Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A University Column, Now? Why?

Whoa, that was strange timing for Gord's University column last Saturday considering most of the action around the University will take place next year. The President's strategic plan and possible work stoppages as well as revenue issues were described.

What was the purpose of doing it now? Not even a mention about the frat party either and that it was the University President's job to clean up the mess not Edgar's!

Of course, it meant that Gord could ignore the ongoing 400 Building fiasco. I thought he could have written a great column denouncing the politicizing of the Audit Committee and demanding that it be reconstituted. Or consider the fun he could have had with Councillor Marra voting to keep the Dunbar report locked up never to see the light of day.

I was shocked that there was no Junior bashing. Heck, he could have written that column with one eye closed and one hand tied behind his back. That tells me that City Hall is signalling that it wants to keep the rhetoric down, hopefully so that the story will go away and perhaps gives Junior second thoughts about going forward.

It also means that there is an ugly story waiting to come out.

No shots at Spanky and his financial troubles at Queen's Park, no we are close to a deal on Greenlink again, nothing about Pelissier and downtown violence. Just about the University in 2010. Strange.

I read the column a second time and then got it. The column was really all about Dave Cooke. I missed this the first time around:
  • "Cooke won't be around to see it happen. He'll leave the board at the end of December, due to term limits."
That means the man needs a new job soon. And what could be better for an ex-politico coming back to Windsor to live than being Mayor especially when Gord wrote:
  • "I'm all but certain that Francis will pack it in next year."
It's a good paying job especially with all the Chairmanships paying extra. However, there was a big caveat that I think is important and tells me that a so-called good story about Dave really was not one:
  • "But it appears that Marra, in playing dumb games while Windsor is fighting for its life, is trying to goad Francis into sticking around for a 2010 rematch. Now that would be fun."
As I am sure you can guess, dear reader, even with his CUPE bounce which may not last much longer, in order to beat Marra, Edgar (aka Eddie) needs a third candidate to split the anti-Edgar vote. However, he does not want a third candidate who is so strong that he might bump off both him and Marra in a 3-way race.

So while it seems Cooke is being praised for his canny wisdom---"triggered a series of reforms that turned the education system in Ontario on its ear---he is also slammed hard when you really look into what is written. Consider:
  • What did he accomplish as the University's Chair for the last three years other than watching it continue to be an "inward-looking institutions that defend their musty ways with dogged tenacity."

  • He is leaving at a time when major struggles will take place and all he is offering is words not actions

  • What support has he provided to the President as Chair for these battles since he has just made the President's life impossible signalling the programs that are safe and allowing the lobbying to start for "programs [that] might be on the chopping block" even though he admits he is "Quite frankly I'm not competent to do that."

  • His "hang tough" philosophy since there are "difficult choices that should have been made years before Wildeman arrived" makes a mockery of his 9 years on the University Board when those choices were not made

  • Fiscal responsibility when under his watch the University "cannot go on year after year running an operating deficit" and another big strike may take place next year

  • SDR at the Univeristy---hardly when "They're big. They're unwieldy. And they're highly resistant to change."

Do you see what I mean? Henderson came to bury Cooke, not praise him.

First to scare off Marra and now to get Cooke not to run. Maybe we won't see a race after all.


Wait a minute. Was this column written by Gord? Have any of the columns in the last few months been written by Gord? Museum last week, University this week. They can hardly be said to be "hard-hitting views" from the Star's "provocative city columnist."

Someone on the Star may be signalling that Gord may have been abducted, by aliens perhaps. I had suggested that concept before in relation to a Councillor

  • "The Star quoted him in an early story but something happened between then and now. He must have been abducted by aliens. The published Star story did not mention his quotes."

You laugh. Here is my proof. If you go to this web page on the Star, you will see the following:

That column was written in January and can hardly be considered "recent."

Beware. There are strange things going on at the Star as Saturday's big Front Page story suggests followed by mini-Gord's counterattack and Anne's pizza revelation. Perhaps it all has to do with Canwest trying to sell their newspapers for a billion dollars or not selling their papers at all.