A Few Thoughts on Week 33

Falling Back! Which means this post (rant?) comes with one extra hour of thought put towards it!

  • A public service announcement that everyone should remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors with the time change.
Image tagged in smoke detector chirp | Smoke detector, Detector, Smoke
Happened last night! Honestly
  • The latest episode of Mean, Median and Moose is now out. We talk about political data, demographics of parliament, the underground economy and more!
  • Wal-Mart pulled guns and ammo off of its’ shelves this week cause that is normal pre-election behaviour.
    • Speaking of Tuesday night, I am probably not going to watch (unless I am drinking heavily) and I am probably going to log out of most social media.
  • An EI program for the 21st Century by a leading economist.
  • The Globe and Mail published this editorial piece (paywall) speaking to local decision making on road pricing and sprawl impacts on climate change. It is a good piece and setting aside the fact that no municipal jurisdiction in Canada ,that I am aware of, can set road pricing. The sprawl absolutely plays a role in climate impacts and mitigation but I feel like the piece and local discussion is missing something.
  • As I replied to Dr. Smit to her thread based on the column there is one very simple reason why I would argue these are in-effective conversations to have – Politics. Progressive on this issue especially locally, fail to look at the broader political dynamics rather choosing to rely on more fragmented and absolutist rhetorical positions.
    • As progressive as the past liberal government may have been on climate – they killed Toronto’s plans for highway tolls on the DVP and Gardiner for political reasons.
      • It is interesting that some research shows that road pricing can drive down housing prices which means you will not only charge people to drive, but then “destroy” wealth within their property. Singapore showed the same thing.
      • Dutch research shows that Road Pricing leads about 5% of people looking to move away from the priced areas and about 13% looking to change the place of work.
        • Don’t get me wrong, I think road pricing is great tool but I also think progressives have to come up with cogent argument to counter this rather than climate change = bad = must take action!
    • The Ottawa growth boundary debate is partially being driven by demand by newcomers to Canada to buy homes.
      • Many newcomers come from countries were owning a home (in the western sense) in a City was unimaginable, want to live the Canadian dream and they have been priced out of downtown housing by white people who live there already. So they are moving to the Suburbs.
      • In fact if you look at where affluent newcomers or second generation families are living in Windsor – it’s not in the core. Surprising enough, even first generation immigrants are also not concentrated in the core.
  • I have had the fortune of being a part of a few conversations with some progressive climate activists and organizers in the GTA. One of the things that they are struggling with is despite the intersectionality of climate with other factors (poverty, housing and homelessness; health care; childcare; etc.) the inability to move the needle on other factors means debates on climate and sprawl are dead on arrival in many cases.
    • Here is the kicker – sprawl is the means to escape some of those challenges where travel time is traded for financial savings. The time factor is non-existent in Windsor.
  • Let’s zoom in and talk about this locally
    • On November 9 there is a notice of motion in front of Windsor City Council being made by Mayor Dilkens that states:
  • Here is my bold prediction – some of the “progressive” councilors will support this motion. The final tally will likely be 10-1, maybe 9-2, but Council will support it and as a result provide a nod in support to the Sandwich South Development.
    • The Mayor would not put this forward without a win lined up, a 7-4 result is likely a worst possible outcome short of the motion getting pulled at the last minute. Based on past statements and votes, I can find 6 votes in favour easily.
    • Of course there will be delegation which will speak against this (and a few probably for) the outcome has largely been decided. You have to ask, what are those delegations going to accomplish – as the Mayor said, council is theater.
  • Even the drama around MP Kusmierczyk from last week, the announcement that arrived a day later of the largest ever investment in the Town of Tecumseh from my understanding is one that will spur sprawl. The idea is that the Town of Tecumseh after these improvements are completed will be better able to move water from South to North (pump into Lake St Clair) enabling additional development south of EC-Row on Manning Rd.
    • I have written several times on this blog on how Windsor advocates are silent when Lasalle or Lakeshore open massive new developments and the sprawling nature of our region: Here, Here, Here. True it might not be “their community”, but to not take a regional lens on development is amateur hour. 50%+ of people in LaSalle and Tecumseh work in Windsor.
  • Here is another unpleasant piece of the puzzle in Windsor; progressive advocates reside in a relatively secure bubble. They have met their needs and their families live in self-reinforcing social media environment that likely limits alternative points of view, particularly in a locally.
  • I have had the fortune to be a part of a large number of regular and ongoing community consultations. What many who live in low income or are newcomers want, is the opposite of what progressive advocates in our community say they should have.
    • They want a car so they don’t have to sit on a bus for 2 hours;
    • They want a house to call their own;
    • They want their kids to have separate bedrooms;
    • They want to be able to afford things for their kids and themselves;
  • Lets even look at the success story in our community. I would argue, the Downtown Farmers Market does not support food security in the City core. Simply put the price point is too high, really what the market is, is a tool of gentrification, it is a downtown amenity. The higher price point is justified as that is what it takes to support local business, but that is a luxury for many in our community.
    • Back in 2013, P2P, United Way and Market tried a voucher program to make food more affordable. From my understanding, for a wide range of reasons, it didn’t last more than a couple of seasons. I go to the market every week, and I am pretty plugged into the comings and goings of the Food Security system in Essex County. Opening more food banks has been the more widely accepted idea compared helping people be able to afford to shop at the farmers market.
  • This brings us to the impenitent progressive movement in our community. Many progressives in our community are trapped in a echo-chamber. What gets passed for a “research” fails to meet basis levels of rigor, meaning it can be dismissed out of hand or allows equally poor research to be peddled by other groups. The concept of political capital and picking their battles is something they seem to be unable to do, as every issue is a crisis. It has created an environment of absolutism that means they will never succeed in a broad political sense. The fundamental question has to be asked is what are they willing to trade to get progress.
    • Successful advocacy in Windsor has historically been driven by institutional actors I would argue grassroots advocacy, solely on its own, hasn’t move the needle in big ways at a municipal level. Many of the same feedback that I applied to the Diversity and Inclusion discussion a few weeks ago (here) should be applied to Progressive movement in our community.
    • If they want to stop sprawl, what does that mean. Put policies on the table that are accountable, actionable and move them.
    • I am happy to debate issue and have my mind changed so step up.
  • I feel like we have entered our new normal. Short of a local outbreak getting out of control, this is what the next two years will look like until widespread vaccine is available. A few dozen cases per week, a couple of workplaces flagged, an occasional school/classroom shutdown but nothing too wild and most importantly few deaths.
  • As for people who prefer to protest, where is enforcement?
  • Despite all of the discussion of vaccine development, there hasn’t been much talk of what it means when it comes out. Who gets the vaccine and in what order, where and how is it deployed, is usage manditory?
    • I hope that when a vaccine is available it is required like many vaccines are for students in school. No vaccine, no school.
    • A vaccine will likely be required for travel, just as you need typhoid vaccines before going to going to the tropics.
    • I am not even against employers requiring a vaccine as a condition of employment.
Izzy don’t care

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