Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, July 09, 2010

BLOGExtra: Will Harper Survey Windsor Damage

Can you imagine if 211/311 had moved there, to the building behind which the parking garage collapsed:
  • "Council scrapped a recommended move of the city’s 211/311 call centre to vacant office space on Ouellette Avenue Monday, concerned the process to pick a new location was faulty and incomplete...

    The city administration’s recommendation to council was to enter a five-year agreement with the Mr. Bay Inc. to occupy 1368 Ouellette, paying $80,958 annually, with an option for another five years at $98,295 annually.

    Roger Bramhall of Mr. Bay Inc. was visibly angry after council’s decision to disregard the RFP, but refused to comment when approached."

I never understood why that site was rejected. At the time I wrote:

  • "In any event, the Administration decision was rejected not because of anything wrong with the Mr. Bay site. In fact, I don't even think the site was discussed by the Councillors. Rather, Councillor Jones in particular thought that the RFP was too narrow in scope and should be completely redone."

Let me see now. It was a "storm of the century" we were told and "and the city's heaviest rainfall in almost 30 years:"

  • "Heavy rain flooded hundreds of homes in Windsor, Ont., on the weekend as part of the same storm system that spawned a tornado in nearby Essex County also pummeled the border city.

    At least 1,400 homeowners reported water – and in some cases sewage – in their basements on Sunday."

What does the City do:

  • "Starting well before sunrise Friday, municipal sanitation crews roamed the streets to tackle mountains of storm-related garbage...

    He said residents were appreciative the city was offering the free special pickup that continues through today."

Up to 2,000 homes damaged and the Mayor had this to say:

  • "You can never avoid Mother Nature," Francis said. "When there's a storm that's of such intensity and of such ferocity, you just deal with it and hope that the damage is as minimal as possible."

Then we get a once in a long time parking garage collapse and the Mayor declares a State of Emergency. Even though the "Building and now-collapsed parking lot are privately owned," for the residents in the nearby apartment who were forced out:

  • "Tenants of Church and Hanlin’s apartment building beside the collapsed structure were told to plan on sleeping in a hotel for at least a week.

    “The evacuation is being done out of an abundance of caution,” Francis said...

    The city’s social services department would pay for the hotel rooms, Francis said."

Why it would not suprise me to read next that yes, the Prime Minister is coming here to survey the damage after the Big State of Emergency declared by the Mayor:

  • "Harper surveys flooded Prairies; offers aid package and then travels to Windsor

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper surveyed flood-stricken areas of Saskatchewan from a helicopter Thursday after announcing a relief package for rain-drenched farmers.

    The prime minister made one stop during his aerial tour, landing at a farm to speak with farmers whose fields and crops have been washed out by recent downpours.

    Harper, who did not speak with the media, told the farmers they can count on the federal government to lend a hand during these difficult times...

    Following his visit to Saskatchewan, Harper will head to Alberta to visit family and attend the Calgary Stampede.

    After that, he and his family will head to Harrington Lake, the official country residence of the prime minister near Ottawa.

    However, since the Harpers are travelling WestJet as an economy measure, they will stop off in Windsor, one of WestJet's stops, on the way back. Here, Harper will survey the damage to the parking garage (and Sandra Pupatello's office) and to offer Windsor UP TO $5.50 in a loan that has to be paid back using Tunnel tolls provided that Canada becomes an Instrumentality of Government of Windsor."

Darn, too bad that Red Bull air race is over. Harper could have toured the area by air as well, as Dwight Duncan did recently. Unfortunately the Red Bull pilots have already left town."