Thursday, November 08, 2007


Reading Gord Henderson's column today might leave people with the impression that Windsor (and by extension anyone who disagrees with current Mayor Eddie Francis) is comprised of "can't do" people.

Unfortunately, Gord leaves out a few salient facts in his latest diatribe about everything not blessed by City Hall.
It was the City of Windsor who spent years expropriating land for which they had no signed plans for, destroying a community already in place;

It has been the City of Windsor who has failed to deliver on a single plan for these expropriated lands in the last twenty some odd years, despite millions of dollars in taypayer funded studies and consultants, including the latest City Centre West plans;

It's the City of Windsor who refuses to move forward with even the RFP that they themselves spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer's dollars developing;

the City continues to look for one single "silver bullet" solution that will fix all that ails in the area, instead of looking outside the box.
As much as everyone wanted to see the University to locate the Engineering Campus downtown, the reality has been that it was never really in the cards. Tuesday's DWBIA forum was more about what should and needs to be done in the future to accommodate either the University, the College or any other group that wishes to take advantage of the City Centre West lands.

The Mayor and Gord may want to make the University out to be the bad guy in this situation; the reality couldn't be any further from the truth. As many others have stated, first and foremost, the responsibility of the U's Board of Governors is to the students they serve. If that happens to dovetail with the City's downtown plans, that's a bonus, not a requirement.

Where was the City years ago when the University was proposing a combined arena/sports field? For that matter, where was the City recently when it came to paying for the current world class sports field the University has today? Last I heard, the University is still on the hook for millions in regard to that effort.

For all the darts being thrown at the University of Windsor lately, many need to step up and take a long hard look in the mirror. The Engineering School may be an opportunity lost, but it's nothing to scorch the earth over. Considering the state of manufacturing in Windsor, the University offers the single largest opportunity for Windsor to diversify their economy in the specific fields of the future, research and development.

To put it bluntly, in old military terms, stop pissing in the corn flakes.

Just my two cents. (plus GST)

Edit: having just read today's main editorial, my thoughts above remain unchanged. Despite the full court press being placed on the University, this is not their problem. The fact remains, it was the City of Windsor who created the "City Centre West" lands through heavy handed expropriation, it's not the University of Windsor's responsibility to bail them out.

Edit 2: Windsor Star blogger Craig Pearson - Don't blame the University

Edit 3: Windsor Star blogger Monica Wolfson - I leave you with food for thought...