Intriguingly, the local paper’s vanity columnist, Gord Henderson, took a break from puff-piece writing, on the day before St Valentine’s Day, to dust off the old misnomer about Windsor having an inferiority complex. From his viewpoint, the city is, “… tormented by a crushing inferiority complex, massive self-doubt and toxic insistence among many that we are ‘not worthy.’”
Not worthy of what?
Unfortunately, Henderson, a hand servant in the form of quiche carrier for the city’s failed former mayor Eddie Francis, can’t accept Windsor is doing fine.
Its only problem is being lorded over by municipal politicians with big egos, who are unable to satisfy their personal inferiority complexes so they try to make the city into what it isn’t, if only to elevate themselves.
This is particularly so with flighty mayor Drew Dilkens. He is spending $21 million of taxpayer money to get the privilege of hanging out with despotic sheiks at FINA events in Budapest. Unfortunately, he is trying to emulate them.
Without question, Dilkens seems to forget the city is a democracy and not a duchy with him in charge.
His predecessor was no better. Who can forget Francis spending millions on projects to aggrandize himself which, in the end, proved to be highly inferior? Most recently, his scaled down waterpark and wanting downtown natatorium have been in the news for being, as Donald Trump might say, losers.
All of this was predicted.
Francis, apparently, believed himself so prone to success he built the downtown money pits without benefit of a market study. He ended up with a swimming pool so small his successor has to import a temporary pool into the east-end arena to handle a short swimming competition.
Good money is chasing bad to compensate for the short sighted Francis. He also ended up with a water park so poorly planned it sits and loses money. Even its concession stand is a loser.
While Windsor has to suffer leaders with massive self-doubt, there are countless others who have arrived in the city and are overjoyed by what they see.
On just about any day you can see them enjoying what is here. On the whole, when you subtract city hall from the equation, Windsor is a rather remarkable place, filled largely with down-to-earth people who don’t have to put on airs to convince others of their self-importance.
They intuitively know they are living in one of the best locations in Canada, if not the world.
Consider Markham property developer Henry Tam, who apparently found no such inferiority complex when he visited the city. He was impressed enough to want to spend his own money to transform the ghost town, that is Chatham Street, into something a little more active.
He, reported the local paper February 13, “… envisions some big things for Windsor – he has taken a liking to the place – both commercial and residential.”
There is a lot to like for a place not blessed by the majesty of the Rocky Mountains or the allure of the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Windsor is a flat peninsula which makes it a bit of a bike riders’ paradise.
Unfortunately, its streets are no driver’s paradise, but that, too, is a fact of an out of control glitz-seeking council. Its arrogant and inward councillors dream of being worldly significant while abdicating their jobs of making the city better, at least a little, by repairing its roads once in a while.
So why is Henderson perpetuating the absurdity that Windsor is inferior? Those who speculate might think it is to support the schemes, current and future, Dilkens will dream up to create the illusion he is a superior inferior.
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.