Aquatic Centre Failure No Surprise


Header-image-Maggio-2By Gabe Maggio

(WINDSOR, ON) – The tables may have turned but, as they saying goes, better late than never. However, in this situation I prefer to say, better late than deceitfully clever. Don’t believe everything you see and hear. Relying on the face of the record can have you fooled.

What the so-called naysayers have been repeating daily for over two years, now newly elected City Councilor Rino Bortolin is preaching to the old choir.

Why such the abrupt about face by Bortolin? Who put him up to this?

Where did he gather the recent gall to call out and question, what I would call, the ethical standards of Mayor Dilkens, former Mayor Francis, and all the Administration, complicit in producing the Aquatic Centre business case and budget estimations.

As reported by the Windsor Star, Bortolin stated, “The rationale and business case for that centre was flawed from the get-go. When you have figures that are over 100 per cent off, you have to question that.”

I await Bortolin to go beyond a simple question. If he does, I will be impressed.

The problem for Bortolin is that he has to rely on the puppet strings being pulled so he can walk in the direction he needs to secure his political future. Deeper research, analysis, and document investigation is out the question.

Bortolin needs to keep in line in order to keep not only the dust on the ground but as well as many bridges intact.

This willingness to give in was evident on the campaign trail.

He walked the ward with former Councilor Joyce Zuk, and did his best to receive an election nod from former Mayor Francis. Bortolin played the middle fiddle well.

On his trail, he spouted that he was pleased with the current direction of Council and not once questioned the business model, or even the lack thereof of the big ticket Aquatic Centre, or any other extravaganza currently in the order of business.

But times have changed things rather quickly as it is now okay to spew conspiracy theory without reprisal. Will Anne Jarvis even venture in labelling it vitriol?

I doubt it, as Bortolin must have received Francis’ oil of anointment and Annie was in on the plan.

Now in office, Bortolin comes out with a hard swing, implying that the previous administration may have indeed misrepresented the budgetary figures associated with the business plan of the new aquatic centre, from the start.

Bortolin even wonders if projected costs at the Family Aquatic Centre were downplayed in the beginning in order to help sell it to the community. “To be only one year later and realize that we were over 100 per cent off of our projections is a little bit shocking and definitely begs the question,” Bortolin said.

Newsflash.

There wasn’t any business plan from the get go.

From architecture to pay-as-you-go financing to design-build, they implemented the least favourable practices for a successful final product. We knew, and they knew, that. It comes as no surprise to most who have followed this fiasco from early on.

If Bortolin is truly seeing this light now, well, then better late than never.

But I don’t buy it.

This is only another political move to break the ice for more bad news. Another solution to stop the bleeding will be required. That means more multi-million dollar spending, or even selling.

Windsorites have been fooled more than once. That jig was up long ago.

They need new script writers for the charade

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata

2 Comments on "Aquatic Centre Failure No Surprise"

  1. linda mclean | January 24, 2015 at 2:40 pm |

    Only when all the chickens come home to roost with case after case of financial and ethical abuse becoming public (not because the Windsor Star wants to make them so but because they are so overwhelmingly blatant) will the people of Windsor MAYBE wake up and say enough is enough.
    I wouldn’t count on it or bet on it though.
    As for Bortolin he is just another Liberal, hypocritical hack. Watching him on the 2015 budget (in chambers and the bar discussion nonsense) you can see this guy just will never cut it. There is no commitment to the truth.
    And further, when it comes to Chris Holt, he just got one of his first motions shot down – to rexamine parking fees across the City. Make no mistake this is no Alan Halberstadt. He is well intentioned but won’t cut it either.
    John Elliott just sits quietly – are we sure he is not imitating Ron Jones?
    Will he make a move for the west end or just drift along.
    And we are off to an auspicious beginning for the new council. It won’t be easy to do what Jesse Jackson always says – Keep hope alive.

  2. Gabe very good article, Bortolln is playing both sides of the fence which indicates to me he can’t be trusted. Gabe you are 100% correct there was no business plan for the Aquatic Centre, and if the city council investigated this investment they would have never approved the project.

    Bortolin is trying to make an impression to the taxpayers of Windsor, but I think he is making a bad one. He had an open discussion on the 2015 budget in a bar, and he could not answer any questions about it. I am not impressed with Bortolin and I’m sure a lot of his supporters feel the same way.

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