Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Will Marra Ever Be Mayor

Not if Edgar (aka Eddie) can prevent it.

If we listen to Gord as you shall see below, Edgar (aka Eddie) and Dwight are going to meet to discuss the DRIC road. Again.

But that is not what the meeting is really about is it, dear reader. You and I both know better than to believe that.

Why would Dwight ever want to do so ? What's in it for him? Gord has claimed twice already that there was going to be peace in our time between Edgar and Dwight over the DRIC road and each time wasn't Dwight left at the altar. He looked like the fool, the Minister of Finance rebuffed at the hands of a small town Mayor. Not good for the image Dwight!

Why be embarrassed for a third time?

Seriously, why would Dwight care what Edgar wants since the major work on the road won't take place now, if it ever does, until 2011 when the next provincial election takes place. The Windsor mayoral election would have been all wrapped up by then.

Why would Dwight care then? It would be HIS re-election that he cared about wouldn't it?

Let's get real. No significant changes will be made to the DRIC road other than a few tweaks. Edgar has nothing for which he can get credit any longer even using the misinformation about his great effort in turning a $300M road into a $1.6B one. Not true but then again, when do facts count in this City it seems. Gord tried to give Edgar a face-saving way out twice but Edgar rejected it.

Take a look at this:

  • Francis unfazed by GreenLink rebuff
    November 4, 2009

    Windsor isn't giving up on GreenLink, despite Premier Dalton McGuinty's insistence during the Ontario Liberals' weekend gathering at Caesars Windsor that the province has "now nailed down the final plan" on the new border route.

    Mayor Eddie Francis appeared unfazed by the premier's comment, saying the city will continue to push for more elements of its costlier GreenLink plan to be included in the province's proposed Windsor-Essex Parkway, including longer stretches of tunnelling...

    Francis said he'll be making calls this week to local MPPs Sandra Pupatello and Dwight Duncan, both senior ministers in McGuinty's cabinet, to schedule a meeting and discussion on the new border access route, which has been budgeted at $1.6 billion and touted by the province as the most expensive stretch of roadbuilding in Ontario history.

    Asked what leeway Duncan, who is Ontario's finance minister, and Pupatello might have after their boss said it's time now to move ahead with the megaproject, Francis replied: "That's a question you'll have to ask them."

    Duncan wasn't keen on the subject when asked during the weekend convention.

    "We're having ongoing discussions with the city ... on all sorts of things we want to work on together," he said.

  • Border file, McGuinty and his hammer
    November 6, 2009

    Premier Dalton McGuinty dropped a bit of a bomb when he joined his caucus at a Caesars Windsor retreat last weekend.

    "We have now nailed down the final plan," he told reporters who asked if there was still time to tinker with the new $1.6-billion border access route. "It's now incumbent on all of us to move ahead with that..."

    "If anything, I'm going to continue to work with the process that has been defined and agreed to," Francis said.

  • Border route proposals sought
    Specs 'set' for parkway, province says

    December 30, 2009

    Initial work, including sound barriers through residential portions of the 11-kilometre parkway, began earlier this month, and full construction is expected by 2011..

    The request for proposals is based on project specifications set by Infrastructure Ontario and Ontario's Ministry of Transportation.

    "In a nutshell, it's set," den Elzen said.

    But Mayor Eddie Francis said Windsor hasn't given up in its push to have more elements added from the city's GreenLink proposal, including more tunnelling.

    "Issuing an RFP and awarding an RFP are two different things," said Francis.

    He said he's been in discussions with Windsor's two provincial cabinet ministers, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and Economic Development and Trade Minister Sandra Pupatello.

    "There is still time for the city and the province to come together ... so that we're on the same page," he said, adding he anticipates those talks will continue into the new year.

    Fausto Natarelli, director of the province's Windsor Border Initiatives Implementation Group, said in an email Tuesday that "the design of the Parkway cannot stray from the approved Recommended Plan. The Windsor-Essex Parkway is the plan approved by Ontario and Canada."

    But Natarelli held out some hope of tweaking."

Then the big news was told to us by Gord

  • Henderson: Is the mayor really looking at third term?
    By Gord Henderson, January 2, 2010

    As for border infrastructure, the historic battle with the senior governments that consumed this city for eight exhausting years and dominated the Francis agenda, it appears peace might be at hand.

    Later this month Francis and Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan will hold a meeting that, if all goes well, could allow the city to at last sign off on the province’s Parkway plan. Instead of lawsuits, there would be smiling faces all round. And lots of photo-ops. That would be good news for a departing Francis and better news for ministers Duncan and Sandra Pupatello if their career plans include getting re-elected here in 2011.

If Edgar ran again for mayor, and won, that could cause a few minor irritants to our Cabinet Ministers. I hardly think that Dwight or Sandra are going to stay up nights worrying about threats spewed out by Gord. That tactic was tried before and they both won handily last time around. After all, they have the cash to make or break Windsor.

However, Dwight is an ambitious politician and he may have other career ambitions than just being Finance Minister. He may have bigger fish to fry.

  • running for leadership of the Provincial Liberal Party and becoming Premier since there is a chance that McGuinty will retire before the next election

  • running federally and perhaps being viewed one day as the Liberal Party salvation federally after Dion and Iggy's seeming failures

  • getting a nice fat salary working in industry.

Who knows what goes through politicians' minds.

If any of these are a possibility, then Dwight does not need Edgar to mess it up with some silly lawsuit over a DRIC road. That is Edgar's last remaining tool which he would use if it was expedient for him to do so.

Dwight's motto might become then "Why take a chance?" Why not resolve matters with Edgar in case something dumb that Edgar does could ruin Dwight's chances. And Dwight knows that Edgar panics in tight situations---the near riot is a case in point.

So Dwight might want to do a deal but why so early in the year?

That is due to Edgar....he needs to cover every eventuality early on given the great Planner that he is and also to make sure he gets his ultimate revenge if he chooses not to run for Mayor again.

What the meeting will be about is NOT about Greenlink and the DRIC road but how Dwight will pressure Bill Marra NOT to run as I believe was done before so that Edgar could become Mayor for his second term. Marra would have defeated him easily otherwise.

From every indication I had from some of his close insiders, Bill was seriously going to run for Mayor until something happened at the very last moment and he ran for Council instead. There is no doubt in my mind that a backroom deal was made and Bill became the victim.

Edgar may or may not run again. He knows he would lose to Bill so now we understand why Marra is being smeared in recent Star stories. To hedge his bets, Edgar would want a commitment that Dwight would ensure that Bill would not run against him if he decided to run for a third term.

Let's assume that Gord is right and Edgar won't run again. He could not stand Marra becoming Mayor. Again, Edgar would want a commitment that Dwight would ensure that Bill would not run to become the next Mayor.

That's how politics is played in the minor leagues folks.