Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pitying Spanky

The poor man. Another major hurdle to overcome on his long road to possible success.

He is being scooped big time. The tragedy for him is that he knows it and can do nothing about it. His Chamber speech will be nothing more than allowing him to make our Mayor to be seen as a hero at his expense. For such a supposedly smart politician, he is looking awfully silly.

No matter what you may think of him personally or as a politician, one has to feel sympathy, or perhaps pity is the better word, for the Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan.

My suspicion is that the Premier will resign before the next provincial election and our Spanky would like nothing more than to take his job. I assume that he has a pretty good shot at it but one of the concerns he must have is what our Mayor might do to prejudice his run for the job.

How else to explain the sight of a 98 pound weakling, a small-town Mayor, kicking sand in the face of the second most powerful politician in Ontario, the Minister of Finance, and getting away with it.

How else to explain Dwight being forced to eat humble pie continuously, fearing an attack the way Sandra was dealt with, as our Messenger spreads the Edgar (aka Eddie) gospel.

To be direct, if I was going to be one of Dwight’s opponents at the Liberal leadership convention, I would point out how weak Dwight has been in how he has dealt with the Mayor of Windsor.

Now you can see why I have nothing but pity for Dwight. Damned if he fights with Edgar because the Star might crucify him and perhaps cost him his seat and damned if he does not because then his leadership opponents can do so.

Don’t forget also that he has to walk a tightrope because a good chunk of his riding is in Tecumseh and the last thing that he can appear to be is pro-Windsor. That gives the Tecumseh Mayor some leverage over the Minister as well to ask for some goodies soon.

There is no doubt that some kind of announcement is going to be made during Dwight’s speech to the Chamber of Commerce. What it will be exactly, who knows. In fact, we’ve been down this road before where we have expected to Dwight to say something significant but he has backed off because Edgar has pulled some kind of a dumb maneuver that has infuriated the Minister. Will it happen again on Friday if Dwight gets mad at the Edgar hijinks?

That something has been in the works for a very long time is obvious. Gord has told us:
  • "As mayor of Canada's unemployment capital, Francis is itching to announce early in the new year success on three "files" the city has been pursuing, each involving non-government investments with the potential to inject large numbers of new jobs into Windsor."

  • "There's one other bit of good news on the way.

    Stay tuned for an announcement by the end of this month on a "very significant" new office tenant for our vacancy-plagued downtown."

  • "What's interesting is that the confirmation of his [Edgar's] intentions, originally slated for March, might now be pushed back to late April or early May, after a handful of key tasks, especially related to border infrastructure, might be wrapped up."

Leaks, what leaks?

Moreover, in the Star stories the emphasis has been on economic development, however, with just a hint about the border.

  • "Economic opportunity eyed

    Mayor Eddie Francis has called a special meeting of city council for tonight to discuss an economic development opportunity so pressing it can't wait until council's next regular meeting April 12...

    The session starts at 5 p.m. behind closed doors and will include an update on the city's negotiations with the province over the new border route.

    The mayor has been holding discussions with Windsor's two cabinet ministers to try to get the province's Windsor-Essex Parkway to more closely resemble the city's Greenlink plan, which would see more of the new border expressway located underground.

    "Over the past several months ... we've been making very good, steady progress," Francis said of the talks.

But here’s the part that has to be so galling to Dwight. Nothing can be done in this City without Provincial money and assistance. Nevertheless, Edgar gets the glory.

We saw that play out with the Sutherland announcement where it was made to appear that Edgar was responsible for the jobs that came here in the call centre when the reality was without Sandra’s involvement there would have been no deal whatsoever.

Now it is Spanky’s turn to see the same tactic worked on him.

Look at the drama that we are seeing. We are going to see several days of Edgar’s face in the paper talking about this huge mysterious deal that he has been working on for so long.

  • "Windsor council meeting on 'economic development' shrouded in mystery

    Mystery continues to surround a new “economic development potential” that necessitated a special meeting of Windsor city council behind closed doors on Tuesday."

Councillors have already been warned to keep their mouths shut or face the consequences. (That means only Edgar can have the glory or else). At the least, Edgar has learned to call in the Councillors in advance and in private, even though it is last-minute again, so that we cannot have another “your arrogance has no bounds” attack on him personally.

As for the border, it probably has to do with the DRIC Road and Greenlink. But it will not be the Province winning. It will be portrayed as the Premier, Dwight, and Sandra, if her name is mentioned at all, bowing down to Edgar and conceding everything to him:

  • "Hatfield cites tax fight in bid for Ward 7 seat

    In the next session Hatfield said council should put the border file behind it, adding he is now optimistic the province will make enough concessions to "wrap it up."

  • "The mayor has been holding discussions with Windsor's two cabinet ministers to try to get the province's Windsor-Essex Parkway to more closely resemble the city's Greenlink plan, which would see more of the new border expressway located underground."

How embarrassing for Senior politicians. Imagine being part of the mountain coming to Edgar. It is THEIR project being made to look like his, not the other way around. How pitiful.

What could the solution be? Various possibilities:

  •  unlikely that there would be any significant changes to the Windsor Essex Parkway because that would require another Environmental Assessment process
  •  perhaps some additional green space so that the Mayor can claim that it is now healthy for the community
  •  an upgraded E C Row is a good possibility both as a detour when the DRIC Road is being built and as a connection to Edgar’s airport transportation hub mind’s vision (no wonder Sandra paid for the Lufthansa study). This is even more likely now since CBC told us that Edgar is going to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as part of a plan to " set up a cargo hub at Windsor International Airport."
  •  as an inducement to the Mayor, expect the Province to pay for a good chunk of the seemingly dead Tunnel Plaza Improvement project since work is being started on the other side for some improvements there. (Oh expect the Feds to throw in some money too because there is the opportunity now to buy the rights to the US side of the Tunnel cheaply because Detroit is in such a financial mess. That would help the DRIC Bridge P3 operator).

In reality, an Edgar failure will be spun by the sycophants to make it appear that he won. And then the sell-out after the elections, both municipal and provincial later, for the cheap DRIC road. Who cares what happens then, IBG...YBG.

Let's see how it plays out. It is only a few more days.

And please, do not snicker when you see Dwight, even behind his back. He is a very proud man. I do not want to see his feelings hurt even more than they are now.