Last month a representative of FINA, the international swimming competition, declared that hosting the event in Windsor would provide an opportunity to showcase the city on a global stage.
What a wonderful sentiment for a city currently engaged in a battle to put a big box development next to its largest natural resource, a city whose council is lauding eight straight years of a tax freeze while our roads crack and amenities suffer, and a city hollowed out, yet looking to further its sprawl by placing the new mega hospital in a location largely inaccessible to most of its residents.
Does Windsor really need to be showcased on the global stage, while its unemployment rate teeters back and forth between the double digits? We applaud the announcement of part-time call centre jobs coming to the city, while the Windsor Economic Development Corporation reveals that it's sitting on nearly $2-million of unspent funds.
Last month’s city council budget meeting saw the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator turned down, yet again, for funding, ignoring the 500 plus jobs that have been created in the walls of the organization since they opened their doors in 2011.
The Accelerator has since had to turn to crowdfunding to source the capital it needs in order to move into a new building to continue raising the quality of its incubator program. With its online campaign, #createwindsor, they’ve raised almost $5000 within the first week of launching. With zero support from the city, they’ve taken it into their own hands to raise the quality of life in Windsor.
When the Windsor International Film Festival kicks off each year, you can feel the excitement in the air and watch as film-goers head from the Capitol Theatre to visit a neighbouring establishment, fanning out throughout the downtown core. Yet WIFF was turned down in its request for $5000 of funding, while the council added $50,000 to the budget of the Detroit Grand Prix.
Something about the decision making process in Windsor sure seems a little bit off.
We have rampant vacancies throughout most of the city, yet we’re looking to put a big box development next to the precious lands and eco-diversity of the Ojibway Nature Reserve.
The preservation of the threatened and endangered species, in a city as polluted as Windsor, with one of the lowest areas of natural resources, has been to left to be fought by Nancy Pancheshan, a schoolteacher, and her group, the Friends of Ojibway Park.
For eight years, Pancheshan has been pouring over legal documentation and devoting her time and money for a frustrating cause that shouldn’t have been hers to fight. A private citizen should not be protecting the city’s largest natural resource.
Four days before Christmas, in the middle of a 12 hour budget meeting set to decide the city’s $872-million budget, council held the debate on an estimated $100-million levy for the city’s new mega hospital, added to the agenda only three days prior.
The urban wasteland stretches on as our core hollows out and we boast about temporary construction jobs and prime development.
We had to fight to keep Atkinson Pool. We were turned down funding for the Downtown Farmer’s Market. We rely on individual citizens and private groups to combat the faulty decision making of the Mayor and council.
But hey, at least we’ve got the pools.