Dwight vs. Edgar

Todd Langlois may be the downfall of Edgar Francis. No, not just because of his termination and the lawsuit against the City, but because of the over 750 signature Petition that has been filed recently with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Dwight Duncan has now been given the opportunity on a silver platter to make sure that he no longer has any opposition in the City of Windsor and can lurk in the shadows, virtually invisible, pulling the strings. Read on, dear reader and understand how he can finally become Windsor’s undisputed Ruler.

It is so hard to tell what is real and what is not in politics and especially in Windsor politics.

As an example, remember the phony war between the City of Windsor and the Province of Ontario over the DRIC road? That went on for years and years and years with the City spending millions to fight what the Senior Levels wanted to do.

We hired the environmental lawyer, David Estrin, and the traffic guru, Sam Schwartz, and achieved nothing other than wasting years of time, time that the Senior Levels needed in the hopes that they could force the Bridge Company to sell out.

When Gord told us about the quiche meeting and then when Edgar did his deal with the Senior Levels and opposition melted to the DRIC road virtually overnight, then we knew that we were had.

Is it the same now with respect to the Slots and Windsor Council, at the urging of Edgar (aka Eddie), demanding that the Slots remain open or the Government be overthrown? Is this all a big game and we are being used as pawns again? Are Edgar and Dwight working together again to achieve whatever it is that both of them have agreed to?

Note however, if a peace treaty has been signed between the two of them, it was probably done without Sandra’s involvement. By that I mean, there is no way that a slimmed-down Dwight Duncan would eat her quiche and put on extra weight.

Or is it different this time around? Have the two combatants decided to fight it out to see who is the real ruler of Windsor? I have never heard that they are the best buddies but that they tolerated each other for their own reasons, much of which had to do with politics I would expect.

One would have thought that Edgar would show some deference to the powerful Minister of Finance and now the Deputy Premier. Except, how many times has Edgar rubbed Dwight’s nose in it by taking some action that Dwight could consider to be inappropriate! I expect that Edgar knew that Dwight had no choice but to deal with it because of the border file and Edgar took advantage of it.

The problem for Edgar is that Dwight is a very proud man as we can see from how he has struggled from his past and I expect that he was biding his time. There is no doubt that Dwight has ambitions given his learning to speak French and his new svelte shape. He may now could be concerned that Edgar could be a stumbling block to whatever it is that he wishes to achieve politically. It also could be that he has had enough of Edgar and needs to put him in his place and show him who is boss.

As I said in a previous article, contrary to the opinion of the Professor Emeritus, I do not believe that there is any negatives to Windsor with respect to any battle between the two of them. After all, if Dwight still has political objectives, he has to be re-elected and is not going to do anything to this City that will hurt him.

Dwight justified closing of the Slots on the basis that border tourist traffic has declined (so much for the DRIC bridge rationale) and that what we must do is protect the jobs at Casino Windsor and help it survive. That is being positioned as being pro-Windsor even though it does hurt some people in the short term. After all, if Dwight is right, the gaming business in Windsor will boom in the future. Just wait until Joe Comartin’s Bill is passed in Parliament. Dwight can take credit for the results.

In passing, Edgar in his Sorry State of the City speech foolishly justified what Dwight wants to do by saying that he is going to go to Korea along with the President of Casino Windsor to try to bring more Korean tourists here.

Has Edgar now decided that he is powerful enough to take on Dwight and is using the Slots issue to prove his point? Has he decided that his future is in a Progressive Conservative Government in Ontario and perhaps in a Cabinet position and that is why he is coming on so strongly? Of course it is unlikely that there will be an election in the next little while. No one wants it. But, if one wants to be elected, say in two years from now, just a few months before the next Municipal Election will take place, why not start preparing for it now. If the timing is right, Edgar could run provincially and if he loses, he could still run municipally again for Mayor.

A no-lose proposition for him.

The shot by the Councillor formerly known as Council Budget against Edgar at the last Council meeting could well signal that Edgar may have an opponent if there is to be a Cabinet position offered to only one elected PC member in this area. As I suggested to you, dear reader, I would expect Brister to run in Windsor West where there is a weak Liberal MPP. That would make him a big risk to Edgar’s future.

One would have to say that Edgar has now told the Liberals that he has no interest in running for their Party. How could he possibly be a team player if he encouraged Council to pass a Motion to overthrow the Liberals if they do not do exactly what he says? While Edgar running as a PC would not be a big surprise to most people, it now allows Dwight to take off the gloves and go after him.

Two recent media stories got me thinking about all of this. The first was from CBC News on April 19:

Ontario mayors defy OLG request to end slots

The mayors of Windsor and Sarnia refuse to sign paperwork that would officially bring an end to slot machine revenues given by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming to the respective cities on an annual basis…

Mayor Eddie Francis said there are a number of reasons why the mayors refuse to sign the paperwork, which would finalize the province’s decision to pull the slots and funding.

“Primarily, when the OLG made the initial decision, they had committed to us — as well as other cities — that they would sit down and have meaningful and productive discussions with us to talk about transition. The fact that we’ve received this letter, asking us to sign off and [saying] things will be fine is unacceptable to us,” Francis said…

Francis has a conference call with the CEO of OLG scheduled for Thursday.”

Interestingly, and keep this in mind, the Chair of OLG is Paul Godfrey who is the head of the Company that owns the Windsor Star! One would think that Edgar would have to have a very respectful conversation with the OLG CEO or else.

I like the word “defy” in the Headline. There is Edgar standing up again for Windsor against the big bad Senior Level Government. What a way to start an election campaign. You are not voting for Edgar as a PC candidate but as the “Man for Windsor.”

Not doing what he is told, there is Edgar snubbing Dwight once more. Will Dwight take it again and appear weak at a time when he needs to show Leadership! He cannot afford it anymore.

Understand that the Slots issue is a big issue for the City because it provides us with lots of money. According to CBC,

“While the slots are to be removed from Windsor Raceway at the end of the month, OLG pledged to give the city $1.5 million over the next year. The final payment will be made in March 2013…

Slot revenues are partially used to assist marginalized people in the city. The money is also used for capital projects.

Drouillard Place, a local social service agency, gets a portion of the money. Marina Clemens said the organization’s food bank and programs for teens and children are vital.”

Nothing like making a “widows and orphans” argument is there.

Except, the way I read the letter that was attached to the CBC News story was that the Agreement between the City and the OLG respecting contributions is over in a few days, at the end of this month. As a sweetener, OLG is offering Windsor an extra $1.5 million. The Province also said that it was going to change the way that it was going to provide contributions to the City as a host city for the Casino anyway so all that the phone call will be is a negotiation over price.

Is Edgar going to turn that money down? Hardly, but he can make it appear that way and any extra money that he gets, he can use as a massive victory. Just remember the DRIC road precedent.

I found it extremely interesting that there was nothing about this in the Star that I could recall. It seemed strange to me that he was not being made a hero by the Star to boost his chances for whatever it is that he wants to do next. That is a very odd turn of events from the Messenger until I read this Editorial on April 19, 2012 which was rather shocking to me:

“Are Mayor Eddie Francis and city council willing to bring down the government to save Windsor Raceway? Would they throw the province into turmoil, send voters to the polls and jeopardize thousands of jobs at Caesars Windsor to save a dying industry…

that means Francis and council are telling NDP MPPs to use their leverage to break this minority government unless it caves in…

Actively inciting people to force an election – one that nobody wants – was simply irresponsible.

It’s possible Francis was just trying to make a point that racetrack owners and workers were preaching to the choir. But Lloyd Brown-John is correct when he says attempting to defeat the government is “a little bit over the top. I don’t think that’s appropriate…”

The mayor and council need to retract their election directive. They also need to say the one thing nobody wants to say: While it’s sad the venerable racing industry is in such bad shape, the OLG made the right call.”

Oh man, where is the Eminence Greasie when Edgar really needs him.  That was a strong and nasty last paragraph.

Edgar was wrong for once, wow! Retract or else Edgar!  Rub Edgar’s nose in it by his public admission of  failure.

The Star probably would have allowed Edgar to take on Dwight by himself but take on Dwight and their boss, Paul Godfrey… not a hope in hell!

What a slam on Edgar. The language used by the Star was just about the strongest I have ever seen them use against the Mayor. If it is true, or is  it just part of the game as well.

We will get some understanding of what the true position is by watching the columns of Ms. Jarvis. It will be interesting to watch how Annie writes over the next few weeks when she describes events taking place in Windsor. Will she do a column slamming Edgar over his Board fees as an example? Will she attack his slowness over the hiring of a Police Chief and the huge fee to the headhunter? Or will she write about pizzas again?

Let us see now whether Dwight really has the nerve to crush Edgar finally or whether this is all another charade being played out between the two of them for their  benefit  and at  our  expense. Let us see if Edgar backs off and “retracts” as ordered since he is really merely negotiating the amount of money that he wants to get for his additional mind’s eye visions.  He  knows he has no bargaining position so he will take what  is offered in the end as with the DRIC road.

In the end, dear reader, all that Dwight needs to do now if he really wants to demonstrate to everyone that he is in control of Windsor is to take the over 750 signature Petition to his Ministerial colleague, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and ask him to do a real value for money audit of Windsor in the best interest of the people of Windsor, his constituents.  And  his own.

Click for the latest news

About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.

2 Comments on "Dwight vs. Edgar"

  1. The big question is will Dwight Duncan do the right thing and have the city of Windsor audited.

    I say he will because of that budget he has introduced to the Ontario taxpayers which has lost him a lot of votes in the future. Duncan wants to get back in the good graces of his supporters in this area, and this would be a good political move on his part.

  2. Regarding the last paragraph, do really think Duncan has the STONES to do it? That would involve doing the right thing.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: