A Few Thoughts on Week 41

A short (not really) and holiday post this week but expect A Few Thoughts on 2021 before New Years.

  • I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and lovely holidays – ideally isolated and distanced.
  • Mean, Median and Moose (MMM) released the 12 Datasets at Christmas. So if you need a break from the family (or isolation), here is your outlet!
  • An interesting piece on how car factories are become stranded assets for automakers and how car markers in Europe are attempting to adapt to the shift to electric. Probably stuff that needs to be considered in North America.
  • Then in San Francisco as a part of their 30 year planning road map, a discussion is occurring about mandatory “work from home” provisions in the future as a means to combat congestion and climate change. The goal would be to keep 60% of office workers working at home, raising the overall regional work from home proportion to 25%.
  • The Windsor Airport issue is an interesting one. It has been getting a lot of ink, political handwringing and claims of economic disaster if the potential tower closure moves forward. My MMM colleague John Haldeman had an interesting twitter thread on this issue bringing some new data to light. I pointed out a couple of years ago when the Liberal government killed Porter Airlines plans to expand Toronto Island Airport that this would potentially hurt Windsor, as additional connections out of Toronto Island would have forced fares down on similar flights out of Pearson and likely drove additional traffic to both hubs.
  • That being said, I have had a thought on a potential solution to the NAV Canada issue.
    • Nav Canada is a not-for-profit organization that is funded through the landing fees at airports. A plane lands at an airport with a control tower, a portion of the cost of that flight goes to Nav Canada to maintain the service. Decreased demand for air travel, has reduced the number of flights, which in turn hurt their bottom line. Nav Canada is seeking a bailout from the Feds, and to balance it’s books (something it might have to do legally) service cuts, due to the pandemic, may be required.
    • If we are assuming (and all local leaders are claiming) that air traffic will return to normal post COVID, what we need to do is bridge Nav Canada until the point in time where Windsor airport (and others) has regular flights that will cover (most/all) of the tower operation costs.
      • So if it is a not-for-profit why isn’t a donation on the table? If air traffic control is so important, couldn’t the City, County, Port of Windsor, WEEDC, YQG Airport, TWEPI, and corporate partners who utilize the airport come together and make a donation to continue a vital service? Even to say, we will cover you to X% of your local operating costs for this year so long as the tower remains open going forward. It seems to me to be a pretty good deal and stipulations on donations happen all of the time in the charitable sector, why not here?
    • Yes a federal taxpayer bailout is ideal, and local groups shouldn’t be held hostage for a vital service but if funding isn’t forthcoming, what is our plan B? If the service is so vital and is not just a partisan issue why not put money on the table to keep the tower operating?
    • What would it cost? A few hundred thousand dollars for a staff and overhead at the airport? Our community has proven time and time again that when push comes to shove it will support local services that are vital. We spent money on Christmas lights, advocacy campaigns and streetcars. So are we willing to find money to pay for this vital service or is it all bluster and politicking around the holidays.
  • You will note that for Christmas Eve and Day where there were no updates, I split the 2 day total that was reported on boxing day equally over those days. This does potentially skew the 7 day averages by having 2 days split evenly rather than actual values could hide what could have been been a very high day and very low count as an example. That potential skew will only matter until the end of next week.
  • Remember it takes about 2 weeks for “lockdown” measures to filter through to data so as of Monday the 28th we will have been in Grey for 2 weeks (started on the December 14) with the school closures beginning then as well. Watching the 7 day average over the next week will be important to see how the case trend shifts (hopefully down) as a result of that earlier lockdown. The impacts of Christmas likely won’t start showing up until the second week of January.
  • Windsor-Essex received it’s first 2000 doses of the vaccine. I would love to see a vaccine administration tracking this data. Those first doses equate to approximately 0.5% of the population receiving the vaccination so there is still a very long way to go.
    • Given that vaccines are being distributed by portion of population to provinces, then priority populations within it it will be a long time before our region gets fully inoculated. Windsor-Essex makes up 1.05% of Canada’s population, so if a million doses arrive by end of January, that is only 10,500 doses locally, and as each person needs two shots, only 5,250 people getting doses.
    • I am also curious if previously COVID positive individuals will also receive the vaccine or are we treating the resolved cases (5,184 at time of writing) as “vaccinated/immune”?
  • The last thing to consider is once you get your vaccine you will still have to take precautions as there is no data on whether vaccinated persons can still transmit COVID-19. In other words, if you think Summer 2021 is going to look like Summer 2019, I would pump the breaks on that expectation.
  • I hope everyone stays safe and gets outside!
Walk in the snow

3 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts on Week 41

  1. I did hear that if funding the tower locally is an option, it would be ideal to wait until after negotiations fail, then bring it up. Heard it from either Windsor Inside Pulse, or Rose City Politics.

  2. Pingback: A Few Thoughts on 2021 | gingerpolitics

  3. Pingback: A Few Thoughts on Week 46 | gingerpolitics

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