In a letter to the editor of the Windsor Star on February 12, Steve Vorkapich, who says he lives in Windsor, is aghast at what he calls the, “glaring omissions among the inductees to the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame.”
He lists a number of Essex County residents who have, “athletic accomplishments that makes any knowledgeable fan wonder why they were not inducted several years ago.” He concluded by saying perhaps, “this organization should change their name to the Windsor Sports Hall of Fame.”
Of course Vorkapich is right.
Windsor should have its own Sports Hall of Fame to honour the people who have put the city on the sports map. For some reason the city had to continually kowtow to the county, which seems to have aspirations well above its stature.
In fact, the county is slowly taking over the region; a sure case of the tail wagging the dog.
Already, the ambulance service is called Essex-Windsor EMS. A new hospital is planned for a farmer’s field in what was once part of the county.
Essex County, a second tier government, seems to think it is bigger than Windsor based on the growing populations of the seven composite towns, which are spread out over a very large area. But, the reality remains, Windsor is the giant in the region and needs to accept and build on that position.
The way it is now, Windsor has seven competitors trying their best to steal away finite economic development and, in most cases, these towns are scheming to replace farmland with industrial land, which does nothing for the environment and extends urban sprawl by removing prized farmland from production.
What is wrong with having small towns in the region where residents can live the small town life, if they so want?
If Windsor was on its game, it would demand that the bedroom communities surrounding its borders, LaSalle, Tecumseh, and the built up part of Lakeshore, be amalgamated to create a major southern Ontario city with a population approaching 300,000.
Proof of LaSalle and Tecumseh being solely bedroom communities is the fact that neither has a downtown. Both are trying to create one, with Tecumseh the most ambitious with plans to bring café society to Tecumseh Road.
Good luck with that.
Without Windsor the region would be a shadow of itself. Windsor, by incorporating the bedroom communities, would give the region a significant population centre. The region would also have five charming towns absent any ambitions of being major urban centres.
The area’s five towns would be Amherstburg, Kingsville, Leamington, Harrow, and Essex, with the opportunity for Harrow and Essex to be unto themselves again.
Urban problems need urban solutions and only a large city can best deal with issues like transit, co-ordinated land use planning, getting the attention of Queen’s Park and Ottawa because of its size, and reducing bureaucratic duplication.