Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Final 2009 Clear-out Of Stories

Just some more year-enders for you


I wonder if it is making money for the College or costing it big time as it did before. How else to explain the Star Editorial in which the University is being pressured to come on downtown:

  • "the St. Clair Centre for the Arts has become home to more than 800 young, vibrant college kids. It's helped diversify downtown and injected life into a building that was woefully underutilized...

    Edwards' comments came just after Strasser and Alan Wildeman, president of the University of Windsor, signed a memorandum of understanding that included a discussion about moving the university's fine arts, music and theatre programs downtown.

    It was a landmark agreement, and since then the college has moved forward, just as it said it would. The university, however, seems to be a standstill.

    John Fairley, the college's alumni and development officer, thought St. Clair had many features that would appeal to U of W students, including the professional stage.

    "Why have dark nights at the Chrysler auditorium when the university can use it?" he asked.

    Why, indeed...

    Strasser said earlier this week. "Our commitment has been to do what we can to bring more students, faculty and programs to Windsor's downtown."

    St. Clair has met that commitment, and the city is better off because of it. Now it's time for the university's board of governors to work with the college to create a co-operative campus in the core."

Actually, there is another reason why the Star is so anxious. There is the need to have a win for someone's election campaign

  • "This is like my dream come true," Chris Edwards said back in June, when the college started talking about expanding programs into the inner city. "I know it's all preliminary, but, man, it's a game changer," the executive director of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association said of an ambitious plan to create a "cultural zone" in the core."

Whew, there is not only our new and exciting downtown but the anchor for a mind's eye vision canal too.


Think about it. CUPE's massive victory over Edgar (aka Eddie) and the hardliners, although never reported by the Star, may have had dramatic effect on the labour movement.

Remember when Ontario was talking about going after unions to help cut the deficit. Not now. It is privatization that will take place instead:

  • "Rumours of forced unpaid vacation for civil servants, along the lines of “Rae Days” in the early 1990s, turned out to be much ado about nothing. So there's a natural skepticism, reflected in some media reports, about this week's talk of selling Ontario's public assets...

    Rumours about Dalton Days didn't emerge from the government so much as from journalists trying to figure out how the province would deal with its $24.7-billion deficit. For whatever reason, Mr. McGuinty briefly indulged that speculation, on one occasion more or less raising the idea himself. But, even then, very few senior Liberals took the prospect seriously."

The "indulging" lasted until Edgar's near-riot stupidity which blew it all up.

However, Privatization is still viewed suspiciously by the unions, OPSEU in particular, as a means to force the unions into concessions:

  • "McGuinty can’t legislate his way out of this. If he wants to use public employees to buy Ontario out of the recession, his two main options are a) privatization; and b) mass layoffs.

    Privatization is a stupid idea. It cuts services, it destroys jobs, and it usually comes with major cost overruns. And from a budget standpoint, selling off assets like the LCBO – which right-wingers are already barking for – would kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    As for more layoffs, they can only weaken local economies, destroy the services people need, and generate headlines the Liberals really don’t want to see.

    So what’s their plan? My guess is, they think that just the threat of layoffs and privatization will force public employees to agree to the wage cuts or “Dalton Days” he wants.

    In other words, it’s a New Social Contract."

Too bad Edgar ruined it all. Just ask Toronto's Mayor, David Miller, about Edgar's inspired leadership.


Isn't it enough that they got a terrific deal on the arena? The private Spitfires owners want the City taxpayers to do more at our expense to help make them more money whether their team is in the Cup final or not:

  • "Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis offered the following comment on this new and unique initiative to support the Spitfires bid for the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup, “this is a very exciting opportunity and we look forward to supporting the bid as we attempt to secure this memorable and unique championship.”

    Windsor Spitfires Governor Peter Dobrich added the following, “through today’s announcement, the Windsor Spitfires and the City of Windsor are looking forward to receiving support for our Memorial Cup Bid from the best city in the Canadian Hockey League here in Windsor and Essex County. We strongly urge the Windsor and Essex County community to rally with us and participate in supporting the bid. We are certain that the great people in our community and the surrounding area will step up to the plate as they always have done in the past for every event or cause that comes to our region."

Is Edgar's new career to be a pitchman for private businesses? The Spitfires and then came Monopoly.

Someone needs to remind him though. In hockey, it is the "slapshot, " not the Slap Chop. I would not want him to make a mistake.


I wrote before about Edgar (aka Eddie) and his declaration of pecuniary interest involving Chuck Mady and the 400 Building

Unfortunately, he presided over 2 Council sessions too that discussed the Audit. Should he have done so?.

As I Blogged before:

  • "I appreciate that the retainer with respect to this matter is probably over. But does that relieve the Mayor of his possible conflict? After all, he has seen the Dunbar report hasn’t he. What if there is something in there that helped his old firm’s previous client? What if whatever it is could give rise to a lawsuit against the City of which he is Mayor? What are his legal obligations then?

    I have no idea what the answer is but it is not an easy matter."

Wouldn't that be interesting: Jeff Slopen being asked to give a legal opinion about Edgar. Here's why this is absolutely delicious irony:

  • Date when EllisDon limitiation started running: October 30th, 2002 [EllisDon was on record as complaining to the then-Mayor that it had been treated unfairly and that if it so chose, it could successfully prosecute an action against the City for breach of the “bidding contract”]

  • Date Dunbar audit presented to the CAO: January 17, 2007 [A draft copy of the 400 CHS audit report dated January 2007 is provided to the CAO]

  • Date when Edgar read the Draft audit: April 13, 2008 [The mayor also apparently reviews a copy of the draft audit report around this time. The mayor apparently decides to leave the decision with respect to release of the report with the Audit Committee, and the legal opinion is not discussed at the Council meeting

  • Date when EllisDon limitiation ended: October 30, 2008 [Unless there is something we do not know, any claim by EllisDon for a breach of the “bidding contract” expired six years after its recognition that it had a claim. At some point prior to October 30th, 2002 – when EllisDon wrote to the then-Mayor – it recognized it had a claim. We believe any claim which EllisDon might be able to make on this RFP is now, in all likelihood, statute barred as being beyond the limitation period.]

  • Comments in the Furniture audit:

    (iv) What Are the Implications of Making the Issues Respecting the Tender Public?
    The issue is one of risk management. The City will have to assess the likelihood that any of the bidders will take action against the City. If the assessment is that there is no serious chance of a bidder taking action (keeping in mind that only one bidder can recover substantial damages), then the report may be made public, from a purely legal perspective. If the City is concerned that one or more bidders will bring an action against the City, then the City may consider either redactions from the report or preserving the report as an in camera document.

    The City should consider not making the report on the Tender public at all. Owner errors in running bid processes – stemming from a lack of understanding of the “bidding contract” – are very common. The difficulties with the Tender do not involve any form of outside interference with the process. Canada obtained the furniture it wanted from the lowest pre-qualified bidder (although not necessarily the lowest compliant pre-qualified bidder)."

A strong argument can be made that the Audit release was delayed until after 2008 out of an abundance of caution to ensure that no contractor--EllisDon and Mady--could sue the City because of a limitation period argument and that all of the so-called "delays" were not the real reason.

However, there was no mention when Chuck Mady's limitation period would expire in the Report. Let's assume it expired some time in 2008 as well. The question remains now, considering that he read the draft Dunbar audit and, being a lawyer would understand about limitations periods, what should Edgar have done?

Did he still owe Mady a legal duty even as a former member of Mady's law firm? Was the duty merely not to be in a position to be opposed to Mady? Did he owe Mady a legal duty since he worked for Mady's law firm to tell him to sue the City of which he was Mayor before the limitation expired and if he did not, then what happens? If Edgar did tell him to do so and Mady did, then what considering his duty as Mayor? Now can Mady because of the Furniture comments start an action with his limitation period only starting now, ie the time when how he was dealt with unfairly became known.

I don't have the answers but oh the problems!