Dwight Duncan: Minister of Honour
After all, Dwight's title is "The Honourable Dwight Duncan Minister of Finance and Chair of Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet."
Let's be real. It seems hard to find a person of honour amongst politicians these days. How many scandals have we seen around the world that just make one sick to one's stomach.
Oh they make big promises when they first run for office and may even try to carry out some of the things they offered up. However, as time passes, their memories fail as they get caught up in their own self-importance. So many of them seem to forget so quickly why they were elected.
You know, and this is off-topic, there may well be a virtue to term-limits as in the US in many jurisdictions including that of the US President.
How refreshing therefore to read the remarks of local MPP and Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan, in the Star.
Sure Spanky is only a mere Provincial politician and has absolutely no jurisdiction over an international bridge. That falls completely within the power of the Federal Government. However that did not stop him from telling us the facts of life.
- "Senator Cropsey has an interesting point of view, but it conveniently overlooks the fact that the governments of the United States and the State of Michigan have signed agreements to proceed with this," Duncan said Wednesday. "The governor of Michigan and the current president of the United States, as well as the previous one, have all affirmed their commitment to this..."
"At this point, there's no concern that I can see," said Duncan, the province's finance minister. "We remain committed to going forward, as they do."
I must admit that I as a mere citizen have no idea what he is talking about respecting "agreements to proceed with this" unless he just means the DRIC study.
Considering the snub of Prime Minister Harper by President Obama and the rejection of Harper's border push by President Bush, I am unaware of anything that the Presidents have done that has committed the US Government to allow the DRIC Bridge to be built. In fact, it seems highly unlikely based on what the US Department of State has said already that the DRIC bridge can ever get a Presidential Permit to do so!
Spanky knows that the US Governments and the Bridge Company have sunk almost a quarter of a billion dollars into the Ambassador Gateway project which was designed to accommodate a second bridge. Moreover, he must remember that what Senator Cropsey said on the record has never been denied by MDOT:
- "In talking with [MDOT] Director Steudle this morning, he very clearly stated to me that MDOT would not in any way impair the Ambassador Bridge project and stated to me that MDOT is on record that the Ambassador Bridge should be twinned."
As a man who keeps up to date on all border crossing Reports, Dwight knows as well that the Brookings Institution has written:
- "The Michigan Department of Transportation has undertaken a $230 million expansion of the Ambassador Bridge customs plaza to improve traffic flow and enhance access to Interstate 75 and Interstate 96, as well as to ease traffic problems affecting adjacent city neighborhoods. The DIBC has proposed a privately financed $1 billion second span for the Ambassador Bridge that is pending regulatory approvals...
However, the DRIC is expected to be completed later than the DIBC barring additional delays to either project, and concern over the auto industry and the potential for lower traffic volumes due to reduced automotive industry shipments casts doubt on the need to proceed with both the DIBC and DRIC...
Declining traffic figures, if sustained into 2009, undermine the case for the investment of billions of dollars in new border infrastructure after years of contentious debate and planning has already taken place..."
I will excuse Spanky. Maybe he really meant the building of the Enhancement Project Bridge and got confused. He must be giddy since he is rejoicing short-term because the Obama snub will certain help out IGGY federally in the next election and himself too if he decides to run federally in Joe Comartin's riding if Joe retires.
What our Senior Minister is really saying is that he believes in parties living up to their obligations. He wants people to live up to their commitments. A true Man of Honour and a Man of His Word. A Gentleman!
And that is why the Bridge Company owner should be feeling so comfortable today.
He knows that the BIF money was meant to build a road to his bridge so now the money can finally be spent to do so even if it is now called the DRIC road for face-saving purposes. After all, the DRIC road follows the path that Windsor suggested in its WALTS Report and which the Bridge Company engineered years ago. Thanks to Dwight, he knows now that the Ontario Government will live up to its commitment.
But it is more than that. Spanky must know about Ontario's written support of the Enhancement Project. He must also be aware of the signed agreement to help improve the Bridge's border crossing, executed long before DRIC ever started. Heck, he is even obliged to help get the Feds off their rear-ends to get that Enhancement Bridge going already!
I did an Internet search and found out data about this. Spanky must have the originals of what I found and a lot more at his fingertips as a powerful Minister so he could make the statements that he did.
As a Minister of Honour, when will he meet with the Bridge Company to work out the details of co-ordinating their project with the DRIC road to get those thousands of jobs that Dwight as a Politician of Honour promised us.