Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, September 18, 2009

More Stories

Here they are again. More stories and my take on them.


I was up early again watching the Parliamentary Channel on TV and saw the infamous Harper video and Iggy's press conference about it. Lots of good stuff on at 6 AM on TV.

I must admit I was not suprised at what Harper said. He was being himself, a combative leader who wants to be in power in a majority Government and who wants to crush the Opposition for whom he has little respect. It is exactly what brought about the Constitutional crisis we had a year ago.

It was Iggy's response that I found most interesting and completely supportable to anyone who is rational even though it may mean another election. Effectively what he said was:
  • Our Party supported the Conservatives for almost a year during the economic crisis
  • I am the guy who ruled out a Coaltion amongst the Oppostion to form a new Government if Parliament was dissolved
  • We expected there to be co-operation amongst all of the parties
  • We did not get it
  • Now the public can see that lack of respect for the Oppostion clearly in Harper's in camera rantings at the meeting in the Soo
  • All Harper wants is power in a majority Government
  • How can Parliament work in this kind of a poisoned atmosphere to solve our problems
  • What other choice is there but to bring down the Government!

Now Iggy is being attacked because the vast majority of Canadians do not want an election. Yet what he says makes sense and we need an election to clear the air.

Is there another option perhaps that does not mean a wasteful election?

I think there is but I do not recall anyone proposing it. After his failure in DC, it is even more compelling. The Conservatives have no choice but to force Stephen Harper to resign now for the good of Canada and for the good of their Party.

If there is another minority Government with him in charge, he will have to go anyway. If the Liberals form the Government, he will be gone too. The only way that he can salvage his position is to form a Majority Government and that is highly unlikely especially as the "blue sweater Harper" has gone back into hiding.

The Conservatives need to elect a new leader who will pledge to make the minority Government work by co-operating with the Opposition. By doing so, they take away any argument that Iggy can make and take away any chance of a new election being called for a year or more until, hopefully for them, the time when the economy has recovered.

Of course,that will never happen.


Without knowing enough about the issues raised on the other side of the river, as a political junkie, I am disappointed that

  • "The Wayne County Election Commission rejected recall petition language filed against State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, for her position on a second span across the Detroit River and her vote to turn Cobo Hall over to a regional authority."

I would have liked to see how a recall petition works in reality so that we could try and get the Provincial Government to put such a recall provision in the Municipal Act or in the City of Windsor Act at least.

It was interesting to see her reaction.

  • "Tlaib choked up after the election commission rejected all three recall petitions against her, and said the outpouring of support really motivated her to work even harder.

    She said she plans to work on legislation to reform the recall process, adding, "this was such a waste of time and energy. It was such a distraction."

It was fascinating to me. Not a word about looking at the issues that caused the problem in the first place to try and satisfy the concerns of her opponents. Nope, rather, let's change the rules so we politicians cannot be so easily distracted by citizens in the future!

Ain't Democracy grand!


Wow, even a Governor in Michigan can be recalled. McGuinty is fortunate those rules do not apply here:

  • "Man gets OK to start governor recall drive


    LANSING — A man seeking to recall Gov. Jennifer Granholm said today that he’ll start collecting the more than 950,000 signatures he will need now that his petition language has been approved.

    The Ingham County Election Commission voted 2-1 today to allow the language submitted by Paul Piche of Omer, a corrections officer at the state prison in Standish who is upset with the governor’s push to release more inmates eligible for parole.

    Granholm’s spokeswoman, Liz Boyd, said the Democratic governor’s outside legal counsel plans to appeal the commission’s decision to the Ingham County Circuit Court in hopes of keeping the recall off the ballot.

    Granholm has repeatedly defended her plan to release more inmates, noting that Michigan unnecessarily imprisons people longer than most surrounding states, costing the state money it doesn’t have.

    The petition now states that Granholm laid off 100 State Police officers, “at the same time releasing convicted felons, jeopardizing public safety.” Piche had failed twice before to get the commission to approve other petition language.

    He must collect the necessary signatures in the next 90 days to get the measure on the ballot. Granholm has just 15 months left before her second term expires. She can’t run again because of term limits."


Thanks to Councillor Halberstadt for making it clear to me at least that there is no point ever appearing in front of this Council as a delegation. You would just be wasting your breath.

I am sure that you suspected that after my Lufthansa BLOG the other day where a majority of Council had seen their report in advance at an in camera Airport Board meeting and about a month later it was "formally" presented to Council. All that our "Your arrogance knows no bounds" Councillor could say now even though a grant for a further study had been applied for before Council approval was:
  • "My impression is that councillors will be behind the idea of exploring it in principle," Coun. Alan Halberstadt said Sunday, noting that federal money may be available to fund a more in-depth study. "If that's the case, I can't see anybody opposing going to the next stage."

In other words, done deal.

Here are excerpts from his latest BLOG on garbage and outsourcing. It is an interesting history of changes in garbage collection and how they were achieved without a strike by negotiations between the parties to reduce costs and increase productivity. What a novel concept. However, that is not what interests me. This does:

  • "Let Me Expose Trash Talk In City Outsource Debate

    The debate to privatize garbage collection is raging again in Windsor after citizens were held hostage by mounds of trash that debased the city during the 101-day CUPE strike.

    The operative word in the above paragraph is “again.” Public Works veterans will tell you that the P word (privatization) is never far from the lips of our refuse collectors.

    The outsourcing decision will soon be revisited, even though City Council rejected a phased pilot project to test privatization during a closed-door budget session a couple of weeks before the work stoppage. That was before CUPE picketers used garbage piles and public drop-off depot blockades as prime pressure tactics to leverage a better contract.

    The notion that Council “unanimously” opposed a move towards contracting out on the eve of the strike is one of the many nose stretchers surrounding the 101-day odyssey. I was one of three Councillors who opposed a motion to reject a pilot privatization project and do nothing...

    Contracting out talks have historically been agonizing in Windsor. Councillors who have made tough decisions behind closed doors have been known to scatter like spiders once the lights go on in open session and the city’s labour leaders start pounding tables.

    The garbage collection budget of $2.8 million in 1982 remained the same in 2008. With this in mind, it is hugely ironic that garbage collectors, as the face of the bitter strike, have become sacrificial lambs of the work stoppage hangover.

    If other City Hall departments had made similar productivity gains over the last 30 years, taxpayers would be in far better shape today. Councillor Lewenza likes to boast that Windsor’s cost of sanitation collection is only $83 per year per average household.

    No doubt that would have been his Sunday Punch had Councillor Brister accepted his challenge to a debate on privatization.

    Of course, all of this doesn’t matter to revenge-seeking citizens who want to stop CUPE from holding taxpayers hostage with garbage ever again.

    Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!'

Get ready to do what, speak in public? Brister debating and being made to appear foolish so he cannot run for Mayor. Never.

Why rumble considering all of the in camera discusssions already on the subject. Why let the public in on the debate until Councillors have made their decision secretly and have agreed not to fold this time.

Let the masses mouth off as delegations. Let the Unionists pound the table. The Mayor and Councillors will not scatter this time around after they and the media have painted CUPE members as thugs over a 101-day strike.

I really would be interested in knowing what section of the Municipal Act allows this subject to be discussed in camera. It is an important issue in this City and should NOT be debated behind closed doors.

The public needs to be educated about the pros and cons not just for garbage collection but for other areas of Municipal government as well such as traffic tickets, the next target, as the Star has identified.

We need to know what the postions of Councillors are out in the public so that we can form an opinion about what they are saying as well and whether we want them around next time.

That Councillor Halberstadt, who wears the mantle of the People's Champion supposedly, can BLOG about this without identifying the democratic concerns is disappointing to say the least. That the other members of Council should have participated as well is just as bad.

But hardly surprising any more. Just remember the incident with John, Dev and Helga too and the complaints by Councillors Mara and Dilkens.