentage declines being seen at the US-Canadian border crossings, where 20+% declines are common. "
But then again, the investor here won't care...they will make their guaranteed profits at Ontario Government expense. Why should the Government do traditional road financing when P3 investors can make obscene profits instead at our risk.
Time for an Ontario Auditor General Investigation.