Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Price Of The DRIC Road Compromise

Wow, a CKLW pre-emptive News Commentary strike against BLOGGERS before the big DRIC road sell-out announcement on Friday. Discredit Bloggers in advance at all costs. I am very impressed.

You have to be careful of me and my colleagues, dear reader, because we are not trained journalists like the clapping seals perhaps at the radio station. "Thank God!" I can hear many of my readers shouting out!

Imagine how powerful we must be, or certain politicians at least must believe that, for such an attack to be made at that time, right out of the blue.

Here are a few reasons some are terrified of us. We cannot be controlled. We can think. We can analyze. We know the facts. We can tell you what some traditional Windsor media reporters do not dare report about. We can give an alternative perspective from the love-in about Edgar (aka Eddie) and his DRIC triumph over the Province that you will read about in the Star as an example.

Let me show you what I mean.

I am sure that if I told you that this deal was timed precisely to conclude now in order to help beat Matty Moroun, you would think I was mad. If I told you that it was designed to prove to Michigan Legislators that only DRIC should be supported, you would think that I am stretching it.

Of course, I am not. The Saturday Star Editorial gave it away, right at the end because Windsorites are too dumb to be able to read that far or to comprehend that much intellectual prose or so the Editors believe. Remember that there is a June deadline whether DRIC will be killed in Michigan:
  • "Border deal
    Now we're shovel ready

    Just as important, the federal government, the province and city are finally all on side on the border file. From Canada's standpoint, all the pieces are in place and everyone is working together -- that co-operation is critical for our partners on the American side to see.

    It's time to turn our attention to the start of full construction and getting the new bridge open to traffic as soon as possible."

See what I mean. There may be much more to the DRIC settlement than meets the eye and who in the traditional media has opened your eyes to the possibility. Certainly not the commentator on CKLW.

Gord Henderson got it very wrong in his column...we got the Joint Management Committee and the Hurst "Made in Windsor solutions in one neatly tied package. The Star told us in a frontpage headline how much the sell-out cost

Not a word that the building of Lauzon, the widening of Walker as well as the Manning upgrade mean that an upgraded E C Row can built to service supposedly Edgar's airport hub. In reality, Edgar's protestations about no trucks on E C Row really give Commerce another route to the border as the Nine-Point Plan wanted to do. You know the Plan that Edgar had opposed so strongly. Windsor now has become a truck stop on the NAFTA Super highway thanks to Edgar. The Star told us in a frontpage headline how much the sell-out cost

We learned, even though Edgar made this a crucial issue, what the price of our health--cancer, asthma, cardio-vascular--is worth to us, our children and generations of children to come as not one single inch of tunnelling was added. We learned how much the Greenlink post-cards, flags, meetings, Council Chamber banner, painted buses and decals on police cars earned Edgar and how much fear and divisiveness in the City cost Windsorites. The Star told us in a frontpage headline how much the sell-out cost

In fact, the Star Saturday Editorial blessed the sell-out. Now you know another reason I am so happy I cancelled my subscription:

"It also means the city did not get the extensive tunnelling it originally wanted, but $78 million in refinements that were enough to lay the groundwork for an acceptable deal."

What is the cost of betrayal: a measly 1.56% of the total $5B DRIC project, mere bureaucrat lunch money. Our tax money used to betray us too. How ironic.

What is the real price of the compromise to Edgar? Probably the end of his political career because Greenlink supporters will understand that they were played once they look past what the sycophants claim. But I don't think he was going to run anyway so it is no big loss to him. He will pull a Mike Hurst on us and decide not to run in the last minute and then get a nice job somewhere where his talents can shine. Just one-upping Mike's theatric performance that he pulled on Edgar at the riverfront.

If you think I am kidding, look in the bottom right of the photo from the DRIC road website.

All he got that was important according to DRIC was some green space. Impressive! As mini-Gord wrote, it was a complete and total capitulation by the Mayor:

  • "Battle over Greenlink declared over

    GreenLink is dead...

    The deal is intended to conclude all talks regarding the controversial, $1.8-billion Windsor-Essex Parkway, including the city’s insistence that the province build “Greenlink,” its concept for a highway with 1,000 more metres of roadway buried under concrete and landscaping.

    Under the terms of the deal confirmed in both Windsor and Queen’s Park, no additional covering or so-called “tunneling” will be added to the below-grade parkway, which had been a key demand made by Francis."

Even mini-Gord was disgusted at first blush so it had to be bad. Of course, I am sure you read what he wrote after a good night's sleep!

If you want to see how badly Edgar lost, go to the Greenlink website:

Ooops, it is gone too just like the Greenlink banner in the Council Chambers.

Now the sycophants will proclaim an Edgar victory. But they can be ignored because he lost big time.

Reasonable people might think that Edgar should be congratulated for doing a good job and getting us more money. Except he MUST stop misleading people with the $300M solution already. That sum money had NOTHING to do with DRIC and Edgar knows it.

On the face of it that is true. All the fights and arguments as the parties would like us to believe except Sandra gave it away in the Star video when she said in answer to whether the "feud was overblown:"

  • "it has been blown out of proportion because people do not see is that despite that we do not agree on the methodology we agree on where it is we want to go... There has been dialogue all along. There has never been a point where we have not been talking... What the public sees and what actually goes on often are not the same, often they are."

Do you see, it was all a show, a drama, an opiate for the masses. Nothing was going to happen until 2010 or after. Schwartz, full tunnelling, Greenlink, son of Greenlink, grandson of Greenlink, judicial review threats were all time wasters, stall tactics, delaying mechanisms, part of pretending.

No one can forget the Gong show performance by Ministers Duncan and Caplan that completely ignored Sandra as if she never existed. Laugh until you cry at the "support" claim given to Schwartz's plan as I Blogged:

  • "You remember the last time they performed in Windsor in May, 2005. Their act was the talk of the town for days and days. No one could believe that Ministers could be that foolish:

    "The province has committed $800 million to border infrastructure in the Windsor-Detroit corridor between now and 2013 following the recommendations of the Schwartz Report.

    Ontario Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan made the surprise announcement Wednesday at Energy Minister Dwight Duncan's constituency office.

    "The McGuinty government is fully supportive of the vision and investments recommended in the report by Sam Schwartz," said Caplan, who made the announcement on the same day he announced a five-year investment of $30 billion in the province's infrastructure.

    "There is a commitment," Caplan said.

    "There is total support. We're totally in."

    Now I can remember just howling at that funny last line at the time, It was so absurd that no one could have taken them seriously. But the boys topped it off the next day with something even wilder if you can believe it:

    "Ontario infrastructure minister David Caplan apologized Thursday for revealing a closed-door government decision to spend $500 million beyond 2010 for new infrastructure to fix Windsor's border problems.

    The funding was announced by Caplan and MPP Dwight Duncan (L -- Windsor-Tecumseh) late Wednesday in a hastily arranged news conference inside Duncan's cramped constituency office...

    MPP Sandra Pupatello (L -- Windsor West), who was not present for the announcement, said Caplan was in Windsor for a private party function with Duncan when he decided to speak to the media about Renew Ontario...

    The announcement should have been made in a more formal setting and through Premier Dalton McGuinty, she said.

    "Minister Caplan regretted it and apologized this morning," Pupatello said...

    A day after the revelation of what he called his "big secret," Duncan was said by his spokeswoman Thursday to be too busy to talk."

And then more proof from a Transportation Minister who came and went like a ship in the night:

  • Buses, trains set campaign in motion

    Transportation Minister revealed truth behind announcement when she said, 'Now let's get elected and get on with it!'

    KAREN HOWLETT, Globe and Mail, June 16, 2007

    Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's vision to build transit systems snaking through the Greater Toronto Area has all the earmarks of a campaign goodie…

    In fact, it was Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield who let the cat out of bag at the end of the event held at a Mississauga bus garage when she said, "Now, let's get elected and get on with it!"

    Money for the project, announced out of the blue yesterday, will not begin flowing until 2010 - which is why there was no mention of it in this year's budget, a senior Liberal source said."

So you see, I cannot congratulate people who have been trying to fool me for years and who have put a huge strain and pressure on families, especially those within the area of mass destruction.

I cannot praise people who wasted almost 7 years of our time and who effectively let people suffer because this road project was not started years before. Many of the job losses, foreclosures, business closings might have been avoided if the project had already been started and created thousands of highpaying and spinoff jobs. We would have our new economic development future just waiting for us too. Instead we keep waiting for something to happen.

If anyone really cared, then mini-Gord would not have been able to say:

  • "no additional covering or so-called “tunneling” will be added to the below-grade parkway, which had been a key demand made by Francis."

But Edgar will probably run again. As the Star story makes clear with the details about his salary, where else can he get such a highpaying job with all of the travel perks that rewards miserable failure so highly.

What was the price of the DRIC road compromise? I'll let Gord have the final words from comments made a few years ago:

1) For Dwight, outside of Windsor, to feed his Liberal leadership candidacy:

  • "In the near future, said Duncan, the DRIC (Detroit River International Crossing) study team will roll out its assessment of the city's $1.7-billion GreenLink border plan, which involves extensive tunnelling, and determine how much of it might be used. Then he drew a Liberal red line in the sand: "Let me be clear. We will move forward and get a shovel in the ground next year."

    To my ears, it was a clear, unvarnished warning to Windsor to get the hell out of the way because the Dalton Gang will be firing up the bulldozers and coming through -- rolling right down Huron Church Road -- like it or not.

    That fits with what I was told a couple of weeks ago by a transportation lobbyist with solid Queen's Park connections. He said Duncan sees an opportunity here to demonstrate unflinching resolve, a much-admired leadership quality, by crushing resistance in his own backyard and bringing a pesky foe, Mayor Eddie Francis, to his knees."

2) For Edgar, within Windsor, for his next campaign:

  • "Francis called this "divide-and-conquer" tactic "dirty pool," but he's been wielding a big cue of his own recently, with an advertising blitz promoting GreenLink and targeting Duncan and cabinet mate Sandra Pupatello. By default or design, the campaign has also bolstered the image of Francis, laying the foundation for a third mayoral term or a run for a provincial or federal seat."

I'll wager you won't find this kind of information on AM 800. No wonder they are so jealous of Bloggers!