Riverfront Blues

Despite the end of old mayor Eddie Francis’ days at the soon to be demolished city hall, the Windsor Star still fights his battles. On April 29, columnist Anne Jarvis took yet another swipe at the owner of the Ambassador Bridge, one of the many enemies Francis gathered while in office.

Matty Moroun, through his companies, owns riverfront property at the foot of Lauzon Road. That property should go to the city, concludes spinner Jarvis.

She does not explain why. And, she does not go on a tirade about why the city should take over Ford of Canada’s riverfront property near the foot of Drouillard Road, across from where its casting plant once stood.

Nor is she ready to rail against Sterling Fuels running a supply depot for ships, in which it stores flammable materials in very large tanks at the foot of Chippawa Street, in close proximity to families living along Sandwich.

Yet, Jarvis must carry the battle flag for Francis, while showing no interest in the piles of crushed rock marring scenic Riverside Drive, where the brick façade of Riverside Brewery, no longer operating, still sits.

Jarvis says the city has no money to buy the Moroun property. It never has any money unless your name is FINA; then it has millions.

Besides, the Francis-centric Council is at war with its ratepayers.

Of course, Jarvis would rather turn the power of her pen on the Moroun companies rather than take up the cause of the poor neighbourhood parks, the ones whose playground equipment was ripped out and never replaced. A sad visible casualty of the war.

Jarvis would never show a toddler crying at the site where her favourite playground disappeared overnight. No doubt she fears such an iconic photo would wake taxpayers to the reality of Francis-style government.

The no money argument deserves scrutiny, but a Francis saturated media will never bring up the fact that he spent millions on frivolous projects or went blindfolded into unreasonable territory.

He set up a new arena in the east end, thinking if he built it new development would surround his costly error. It never happened.

He built a swimming pool downtown, rather than working with the university on a plan to build a true world class swimming and training facility at the St Denis Centre, which the university will now have to do on its own.

Does Jarvis not know saying Windsor has no money is a wink wink nod nod joke?

In fact, her own paper reported it is already negotiating to spend millions to fund more diving events at the downtown pool, events which appeal to less than a minute percentage of the taxpaying population.

Jarvis really needs to put her head back on straight.

She should forget the Francis battles and battle instead for a better Windsor. Such a Windsor is not the result of taking land away from a lawful land holder while ignoring other land that could, and probably should, be captured for public use.

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About the Author

Robert Tuomi
After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields. Email Robert Tuomi