Dilkens’ Presence Detrimental


Header-image-TuomiBy Robert Tuomi

(WINDSOR, ON) – The closing, and possible closing, of more meeting and convention facilities in the city is just another in a long line of indictments against ineffective councillor, and now interim mayor, Drew Dilkens. So far, the Croatian Club on Tecumseh Road East has been shuttered.

The Teutonia Club, on Edinburgh, is considering an offer for its property. It told the CBC, on October 6 last year, it has been, “… seeing a drop in attendance over the years.” So far, it is still accepting bookings.

Oddly, city hall prides itself on the lack of accomplishments that have marked the political career of Dilkens. On its website, it boasts he, “… spearheaded the creation and implementation of the new Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island.”

In reality, many of the city’s convention attraction problems, and possibly meeting hall closings, could be attributed to Dilkens himself. Instead of fortifying the organization, he actually shrunk it; like he shrinks so many other things.

While he was setting up TWEPI, as it is called, he seriously reduced the staff’s workload, removing convention attraction as one of its duties. Now commercial enterprises offering convention space pay taxes, but get nothing in return. Of course, they shouldn’t feel slighted.

The whole modus operandi of the flighty mayor is to have all taxpayers pay taxes and get nothing in return. Since he arrived on the scene, the city has suffered the loss of parks, pools, community centres, and arenas. The very fabric of the community is being put asunder by him and the remnants of the Francis Council, and its two new recruits.

Collectively they still control what’s going on.

His biography on the city’s website is a little less than frank. It features his membership on Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee, but fails to mention how he ran the former standing committee on economic development right into the ground.

Things were so bad under his leadership the committee, which endured considerable indifference, included meetings with no agendas or that lasted three a mere minutes. Eventually, it had to be put out of its misery and was folded into planning.

These days, it is rare to see an economic development issue on the amalgamated committee’s agenda, despite the city suffering the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

There are those who think, and they could be wrong, that by absolving the tourism promoters from working hard to bring conventions to the city, Dilkens has actually added to Windsor’s rising unemployment levels.

What Dilkens did not consider in his draconian move was that conventions bring people into the city, they fill hotel rooms and restaurants and, in general, allow visitors to get acquainted with Canada’s most southerly metropolis.

It is possible Dilkens was wise beyond his years and didn’t want to take the chance visitors might see how he and the Francis Council are trying to crush the city into oblivion, and make it much less than it has been.

Of course, there is his big accomplishment, the poorly planned downtown money-losing pool and waterpark. The pool is too small for swimming events, like the FINA second tier event he will host at the east end arena next year, at a cost of $21 million and counting.

Humorously, the waterpark is alleged to be a premier family attraction. Dilkens, in contradiction, describes it differently.

On January 18, 2014, he admitted to the local paper that he’d, “… like to say that this is like a mini-Kalahari.”

He should have went further and told the paper that, during his watch, he is striving to make Windsor a mini-city with few amenities.

Robert Tuomi can be heard at 8:30 pm every Monday evening and noon every Wednesday co-hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen on demand to previous episodes or catch the discussion live and join in. Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor is broadcast every Monday and Wednesday to the Windsor and Detroit listening area and streamed online at CJAM.

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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

4 Comments on "Dilkens’ Presence Detrimental"

  1. Ineffective Dilkens has no idea of what he is doing, the man is way over his head as being mayor of our fine city. Dilkens should have all his attention focused on getting new companies to come to Windsor this city needs jobs, not swim meets. The FINA games will not bring in enough revenue to even come close to the cost of hosting this event, which includes business in our downtown area. The city council is not making decisions in the best interest for the city residence and taxpayers, they should cancel the FINA games. The city needs an AG and most of the city council in their election promises said that they would push for an AG they did not, if they did the FINA games would have never been considered.

  2. david kelly | 26 November 2015 at 17:41 |

    Can we cancel the swim meet?

    • There may be a penalty, but it would be better than spending $21 million for a week-long event. And by saving $21 million there could be a zero per cent tax increase (wink).

  3. Marny beale | 26 November 2015 at 14:42 |

    The sadness is that he does not seem to know how far out of his league he is.

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