Interim mayor Drew Dilkens regularly pens a column for BizX Magazine. If nothing else, it shows how he tries to dupe taxpayers with pretence. He appears well-versed in the mechanisms of propaganda and repetitive claims without documentation or substantiation.
In his most recent writings, he assures readers that the Francis council is committed to, “… addressing our City’s reputation; and improving quality of life for our citizens.”
In his mind, fixing the city’s reputation can be done with the occasional minor sporting competition which often costs the city millions of dollars.
It is not the way to go.
Fixing a reputation starts with research to figure out the problem. As is usual, the solution appears before the problem is even defined.
Despite this, and without any documentation to support a rather questionable claim, he says the city is, “… now known to excel at hosting sports competitions.”
He doesn’t define excel. Certainly the city’s performance during the International Children’s Games was not excellent. There was no kosher food, the competitions were poorly structured, and transportation seemed to be an issue.
As for the FINA short course championship, Dilkens hired outsiders to manage it; some of them from as far away as Australia. This suggests he has no confidence in local ability. Nor does he understand that he is sending money out of the city.
Dilkens goes on to declare FINA, which will use up about $16 million of local taxpayer money, gives the city, “… the opportunity to show the world what makes Windsor a world-class destination.”
He does not define world-class.
However, no matter what the benchmarks, Windsor is not a world-class destination. It is a city slipping into obscurity, simply because he is doing little to make the city great again.
Windsor no longer has major top level hotels. It is losing full-service grocery stores; they are either closing or downgraded to discount brands.
Worldly significant cities have advanced and highly developed public transportation. Windsor has a bus system. Municipalities which share its size, like Quebec City, Waterloo, and London, are all adding light rail transit. Windsor has no plans to do so.
Despite his focus on sports tourism, the FINA swim meet has to be housed in a hockey arena. After spending more than $80 million, the downtown natatorium is too small for even minor events.
Then there was the embarrassment of the recent Ontario Summer Games being scaled back to compensate for a lack of proper sports venues.
To downplay the city’s alarming inability to maintain its streets and prevent basement flooding, Dilkens dismisses such issues by saying cities are, “… more than their streets and sewers.”
The “more” covers, “… caring neighbourhoods, green spaces, multiculturalism, tourism and healthy living.”
Yet, his master parks plan calls for fewer parks.
There are many more differences between what Windsor is and what its mayor pretends it is. To succeed, Windsor must first admit that it is not world class and then start the process to reach such a lofty position.
The pretence is simply facile.