Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Windsor Shorties

A few thoughts for you to consider.


Now it can be told since we had the "fake" concept down first:

  • Venetian canal system downtown

  • Mount Francis during the garbage strike

  • Toboggan hills from DRIC dirt

  • "Asked about the local lack of elevation to host many winter sports, the mayor responded: "We can build mountains."

  • Truck tunnels to the border with Greenlink

So it is hardly a surprise, given our Mayor's relationship with the Feds that the Conservatives built a phony lake in Toronto right near Lake Ontario:

  • "A fake $2 million indoor lake by the Gardiner Expressway is the latest example of the Conservative government’s summit spending spree that some say could hit $2 billion by the time world leaders fly out of Toronto on June 27."


When I was President of a Condo in Toronto, one of our biggest expenses was for our indoor pool that few ever used.

It is no different for a City who wants to build a pool for Children's Games:

  • "The big question mark remains the lack of a competition-sized swim facility.

    Backers are hoping the Windsor games can serve as catalyst for a 50-meter competitive pool facility, something Francis said could serve as a “legacy” project for the games.

    Preliminary costing peg such a facility, including seating for up to 2,500, warm-up pool and diving well, at between $28 million and $35 million, said Don Sadler, executive director of Windsor’s parks and facility operations. Another ballpark figure is the estimated annual operating cost of $1.5 million, he added.

    “The key is, it’s going to cost dollars to operate year after year after year — is this community willing to accept that cost?” said Sadler."

From a Report done in Halifax:

  • All 50 metre pools in Canada receive substantial subsidization. Only 1 pool multidimensional facility has an operating subsidization rate lower than 10% of total gross revenue. The identified normal grant of operating subsidization rate ranges from $350,000 to $500,000 per year. Financial support is provided by the owner, sometimes with support of a third party (operating endowments from Games as an example or other levels of government).

  • 50 meter pools across Canada consistently lose money. The multi-dimensional facilities that have the capacity to generate revenue from a variety of sources perform better than those with smaller alternate amenity spaces designed to attract on-going public utilization. Those facilities that included large fitness centres always had greater capability of reducing the subsidization required to operate the aquatic complex.

  • The level of subsidization varies from approximately 8 % of gross revenue to a high of in excess of 80% (communities that choose to offer swimming for free or with deep discounts).

  • A realistic subsidization level for operating a 50 metre pool in conjunction with a multipurpose facility could be approximately $350,000 to $500,000 per year.

How much money is our Arena making us compared with projections?

Has anyone figured out yet where a pool would be built? Any guesses?


  • "Largest Aerospace Manufacturers Sign Up For Windsor Aerospace Event

    KITCHENER, ONTARIO - Global aerospace leaders Boeing, EADS and its Divisions Airbus and Eurocopter, Bombardier, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are sending executives to On the Wings of Innovation 2010, an exclusive VIP global aerospace symposium organized by the Ontario government and the Ontario Aerospace Council, in Windsor on June 4-6, 2010. More than 40 organizations have currently registered for this event including the global aircraft manufacturers, a dozen of the world's leading systems integrators, Ontario companies in aerospace and other advanced technology sectors, representatives from three universities and colleges, as well as federal and provincial government officials."

Here is their Windsor program:

Friday, June 4, 2010 AFTERNOON
1:00 pm Registration desk opens
2:00 pm The Hon. Sandra Pupatello-Welcome
2:15 pm Vision for the Future of Air Travel
A World-renowned, visionary speaker
3:30 pm Networking, Refreshments
4:00 pm Guests check-in at Caesars Hotel, Windsor
5:30 pm Cocktail Reception in Ballroom

Not much business going on there

Friday, June 4, 2010 EVENING(continued)
6:30 pm Seating commences
6:40 pm Presentation by Minister Sandra Pupatello
7:00 pm OAC Presentation; dinner service begins
7:20 pm Ministry Official Presentation
8:00 pm Draw for Theme-related Door Prize
9:30 pm After-Dinner Lounge Reception
11:00 pm Opening day concludes

Not much business going on there

Saturday, June 5, 2010
9:00 am Buffet breakfast
9:45 am OAC conducts ‘Speed Dating Show & Tell’
with OEMS, Tier 1 & Tier 2 Suppliers
11:30 am Networking Break / One-on-ones
12:30 pm Pre Show, Side Acts (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
2:00 pm QUALIFYING STARTS (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
2:00 pm Qualifying 1 (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
3:45 pm Qualifying 2 (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
4:45 pm Results, Summary, Interviews, Highlights of the Day (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
5:30 pm Hospitality Airport Pit Lane Walk
6:00 pm Doors close. Guests get ready for evening program

Some business here, mostly contact making that could prove fruitful

Hosting in the Red Bull VIP Hospitality Pavilion

•Reserved private “Lounge-Unit” with seating, tables and sun umbrellas
•Corporate branding of the reserved area
•Dedicated hostesses
•Souvenir Red Bull Air Race Commemorative Book
•Dedicated Hospitality Pit lane walk at the Temporary Runway, depending on the location
•Welcome Area with Hostesses
•Unique premium viewing of the Race Track
•Limited seating area or grand stand seating for best views of the race (depending on race location)
•Lunch snacks
•Open buffet with extensive selection of international and local delicacies
•Complimentary bar including wines, beers and selection of juices and soft drinks
•Privileged view of the video wall
•Sound system to fully experience and follow the race
•A chance to win a “Red Bull Air Race passenger Flight” (raffle draw)
•Exclusive Red Bull Air Race magazine with stories and background information
•Personal hospitality package with access pass and information booklet
•Access to the Red Bull Air Race Interaction Zone, featuring a Flight Experience Game, a display racing aircraft and possibility to download special mobile features via Bluetooth

Not much business going on there

Saturday, June 5, 2010 EVENING
Guests will be shuttled to the Princess Riverboat for a plated dinner cruise along the river.
The dinner will take place on a private deck of the riverboat. Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies will be seated based on matching need to capability.
A Motown Band will be performing for this private function.

Sure, lots of business being done over dinner

Sunday, June 6, 2010
9:00 am Networking Breakfast
11:00 am One-on-one meeting opportunities
12:00 noonPre Show, side Acts
1:00 pm RACE STARTS (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
1:00 pm Wild Card Session (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
2:00 pmTop 12 (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
2:30 pm Super 8 (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
3:15 pm Final 4 (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
3:55 pm Award Ceremony (VIP Hospitality Pavilion)
4:15 pm Results, Highlights of the Day
5:30 pm Event ends

Not much business going on there

I hope the participants enjoyed the races. I still wonder if Sandra made a few quiches for the party.


When you cannot justify it, showcase it and call it world-class or for our legacy so that all is forgiven:

  • "Gordon Orr, marketing and communication officer for the City of Windsor, called the news tremendous.

    “This is a major coup for us, to bring in a signature sporting event like this to Windsor and Essex County,” Orr said. “We have demonstrated in the past that we can host events of this magnitude in our city. And we hope to do it again in the future.”

    “The media attention we will generate by hosting the games will be monumental...”

    “I am thrilled that Windsor has been chosen host city for the 2013 International Children’s Games,” local MPP Dwight Duncan said. “This is another opportunity for Windsor to showcase itself to the world and bring visitors to our great city.”

  • "Canada is hosting the most important summits back to back that we've ever seen in the country, and we're using this opportunity to be able to showcase Canada…," Cannon said. "Because ultimately what we're looking for here is to find opportunities for people to come and invest in Canada after."

    When pressed on the issue of the fake lake, Cannon replied: "These are marketing techniques that have been put forward by our best people to be able to showcase Canada, and that's what we all want. We want to be proud of what Canada represents and what we can do."

  • "Francis made no effort to mask his enthusiasm over the return of the air races to Windsor.


    "This is a major event that not only puts Windsor, as the host city, but Ontario, as the host province, on the international stage," he says. "There is a legacy that will result from this relationship with Red Bull.

    "This race is not only an economic development tool for Windsor and Essex County, but it is also a tourism tool and a marketing tool," Francis adds. "Many companies from out-of-town come here to take in the race with their company presidents, CEOs and other decision-makers and this race is an outstanding opportunity to us to show off what our region has to offer."

  • "Persichilli described as "critical" the message WestJet's decision sends out to the business community. "You can't pay for better marketing," he said.

    "From a community perspective, this is a momentum-builder for us. It's a strong signal that investors are seeing positive signs," added Francis.

  • Mayor Eddie Francis leaves behind his strike-bound city this week for Athens, Greece, Frankfurt, Germany, and an undisclosed third location to attract foreign investment and chase Olympic dreams for Windsor.

    Francis said he's flying to this year's International Children's Games in Athens to lobby to bring the event to Windsor, perhaps as soon as 2013. An estimated 1,500 athletes aged 12 to 15 -- including two local teams of 12 swimmers and four track and field athletes -- are taking part in this year's 43rd event sanctioned by the IOC.

    On Monday, the mayor bid farewell to the local athletes, coaches and parents heading to Athens in time for Wednesday's opening ceremonies.

    While Francis is missing the opening, he'll be leading the local delegation along with a member of his office staff.

    Luring a future Children's Games, as Hamilton, the only previous Canadian host managed to do in 2000, would have a large economic impact and bring prestige to Windsor, said Francis.

    "It would be significant in size and scope," he added.

    Leaving the city as it enters the 11th week of a protracted and bitter strike by 1,800 municipal workers, with no new talks in sight, was "something I considered significantly," Francis told reporters after announcing his trip at the end of Monday night's council meeting.

    But he said city business has to go on and "we can't miss opportunities."

  • Francis said he'll be meeting with University of Windsor, St. Clair College and other officials in the coming weeks to prepare a submission to host a future IOC-sanctioned children's games, which would include 1,500 young athletes and 2,000 additional delegates.

    "It was very positive," Francis said of his meeting in Athens with the games' German president, whom he hopes to host on a visit to Windsor once the city completes a report on what it has to offer. The mayor said securing the 2013 games is still a target.

    "The legacy would be significant ... people who have never heard of Windsor will be in Windsor, and those opportunities open up doors for future economic possibilities," Francis said.

  • Windsor will have a component to honour Canadian war veterans -- something every host team has done for its Memorial Cup, first awarded in 1919 to commemorate the dead from the First World War.

    "I think it will be a distinguishing factor in our bid," said Mayor Eddie Francis, who is accompanying the Spitfires representatives to Toronto. Dobrich said there will also be a legacy project -- a non-hockey investment in the community so the 2011 Memorial Cup will be remembered for years to come. There will be an array of outside-the-rink events for visitors and Windsorites to attend. (The Barrie bid includes concerts, cruises of the bay, tours of the nearby military base, mountain biking and a NASCAR race.)
  • The 18 best men's rinks in the world will take to the WF-CU Centre ice Nov. 3-7 for the Grey Power World Cup of Curling.

    The event is the season's first of four Capital One Grand Slam of Curling bonspiels.

    The Windsor event will offer the premier players on the planet $100,000 in prize money.

    "It's a marquee event with national prominence," Windsor mayor Eddie Francis said at the press conference Tuesday at the WFCU Centre announcing the successful bid.

    "To bring it here allows us to showcase the local community, but also allows to showcase the facility and the local community groups that participate."


Too bad. So many juicy items were printed there.


We better have more good news stories about Windsor Airport.

Can't come soon enough:

  • "London International Airport will undergo a $6.5-million expansion to create more room for passengers and accommodate more jets, Steve Baker, airport chief executive, said Wednesday.

    Passenger traffic has increased 58% over the last six years. Last year, as the recession hammered the economy, 480,000 passengers filed through the terminal, a jump of 6%, Baker said.

    “We have had tremendous growth, we have upscaled our aircraft to jets, we have a lot more passengers...

    The airport terminal last expanded in 2004 and since then, much has changed :

    WestJet Airlines added direct jet service to Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver and Orlando;

    Air Canada operates direct jet service to Calgary;

    United Airlines offers direct jet service to Chicago;

    Delta Airlines upgraded to jet service to Detroit;

    The airport offers seasonal traffic to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Cancun and Cuba.”

Remember this story

  • "Windsor Airport might see new Sunwing flights

    Windsor’s airport is among the new travel gateways listed as a result of a partnership between Signature Vacations and Sunwing Airlines.

    The announcement could result in new direct flight destinations from Windsor...

    “We did receive some preliminary indication about a month ago that things were looking very positive for two destinations from Windsor,” [Nazzani] said."

Unfortunately, a reader sent me this note:

  • "Thank you for contacting Sunwing Vacations.

    During the coming Winter from Windsor, we will only offer flights to Cuba."


What, no STOPDRTP2 for Councillor Brister! At least there won't be trains:


    Hilary Payne, candidate for councillor in Ward 9 in the October municipal election, is proposing a Rails to Trails to Waterfront as a concept to convert the existing little used CN/CASO railway right-of-way from Walker Road to the International Garden at Riverside Drive into a landscaped recreational trail similar to the Ganatchio Trail. This would provide a people-friendly facility giving non-vehicular green access through the City to the Waterfront for pedestrians ,wheelchair users and cyclists Removal of the tracks easterly into the County also would permit the proposed trail to link up with the trails which have been developed in the County on former railway rights- of- way.

    The removal of the CASO/CN tracks as noted has already been proposed as part of Phase3 -Modal Integration- of the Implementation Strategy for the Community Based Strategic Rail Study completed for City Council in 2008 and would require political will and the cooperation of various entities especially the railway companies involved but would appear to be a worthwhile concept for both the citizens of South and Central Windsor and also in relation to the recent news item entitled "'City lacking bike lanes". It would also help as the Rail Study points out to transform" Windsor into a more environmentally friendly and walkable city "

    Hilary would intend to pursue this concept further if elected to Council in October."

Perhaps he could also pursue who would pay for keeping it up and policing it! Probably the same people who will cut the many acres of grass on the DRIC Road tunnels at whose expense.