Windsor Stories You May Have Missed

Let’s get right to them.

ADIE KNOX HERMAN POOL

Did you know that there is a bunch of people who are circulating a petition to keep the pool open? Well there is. And if I was the Mayor or a Member of Council, I would not want to cross these people. They will not take “closing it down” for an answer. I know one of the people involved and he is not afraid to litigate and he has done it in the past against Government and been successful.

Think about it. Its replacement is supposed to be the Windsor International Aquatic And Training Centre Presented By The Windsor Family Credit Union. According to Councillor Dilkens, the real purpose of this pool is for the Community. That is why it was built.

The problem with that though is, with all of the events that the Mayor is bringing in, these sporting events will use the pool and will make it unavailable for Community use for weeks on end. Where will people go swimming if that happens? I don’t think I’ve ever heard an answer to that question.

There are other issues that have to be dealt with. Here is a copy of a letter that was sent to the Mayor and Councillors that explains the situation very nicely:

adknox

I don’t think that politicians just before an election year are going to antagonize Seniors and other users of the pool who are voters. It would not surprise me if people who are inconvenienced by what the City might do will take it out also on the Credit Union as well. After all, they are “presenting” the Aquatic Centre so why not put economic pressure on them.

It is another example of a poorly thought out decision by this Mayor and Council. My expectation is that the Mayor will meet with this group to try to placate them.

I wonder if he will try to offer them reduced parking or special rates for admittance or other such gimmicks. I doubt that he can do that because then he would be accused of favouritism and giving into a “vocal minority.” and would have to offer it to everyone. It would mean that the Aquatic Centre will run a huge deficit.

Edgar (aka Eddie) will not be successful unless he agrees to keep the pool open. I can warn him about that right now.

PERHAPS WIN LESS AWARDS

And start winning some jobs for this Region!

I am so thrilled that the Undevelopment Commission according to the Star has won a couple of awards for a database and a revised website.

Oh, that explains what they have been doing for those millions of dollars given out to them by taxpayers rather than gaining jobs for our unemployed workers or helping our businesses grow or bringing new ones here.

It will be interesting to see the results of the presentation made to the Toronto Region Board of Trade by the part-time Head of the Undevelopment Commission but at a full-time salary and one of the highest-paid Mayors in the Province.

In fact, it will be interesting to see how many people show up. $79 for a lunch to hear them speak seems outrageous to me.

I just hope that they don’t point to the DRIC Road as a symbol of success for this Region. Or the boarding up of homes on Indian Road so that any executives who might have been thinking of having their children attend at the University of Windsor will not do so now.

BYN (BUILD YOUR NIGHTMARE) BUSES

I must say that I sat there in stunned disbelief when I read this:

“The City of Windsor is exploring other avenues to bring electric buses to the city after an exclusivity deal with the Chinese company BYD expired.

Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis says they allowed the deal surrounding a manufacturing facility to expire because the buses have yet to meet the safety standards set out by the Ministry of Transportation. Francis says they were simply doing their due diligence before making any deal.” (Maureen Revait Blackburnnews October 10, 2013)

Really? Seriously? Are we supposed to swallow that after Edgar said this:

We will be ordering BYD buses,’ Mayor Francis says

Chinese manufacturer field testing electric buses in Quebec called ‘good news’

Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis says he was not caught off guard by Chinese bus manufacturer BYD’s decision to test electric buses in Quebec.

“This information was shared with us long ago. It comes as good news. We also know other jurisdictions in Canada where they will field test,” Francis said. “The pilot project will allow them to test the buses against adverse weather conditions.

“I think this dispels any rumours [they aren’t coming to Canada].”

“For BYD to open a facility to open a Canada, it will require transportation agencies across the country to order buses. You can only have a factory when there are orders,” Francis said. “This puts BYD closer to getting the orders they need to sustain a manufacturing facility in this country.” (CBC News July 12, 2013)

His mind’s eye vision will not allow him to back off because it means failure on his part. And as we all know, Edgar never is wrong! Does he truly believe that a plant will be built in Windsor’s if many of the buses are ordered in Québec. He ought to know better about how the game is played.”

And then he said this as I wrote:

“Edgar is just incapable of knowing when to “fold it.” Here he was it seems to me sitting around waiting for safety approvals for the buses. In the CBC article, Edgar stated:

“Federal safety certification is needed before Transit Windsor can buy and put to used a pair of electric buses.

Francis said it’s his understanding that paperwork and safety standards will be filed and met, respectively, “by the end of summer.”

Except, didn’t we hear this before:

“The ball is in their court,” said Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis. “We’re waiting for the buses to be approved by Transport Canada. I’m told that by the end of May that should be achieved. Until that happens we’re really in a holding pattern.” (CBC News May 1, 2013)”

Nothing there about letting the exclusivity period end.

I don’t get it. If the BYD buses are so spectacular and if we were going to be the manufacturing centre for them thereby creating hundreds of jobs here, then why didn’t the Mayor simply agree with BYD to extend the exclusivity period. That would have been very simple to do.

Was that information about buses in Quebec shared during the exclusivity period and if so, what did the Mayor do about it? Was that a breach of contract? If so, why didn’t he act to stop it?

It is a huge loss for the Mayor. If BYD buses are not any good, then why didn’t he do his due diligence before he entered into a transaction with them? If BYD buses are good, then he blew it by not maintaining the exclusivity period.

WILL A NEW MUNICIPAL CAPITAL FACILITY BE BUILT IN WINDSOR

Oh my Lord, the Star is reporting:

“Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis said Wednesday he’ll have an announcement soon about a possible replacement for the electric buses the city had once intended to buy from Chinese company BYD.

Francis said he is “in discussions” with other companies. “I’ll have more to say in a couple weeks.” (Sarah Sacheli Windsor Star October 10, 2013)

What generous terms will the Mayor offer to get someone to build a plant here so that he can demonstrate to the electorate that he is not a jobs, jobs, jobs failure.

Oh no, will he use the white elephant boondoggle MRO at the airport as a precedent? After all, the Feds made a contribution to that and now are sinking in a whole bunch of money just to move FedEx from one location to another pretending that it will be an economic diversification move for our economy.

Here is what I wrote some time ago. Just change “BYD” to the name of some other electric bus manufacturer:

“Wait a minute, we still could get a plant here. We have the precedent of the MRO white elephant boondoggle. Perhaps Ms. Nazzani might be convinced either to join up with BYD as their Bus Head or even better, she could hold two jobs, Vice-President of Premier Aviation and a position with BYD.

Holding two part-time positions at full salary seems to work for another in Windsor.

After all, didn’t Ms. Nazzani say that she was involved with the negotiations with Premier Aviation for their MRO. Why not repeat the precedent?

Build a bus plant for BYD and charge them nominal rent. Then turn it into a Municipal Capital Facility so it will not have to pay any property taxes.

The justification of course is jobs, jobs, jobs. I would have suggested that she try and do a deal with St. Clair College as with Premier to train people to build buses but given the poor relationship between its President and the Mayor, that would seem to be a nonstarter.”

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About the Author

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.
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