Apparently, and rather suddenly, the group Friends of Save Ojibway, campaigning for better air quality, is told it cannot buy space to put a simple advertisement on Transit Windsor buses. Those shocked by this shouldn’t be.
First, cleaner air is something the Francis Council has not supported. The failed former mayor, Eddie Francis, actually pulled toxic air breathing plants from the medians of some of the city’s major roadways. He replaced these wonders of nature with faux grass which does nothing for air quality.
His apparent motivation was to make the medians look better. It was all glitz and it hasn’t worked.
The weeds quickly sprout destroying his beauty project.
Second, stopping the Friends from free speech, the very foundation of a democracy, illustrates the city’s transition to being a despotic duchy.
Certainly interim mayor, Drew Dilkens, presented by Eddie Francis, is nothing less than a despot, which is probably something astute voters have noticed and why he is one of the most unpopular large city mayors in the country.
The march to despotism started years ago when Francis began the process of relieving the city’s councillors of their duties, with such masterpieces of legislation as By-law 208-2008. Now, their remaining duties are largely ceremonial and consisting of rubber stamping decisions made by the mayor’s office or Administration.
And third, is the flip-flopping on the issue of ground floor retail at the city-owned downtown Pelissier Street parking garage.
The councillors, thinking they were in control, voted to keep it. The vote was then reversed in a secret meeting.
Former mayoral candidate, and head of the downtown business improvement organization, Larry Horwitz did some investigating.
Luckily citizens can still get information from city hall through a Freedom of Information request. Although, such access is being curtailed. This was evident in the Windsor Star’s attempt to determine what the city paid to put swimmers up at local hotels during the December swim meet.
FINA, the rich foreign swimming outfit, reportedly blocked the paper’s request.
Allegedly, Horwitz’s findings seem to show how powerful the Administration has become, if it can actually force an elected council to change its vote. This, of course, is speculation tempered by the fact Horwitz found out a large number of the spots in the garage are used by civil servants.
They pay a dollar a day.
The only way to stop the city becoming a despotic duchy is for voters to stand up to the Francis Council. While the province does not allow municipal level parties, it is doubtful it will stop concerned citizens wanting to work for a better city.