(WINDSOR, ON) – Apparently, ineffective councillor, and now interim mayor, Drew Dilkens likes to incessantly spin yarns about countless new factories and jobs coming to the city. However, much like his predecessor, nothing seems to materialize and he ends up simply teasing the high number of unemployed in the city.
It is questionable if this is really the way a mayor should act.
Dilkens, well known as a loose cannon, talks often, but says little of substance. His groundless predictions started back in March.
The local paper was all excited because he was claiming, “… 100 new well-paying jobs [were] coming.” As is usual with Dilkens, he wasn’t willing to say much beyond pretending all would be revealed in mid-April.
With this tease, he was showing a total insensitivity to the unemployed. Often, those without work begin to hope. In this case, their hopes were dashed within months when it was confirmed nothing was happening on the jobs front.
Then, in June, Dilkens was back in the jobs announcing saddle. This time, he had found yet another new factory.
On June 17, he bragged the city had been approached by a company promising a new plant and some 80 positions. Confidently, he predicted an announcement was being readied, “… in short order where we can lay out all the details.”
Six months later, there is no follow-up news but, undaunted, the Teaser, as some are now calling the flighty mayor, took to the public airwaves in early December telling the CBC that he was working to, “… attract a company with about 350 jobs, but a main hurdle is the cost of hydro.”
From what has been released, the information seems to suggest the unnamed company could be General Electric, which plans to relocate a gas engine plant from Wisconsin to Ontario.
However, it remains doubtful the plant will end up in Windsor if the company is taking a serious look at operating costs.
While electricity costs continue to mount, this is only part of Windsor’s problems. Once the company starts examining the taxes in the city, it will probably be another deal that bites the dust simply because Windsor is not competitive.
In fact, much like the weather in Windsor, if you don’t like it wait a few days, it turns out that, if you don’t like the tax pressures the city forces on those who create jobs, just wait a few days and it will get worse.
The Francis Council seems ready and willing to start pulling even more money out of the city’s fragile economy, with new caustic tax schemes, including a rather odd road tax levy. It is being called a levy, but is more like a sleight of hand, allowing the mayor to say he is holding the line on taxes, but collecting more with levies.
The reality is, a levy and the already in place water surcharge will simply add up to more taxes, making Windsor even less competitive. What prospective investor wants to pay taxes for things like roads and municipal services and then find itself paying additional taxes defined as levies for things like roads and municipal services?
At this point, it seems no one is willing to have a talk with Dilkens to explain the negative aspects of his teasing. Although he can’t be naïve enough not to notice the pretence he doles out deliciously, probably in his mind, does not hold water when companies start looking at the true operational costs in highly taxed Windsor.
Based on this, the question becomes one of determining how many ghost announcements he will have to make before he cottons on to the fact his high-tax-and-spend ways might be the reason companies are not arriving.
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.