Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Some Quickies

Some really short comments


We are being set up already to expect it.

Thank goodnes for the HST! It is a saviour for Edgar (aka Eddie).

He is one lucky guy. A built-in excuse for the big loss that the arena will have after 2 years of significant underperformance:
  • "At a time when Windsor is hemorrhaging recreational facility users, it would cost local ratepayers an estimated $500,000 to $600,000 to absorb the annual impact of the provincial government’s coming HST on such facility rentals, city council heard Monday night.

    “This is a ridiculous download,” said Coun. Percy Hatfield. He said he’s been approached by a number of local sports leagues worried about the financial hit once Ontario’s PST gets added to the federal GST on July 1 and the combined harmonized sales tax is applied to a broader range of goods and services.

    “There’s great concern about what the HST will do to their registration numbers,” Hatfield said.

    Council meets next week to hear from the public before finalizing the city’s 2010 operating budget, and sports groups will be among the delegations seeking relief...

    As part of council’s budget debate on March 10, Mayor Eddie Francis said a “trending report” will be presented showing that, due in part to the ailing economy, registrations have taken such a hit that recreational programming is already being subsidized to the tune of up to $300,000 annually."

But wait, all is not lost. I heard that the City is trying to "force" groups to move their festivals and events to the Arena parking lot to try and build up revenues.

So much for helping the downtown!


I saw this in the Star and could not believe it. why would the Star even publish it unless they were trying to embarrass the Councillor formerly known as Councillor Budget:

  • "Just as city council is holding the line on spending increases, so too should The Windsor Star, Coun. Ken Lewenza Jr. told city council Monday night.

    "We've done our job," Lewenza said after proposing a motion instructing administration to return to the newspaper and insist on a better corporate advertising rate than the two per cent hike offered for 2010. The motion was seconded by Coun. Caroline Postma...

    The motion passed, with Coun. Dave Brister voting nay."

Edgar (aka Eddie) was tried to helpful:

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis pointed out that the line rate charged the city is already The Star's highest-volume discount not normally extended to any customer purchasing that level of advertising."

Imagine, softliners like Lewenza and Postma trying to save the City some money. Wow, it almost sounds like what they tried to do during the CUPE strike but were outvoted by hardliners like Brister. I wonder how Doug Schmidt will spin this one.


Come on, let's save a few bucks there too. They cannot do a minor debenture matter as we heard at Council.

They need an expensive outside firm for a tender matter:

  • "The Toronto law firm that helped write a scathing report on how construction of the 400 City Hall Square building was tendered has been brought in to handle the city's request for proposals on privatizing Windsor's residential garbage and curbside recyclable pickup.

    Miller Thomson LLP's involvement will "ensure all the rules are understood upfront," Mayor Eddie Francis told reporters following city council's in-camera meeting Monday night. In what he described as "an aggressive timeline," Francis said documents should be issued by the beginning of next month for prospective marketplace bidders, with the deadline for responses by about mid-May."

Who needs them?


Let's see, we can finance a $4m debenture over 20 years

But we have to pay off a $70M arena right away and cripple the City's finances for years.



According to Councillor Lewenza, who is also head of WUC , they have been trying for months to appear in front of Council and the public via Cogeco to explain their proposed rate increases.

However, they have NOT been allowed to do so? Why?

Oh I know, Edgar did not attend many of the WUC Committee meetings where this was discussed and could be criticized because of it. I wonder if his pay should be docked for missing meetings or if he should resign if any of the non-attendances were due to family matters.

Better to do what he did before--talk about a rate reduction--and have the rates kept low before the election and then boost them up after!

You have to give Lewenza an "A" for having the guts to go to the people on this.


  • "Federal government and Via Rail officials announced Monday that Windsor will see construction of a $6.3-million train station in Walkerville.

    Construction will begin in June and be completed by fall 2011. The new facility is to be built just east of the existing station, said Marc Laliberte, president and CEO for Via.

    Talk of a new Via train station in Windsor has been around for years with potential sites that included the current site, the airport..

    Despite the new infrastructure, a move toward high-speed rail passenger service is not expected to happen any time soon, Laliberte said.

    "We are doing the studies," he said. At this stage, it's something in the long run that makes sense, but it's also a question of money. There are many things to look at technically. We expect in a few years to have a final say about it."

    A move to cross-border passenger rail connections to Detroit or Chicago is also not going to happen any time soon, Laliberte said."

Even Edgar in the press release conceded the point:

  • "Today's announcement will help ensure that Windsor's passenger rail service is fully equipped to continue delivering convenient, comfortable and efficient service well into the future."

Sorry Sam, you lost again.


Slap, what a put-down to Windsor.

Just so Edgar will NOT lack information, the Province told him what arbitrators look at:

I would hate for him to spread misinformation about union negotiations and arbitrations.