Teardown politics at Windsor City Council

I don’t watch the basketball but I am so happy to see so many Raptor fans so happy that they are in the NBA Finals. I was born in Toronto. Raptors fans look like Toronto. I am so delighted that Young Canada is embracing basketball. (When it comes to hockey, I’m that girl in The Tragically Hip’s Fireworks).

And yet, this past Monday, Windsor City Council declined to support a public viewing of the NBA Finals game, other than waiving the rental fee for Charles Clark Square.

The City of Windsor has, over the last 10 years, given the Detroit Grand Prix over $500,000. In 20015, the City of Windsor approved a Sports Commissioner with a salary of $120,000 a year plus $200,000 for bidding fees for a three year contract. The City of Windsor dedicated $3 million dollars to host the 2016 FINA swimming championship. That tally included $9,500 for the costume of the FINA mascot.

And yet Windsor City Council couldn’t find $10,000 to help provide the staffing and policing to ensure that Raptors fans would be both safe and happy as they gathered together downtown to watch them play.

This is post isn’t really about basketball. It’s a lament. It is so entirely disappointing when politics is played like a game that must have a winner and a loser.

Why didn’t the City of Windsor Administration not get behind a bid to host a public viewing of the Raptors in the finals? All signs suggest is that they did not want to give the Windsor BIA a “win.”

Some days earlier, the mayor of Windsor threatened various local BIAs to withhold their funding because they had spent funds on advocacy that the City administration takes issue with. But just before the City Council meeting that would have brought this issue to a vote, both parties sat down together and the City and the BIAs in question, found a compromise.

The work of finding a way forward when two or more parties disagree is good politics. Sitting down together and talking to each at the same table and not issuing public threats through the media is good politics. Supporting other organizations that are able to act on opportunities for the benefit of all is good politics.

Not letting someone else win because you perceive it as a loss? That’s being a spoilsport. And then we all lose.

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