Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Why The Star Continues To Ignore Junior

Poor Junior. He gets no respect.

Actually, I was surprised that the Star covered the meeting at the Caboto Club put on by a number of groups concerned about the City about the direction that Windsor is heading. Rather, a Star reporter was there and did write about some of the meeting. The story did not reveal much that would cause problems for Edgar (aka Eddie) and the hardliners who want to outsource garbage and parking enforcement as well as close down the municipal daycares so it was "safe."

There was nothing in the story about the money that the Province will provide for daycares that could help prevent the municipal daycares from closing. Nothing about how important the municipal daycare is to people who are being retrained or who are single parents and who might not be able to work otherwise. I guess it is better if they stay on the welfare rolls.

Nothing at all about the waste to be caused to taxpayers by the City if garbage is outsourced including equipment write-downs and costs to move employees into new jobs. We did not see in the Star story anything about the other municipalities that contracted out but then brought garbage back inside the City because of cost and service deficiencies. Nothing at all that I heard about how the City cost is about $10 lower per garbage stop than that of the County nor that the cost of City Garbage services has not really increased over a period of almost 18 years considering that we have the second-best garbage service in the country.

I found it interesting given the fact that NAFTA is in the news in Windsor that nothing was mentioned about what the impact of NAFTA was if garbage was outsourced considering that its provisions were now being extended to the Provinces and municipalities in Canada.

But it was the omission about anything that Ken Lewenza said that I found most strange. In fact, there is nothing in the story that let the Star readers know that he said anything. It was as if he sat there like a bump on the log like his two Councillor colleagues:
  • “Councillors Ron Jones, Ken Lewenza Jr. and Percy Hatfield were in attendance at the meeting, along with a number of councillor hopefuls, including John Elliott, Tristan Fehrenbach, Colin McMahon and Shannon Porcellini.”

Oh well, Jones and Hatfield can still claim that they are Labour supporters because they attended the meeting.

Why is the Star, and the Mayor, so afraid of Junior? Why is it that the Star refused to cover his Ward meeting where he talked about the CUPE labor dispute and also did not cover what he said at Council about it? Why are they so afraid of what Junior said at the Caboto Club too?

Are the Star and Edgar that afraid of what might be exposed? I guess that actually answers my question. I forgot what happened in Toronto where their Mayor was chased out of town by the media after his failure in their strike resulting in him saying that he would not run again. Both of them know that if the truth was known, Edgar and the hardliners would be in serious trouble come municipal election time.

Better to ignore and be criticized by the Obliging Blogosphere for shoddy journalism than to disclose the truth to Star readers.

Accordingly, as a public service, let me state briefly what Junior had to say last night. He told us:

  •  That in his opinion the process with respect to outsourcing garbage was flawed especially because it was held in camera. In passing, why the CUPE leadership has not taken advantage of this to stop the process is beyond me

  •  He mentioned that at the in camera meeting the management person that knew the most about the garbage situation was not allowed to attend to inform Councillors about because it might “confuse” the Councillors. Are their brains that tiny that they cannot grasp the information to be presented?

  •  He said that the decision has been made already that 50% of the garbage should be outsourced and I assume 50% of it should stay within the City. That is probably the worst of all worlds for taxpayers as I described in a recent BLOG about what took place in the City of Ottawa where the private contractor’s employees threatened to go out on strike to get wages and benefits comparable to City workers.

  •  The astounding statement was made that no business case has ever been presented to Council to justify outsourcing of garbage. If it is true that our workers are the second-best in Canada, realistically I do not see how a private contractor can beat them. Teh only way it can be done is by deliberately low bidding what the price would be, since they know what the City costs are already, with the expectation that once the City is out of the business they would increase rates.

We are being terribly served by our major media voice in the City. The one-sided coverage really is quite shocking but is one that is expected.

It is even more despicable when one compares what mini-Gord discussed in his column about the recent candidates meeting where he gave a presentation and what Chris Schnurr in his BLOG said about his comments

  • “Stating that all candidates warrant scrutiny and challenge on the CUPE issue, the columnist will be hunting down sympathizers posing as municipal candidates in what will amount to a witch hunt leading up to the 2010 Municipal Election…

    On November 21, 2009, the columnist referred to the CUPE strike as the “fight…that refuses to die.”

    Interestingly enough, it is Mr. Vander Doelen in his witch hunt of municipal candidates who is keeping the fight alive.

    Our economic issues are much more complex than the simplistic “unions are responsible” arguments put forth by Mr. Vander Doelen. Such a narrow focus on a much broader issue does a great disservice to our community and the ideas candidates may have – which could be ignored should they express one ounce of sympathy for CUPE members.”

After all, the major election platform that the Mayor and hard-liners will be running on is the labour issue. As Gord so bluntly put it in his latest column:

  • “The canal, dismissed by the unimaginative and pothole-obsessed as a useless "ditch," has drawn significant interest from out-of-town investors.

    There's a buzz around it. But with an election less than seven months away and with Francis still pondering whether to take on CUPE and its allies and seek a third term, it's too late to advance that "red flag" issue.”

Now you know why Junior must be ignored at all costs. If Junior’s truth was known, Edgar would have to leave town too.