(WINDSOR, ON) – According to a local pundit, Windsor is infested with people who have nothing better to do than make noise, protest, or “bleat” about several highly questionable decisions the city fathers have made.
The citizens that the columnist is referring to should take this as an encouraging endorsement of their efforts.
Bleating, at the best of times, is not a pleasant sound. It is an irritating, persistent thorn in the side that evokes a strong desire to do whatever one can just to make it stop.
One major group of bleaters are the members of a group that take issue with the future location of the proposed mega-hospital on the outskirts of Windsor. This group maintains that the location should be accessible to the majority of the people who would utilize it, instead of being isolated so far from the city core.
They also bleat that planners should take advantage of one of Windsor’s multiple abandoned, and already serviced, brownfield sites in the core, instead of soaking up more of our ever diminishing, productive farmland.
Another irrepressible group, Friends of Save Ojibway Park, have spent the last eight years telling anybody who will listen that locating a major commercial development beside one of our last remaining environmental jewels is just wrong.
They fear that all the noise, fumes, garbage, and congestion generated would have a catastrophic effect on the over-400 species of flora and fauna, many endangered, that call this area home.
Despite the fact the group lost an OMB decision, and their leader is being threatened with a lawsuit, they have stepped up their efforts with well attended and very vocal protests and demonstrations.
Bleating continues over the building of a multi-million dollar, money-losing swimming complex which, as it hosts minor yet very expensive swim meets, continues to suck the financial life out of smaller neighbourhood facilities.
Future bleats will likely include opposition to the destruction and replacement of our quite serviceable city hall, with an already over budget cement and glass box. Add to that, the digging of an unnecessary underpass beneath Riverside drive.
Common to all these contentious issues is that they seem to feature large amounts of money. They include commercial developments, farmland acquisitions, and huge construction contracts.
It would seem, these contentious decisions are being influenced by certain individuals who stand to profit significantly.
The common thread that unites us bleaters is our ability to remove the money goggles, connect the dots, and see things the way they really are.
With all the seemingly shady shenanigans going on in our city, feelings of cynicism and hopelessness are inevitable.
However, not so for the bleaters.
Persistence and diligence are typical, as witnessed in the success of the recent freedom of information request, which uncovered hidden facts resulting in legal action being introduced into the mega-hospital site selection process.
We want a more transparent and thorough process and we found a way to get it. Now that’s what I call bleating.