(WINDSOR, ON) – Some local denizens were impressed to see Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson attending the recent Paris climate change conference. The naive among them started asking why ineffective councillor, and now interim Windsor mayor, Drew Dilkens was not there.
Boy, are they silly.
The only reason for Dilkens to turn up at such an auspicious global gathering would be to get a cream pie in the face, tossed by a concerned environmentalist. It turns out he is no friend of the environment.
Insidiously and regularly, he is doing everything within his power to show the environment he is the boss in these parts.
About the only thing green around here is the envy he seems to harbour for despotic sheiks, who have big budgets and can finance FINA swimming competitions. Although he has no such big budget, and faces pulling more money from his city’s struggling economy in new taxes disguised as levies, he is more than willing to spend like there’s no tomorrow, to get on a level playing field with people the likes of Vladimir Putin.
All the while, he has taken on the sheen of a despot as he works diligently to rid the city of creature comforts for the great unwashed. It is an incredible reverse Robin Hood situation plaguing a very unsuspecting city filled with polite residents, who blindly give allegiance to their leaders and have yet to wake up and smell the coffee Dilkens has been percolating.
His record is dreadful.
It starts with his blind support of a mega hospital to be built in a farmer’s field. It will hasten urban sprawl and cost millions to provide appropriate infrastructure.
It is marked with his continual shooting himself in the tax revenue foot by the removal of recreational amenities and parks, that allow citizens to stay fit and maintain the property values of their homes. It is quite a contrast to Detroit.
The Free Press reported, December 6, on plans there to fill vacant land with trees and other plants. Maurice Cox, the D’s director of planning, told the paper about research showing, “… the greener the neighbourhood the higher property values.”
Dilkens builds a waterpark he says is for families and then, through dreadful planning, finds it losing money. Entrance fees are increased so only elites can afford the place. To save money he closes it down on Wednesdays.
In an area downwind of the Ohio Valley, and its wind carried toxins, he doesn’t question the former mayor’s prodigious removal of air cleansing plant growth from roadway medians. The purifiers are replaced with plastic grass and civic pride is said to be bolstered because it looks so good. It is a sad case of looks being deceiving because weeds continue to poke up around the fake grass, making it look unkempt.
The weeds are a sad punctuation of a glitzy project which completely ignores reality.
The Huffington Post reported, on February 27, about Windsor’s air exposing its citizens to such contaminants as, “… benzene, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and particulate matter.”
They are known as, “… reproductive, cardiovascular, and developmental health risks,” as well as causes of, “… hormone disruption and cancer.”
Despite this, as is usual with the Francis Council, glitz won over common sense.
Vancouver mayor Robertson, reported the Province December 1, was in Paris to reveal, “… Vancouver’s goal to be the ‘greenest city’ in the world by 2020 and have the city completely powered by renewable energy by 2050.”
Dilkens has no comparable objectives. All he can come up with is a meek propaganda piece, written in Toronto at taxpayer expense, he calls his 20 year-plan, but which is a plan in name only.
In the grand tradition of the city’s previous despot, the inept Dilkens seeks glory and fame wherever he can, and gives little attention to what is really happening in the city, nor any interest in building it to green greatness. Or any kind of true greatness.
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.