It certainly seems, many unemployed in the city have yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is the bright light precariously put there by hapless mayor Drew Dilkens.
Among those unable to see the fleeting glow is Andrea Ducharme of the Unemployed Help Centre. She curiously told the public broadcaster, on February 5, about the city needing, “… more help, we need everybody as an infrastructure to get together and come up with a plan how to make this city a better city.”
She was commenting after it was revealed Windsor has again topped every other city in Canada for having the highest unemployment rate. But, does she not know that, for a few inconsequential days in December, the city’s economic problems will disappear or be obliged to hide because of what Dilkens has done?
She has obviously not heard him bragging about the billions of people who will be watching the city host a short FINA swimming event, about 20 times the number who watched the Super Bowl, the world’s largest sports property, and how Windsor will become the darling of the world and all will be well.
Sure, it will be a scant handful of true, hardly believable, honest-to-goodness glory days supposedly able to put the city exactly where it belongs; on top of the world.
The city’s hotels, those that are left, will be so filled their operators will have no other choice but to hire the unemployed and give them multiple hours of work. The unemployment rate will, in the wake of this temporary prosperity, collapse.
Any of the unemployed sans hotel skills will be eagerly snapped up by the city’s legion of restaurateurs who will be preparing to feed the sparse hundreds of visitors flocking to the city. As everyone, bar none, knows, whenever there are elite swimmers in a pool it attracts the hungry.
For the better part of an imperceptible week, happy days will be here again.
The only disconcerting sounds will come from outside the east end arena which will be flooded with motorists looking for parking spaces. They will all clamour to get inside to see the action in the portable pool.
No doubt, the mayor will proudly boast that never before have so few traveled so far to see the delights of Windsor.
There is probably not a retailer in town who will not feel the largesse of the maddening crowd of swimming competition watchers. It will be such an economic boost, famed Gord Orr, of the local tourism outfit, will probably not have to generate some steam to confirm this economic tsunami, as he did for the arguably highly successful International Children’s Games.
Who can forget how the city’s economy turned around in an ephemeral weekend with Windsor proudly ascending to the top spot of great world cities, simply because of the kids. It is hard to imagine how much greater it will be given the advanced age of the swimmers.
Certainly CNN news producers, and who can blame them, will park all of their anchors and reporters on the outskirts of the city. It will be just like their coverage of the current US election caucuses and primaries. The highly entertaining Jeanne Moos will probably fly in to scour the city, as only she can, to find the comedy behind the news so people all over the world can laugh at Windsor.
Why Ducharme has not calculated that these rare but fleeting good times are but months away is hard to comprehend. Certainly there is no need to invent, “… a plan how to make this city a better city.”
Dilkens has already done just that using a taxpayer funded fortune, some $21 million and growing, to create fugacious flash-in-the-pan glitz lasting a meagre few days in dreary December. Long enough to make everyone in the city much richer, not in cash but in spirit.
No doubt, the local sycophantic media will use their powers to blast anyone who points out that on the day after the event everything will return to normal. No, the media will not allow any naysayers to rain on Dilkens and his faux glory parade, and his chance to be worldly significant at great taxpayer expense.
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.