Weeknote Nov 3 – 9 2020

Tomorrow promises to be a looooong city council meeting filled with delegates testifying for and against the Mayor’s motion in support of the County Road 42 location of the amalgamation of our local hospitals.

Since I wanted to wait for the Ontario Provincial Budget to be released first, I sent my own position against the motion in an an email to the Clerk’s office just after 5pm on Thursday which I thought was plenty of time before Friday noon deadline.

My letter is not in the council package that was published on Saturday afternoon.

I guess I’m part of the silenced majority.

I considered counting up the letters in support of the mayor’s motion to support the County Road 42 location and comparing them to the number of those opposed but now knowing that this number would be inherently inaccurate, I opted instead to bring attention to the fact that many of the letters in support of the Mayor’s motion 1) make no mention of the location of the hospital and 2) are form letters.

Hey, let’s do some research. When was Windsor’s population less than 20,000 residents? According to The Canadian Encyclopedia in 1918 Windsor had a pop. of 21,000. Were Windsor’s two hospitals built in 1918? No. But there is evidently there is a DOOR from 1918 that still exists, so these writers are not technically lying to make their case.

I want to be clear: there’s nothing inherently wrong with using a form letter. Activist groups frequently make use of such templates to encourage letter-writing campaigns. That being said, whoever wrote this particular template shouldn’t have suggested that the authors were inspired to write these letters after they were just doing some independent research and fed them such a far-fetched conclusion.

There are many other form letters that also exaggerate to the point in which the truth might be considered stretched. For example, 23 letter writers (who might live in Windsor) state that the current hospitals in Windsor are crumbling . From CAMPP’s recent newsletter:

“Their extreme concern for the physical condition of WRH’s buildings ignores nearly $200M in capital investments and expansions in the past two decades. It also flies in the face of the “Accreditation with Exemplary Standingawarded to WRH on December 30, 2019 for 99.8% compliance with national standards for patient quality and safety.”

But let’s get to my real complaint. These letters are likely from the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation’s mobilization efforts. WEEDC (whose board the mayor sits on as a director) is funded by the City of Windsor and the County of Essex. Taxpayers of Windsor are paying WEEDC to lobby City Council despite the fact that mayor has gone on record that he believes that tax-payer’s money should not be used for advocacy (and BIA funds are not taxpayer’s money).

Honest question: if the Mayor wants to send a message to the Ford government, why doesn’t he lobby them directly?

“We needed a pitbull fighting for us and ended up with a poodle.”

Speaking of the provincial government, let’s sidetrack from city council for a moment.

The fact that the Ford government released its Ontario Budget in the same week of a contentious American election suggests to me that the government is not exactly inviting scrutiny. There is certainly a lot of problematic plans that the budget contains, including

And while Canadians were celebrating the triumph of democracy with our neighbours to the North, this was happening

Also, this is troubling:

Ok, back to Windsor City Council. I’m very much looking forward to a public conversation that is focused on addressing racism and anti-racism directly and not sideways via uptalk of diversity and inclusion.

On December 19th, it will be 6 months since the Mayor’s Windsor Black Lives Matter Panel and we are still waiting on some sort of action or report from its survey.