Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dwight Disowns Bill

It was the best news that Councillor Bill Marra has had for a long time

But first, my declaration of pecuniary interest.

I have met Al Maghnieh and he did me a huge personal favour in the past for which I owe him one. This BLOG is it. I will be nice to him and let him enjoy his day in the sun with the big article about him in the Star. After this, it is all fair in love and war and political BLOGGING.

I do congratulate him for making attracting physicians and general practitioners to this area an election issue because City Councils have talked about it but really have accomplished little in the way of successfully bringing more medical personnel to this underserviced region.

I assume that the Star must love him with all of that coverage because according to Chris Schnurr, mini-Gord said at a meeting for candidates:

  • “Mr. Vander Doelen proceeded to inform potential candidates that incumbents would garner the most media attention because, “they have a name” and “that’s just how it is” in the media world.”

Obviously Al commands attention from our Windsor source of news not because he has ever done anything to make him notable municipally that I can remember (and there is not much in my archives about him either) but because he is not just any old candidate. He

  • “has spent the past seven years working in Finance Minister Dwight Duncan’s local constituency office.’’

Moreover, he is supported by Liberal heavy-hitters

  • “including [Dwight] Duncan, Steve Salmons and former MP Rick Limoges.”

I guess Sandra does not support him or perhaps she is a hitter but not heavy even after eating so many killer quiches.

He was also Windsor-Sarnia Campaign Manager for the Michael Ignatieff Liberal Leadership Campaign and "campaign aide" in Marra's last Council run.

The fact that he is running and that one of his big campaign issues involves the Zalev site intrigues me. He wants to:

  • “pursue the removal of Zalev Brothers scrap yard from “a prime piece of city real estate which could be used for commercial or retail development…”

    the scrap yard at the intersection of Dougall Avenue and E.C. Row is “an eyesore and the first step is to get them out of there. From there, we can decide what to do with the site and how we can tap into different envelopes of government funding to clean up the site…”

    “I’m not privy to details but I know the mayor’s office has had discussions with the scrap yard owners and I’d like to see the city continue with those discussions,” said Maghnieh.”

You can now count on the fact that at the bacon and cheese killer quiche meetings hosted by Sandra not only was DRIC discussed but Zalev as well. We have heard smatterings about that location over the last year or so but hardly any action taken on it. However, do remember that the day after the last election, Gord in his column said that the Zalev plant would be one of Edgar’s priorities.

Nothing like bringing it up just before the election and having lots of Council meetings about it to get headlines to get all the people around the plant all excited again. Obviously, Edgar’s discussions made its way to the office of the Minister of Finance who coincidentally will be running for office next year and perhaps also for the Leadership of the Liberal Party when the Premier leaves office. The Province would have to put in big $$$ to make it happen and to convince the Feds to do so as well.

I wonder if Max Zalev will leave Enwin (and the Audit Committee as Edgar (aka Eddie) wanted) and will take on this civic job for the boys' re-election campaigns!

However, the happiest man in town with Al's announcement has to be Councillor Bill Marra. As most people know, Bill is a good Liberal and well acquainted with Dwight. In fact, based on what I know, he was so well acquainted with Dwight that Bill lost his chance of becoming mayor at the last election. And I think he would have won handily.

With Al running in Ward 10, it is a clear indication to me that whatever the relationship between Bill and Dwight was in the past is now over. My guess is that Dwight has anointed Al to be the next Mayor of Windsor assuming that Edgar runs for a third term and then decides to leave. Even if there was another Mayor if Edgar chose not to run, Al would be a very attractive candidate at that time, in his early 30s, and having four years of Council under his belt. Having a Liberal machine behind him would not hurt either especially if Dwight was Premier.

Fortunately for Bill it now means that he has the Dwight monkey off his back. In effect, Dwight has walked away from him. If Bill decides to run for Mayor, he can run his own campaign now in his own way and with his own people and not have to worry that whatever he does may impact Dwight’s political career.

I find it fascinating that Edgar is now not going to announce what he’s going to do as far as running until mid-June. Wasn’t he supposed to announce something in April or May according to Gord? The E-machine is still trying to find out who may run against Edgar and is trying just about every trick in the book to convince someone that he/she should announce now.

It does not matter what Edgar says or does now, even if he announces that he is/is not running for Mayor. Edgar learned from the walk that Mike Hurst and his wife took along the riverfront before he announced that he was not going to run for mayor. Edgar has to one up that theatrical performance and expect him to do so.