Thursday, May 31, 2012

South Pointe - Waverley West

Northern section of South Pointe. It is alongside Waverley.

Southern section of South Pointe. Waverley Street diverts West

South Pointe, the suburb south of Bridgwater Forest

South Pointe is a Ladco development alongside Waverley Street headed down to the Perimeter Highway. Most will know the lands as Waverley West.

In some respects the development is evolving like many suburbs do in the city. The area is flattened and then serviced lots are provided along a street system the developer outlines and houses are built. The total area to be built is 480 acres with 1500 single family homes. Only 25 acres is set aside for multi-family dwelling for 500 homes. Unlike Bridgwater, none of these homes has been built yet. One wonders if they wait long enough will South Pointe residents complain about later on.

Likewise, there is supposed to be a commercial element of 55 acres built servicing the area. None of that has been built but it appears it is concentrated along Waverley Street.

Included in the development is 30 acres of park space.

The unusual thing about South Pointe is the city planners are sending Waverley in a curve towards the Perimeter Highway. It did go straight down past the Perimeter to La Barriere Park at the turn off for Bison Drive prior to the development.

As anyone will tell you, it is now a speedway down Waverley to get to points of Fort Richmond, St. Norbert and La Salle. The road was once mostly gravel, oil and bitumen right through to the 1990s. It was never meant for the type of traffic it is getting now. It is hard to imagine it can support ever greater amounts of people. Most troubling is the lack of a proper overpass at Bison and Waverley. It is a bit of a blind spot where it turns.

South Pointe lacks a trail and sidewalk connection to other areas. With such a low density population, it hard to know what sort of public transit it will rate.

Some of the future problems of this neighbourhood are not the fault of the developers themselves. Winnipeg's planning department has not ensured that roads will be able to handle future volumes of traffic. Service roads around major shopping areas have not been built. Rapid transit remains a dream. Sidewalks and trails are not in place. High density hubs are lacking.

South Pointe in particular will bottleneck at Bison Drive.

The prospects for Bridgwater to the north are far better since they will have more access points to Kenaston and Waverley. Also, the neighbourhood is doing more to ensure that there will be fewer fights about multi-family dwellings since they are going at the same time everything else is going in. This will make public transit to the area far more reliable than a neighbourhood with only single family houses.

Some say all development in the area should be halted. As mentioned, this would probably push development to La Salle and Oak Bluff, beyond city control but still a factor on city roads and services.

No, what is needed is plan of action and the province, major developer of Waverley West should be on the hook for a major infrastructure change in the area. This means they should be contributing to an overpass, sidewalks and transit for the area.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Five Guys Burgers Come to Winnipeg Summer 2012

More than 18 months ago, the story was that Five Guys Burgers was coming to Winnipeg and a few locations were tossed around. Sometimes it takes a while for the actual plans to get under way as we have seen from the Ikea store.

Well, now we have two confirmed locations and they will be open this summer according to their website.

The locations are:

South Winnipeg at 2425 Pembina Highway
Crossroads Winnipeg at 1575 Regent Ave

It certainly will be a busy time in the next while with Woody's, Famous Dave's and now Five Guys Burgers all opening in short order.

No idea what the delay was in getting these first places open but they certainly will be welcome when they do come here.

Winnipeg Radio Ratings Spring 2012

CJOB Still Tops But Winnipeg Loves Sports

Back in January, I guessed there was going to be some movement when it came to radio ratings. The Spring BBM listings have indicated as much.

1. CJOB - 13.0 (16.6)
2. CBC Radio 1 - 9.2 (10.6)
3. Hot 103 - 9.1 (15.6)
4. Power 97 - 7.7 (7.2)
5. Citi - 7.2 (5.6)
6. Energy - 7.1
7. QX-104 - 6.8 (8.7)
8. Fab - 6.6 (6.7)
8. Clear - 6.6 (6.3)
10. Bob - 6.4 (5.2)
11. CBC Radio 2 - 3.1 (2.1)
12. TSN Radio 1290 - 2.7 (0.7)
13. Fresh - 1.5 (1.6)
14. Breeze - 1.0 (0.9)

CJOB and Hot 103 both took a major hit from their dominant position. And why not? Strip away some major sports fans and you see a drop of a couple of points right away for CJOB. As for Hot 103, they had a big target on their back with a massive lead in ratings.
The biggest winner by far is Energy who have gone from bottom dwellers to a shade under the top 5. It could be in the next six months that they finally grab top 5 and continue closing the gap with Hot 103.
TSN Radio 1290 has its sights clearly focused on CJOB's sports fans. There is no doubt that when Blue Bomber broadcasting rights come up again in six years that TSN will try to grab it. CJOB is probably counting their lucky stars that they sealed up that deal otherwise they might be looking at dropping out of first place in fall of 2012 for the first time.
My early complaints about lack of local content on TSN have been remedied by early morning and drive home local sports radio shows. On game day, it is all Winnipeg Jets all the time. CJOB has beefed up their hockey coverage and it has helped them from bleeding as many fan as they could have lost.
The Breeze is probably pouting a bit after bringing in Don Percy and not budging in the ratings. They still have their eye on Clear and now Breeze. Might have to wait another ratings period or two to see if there is any movement in the softer side of music.
Winnipeg loves its rock stations. Power 97 and Citi are right up there. Older pop stations like Fab, Clear and Bob are in the middle of the pack.
It has to be mentioned how resilient the two CBC radio stations are. It must be a shock to some that CBC Radio One is a respectable second and has been sitting in a top 5 position for some time. If only their TV stations had such similar strengths.
What can we expect in the fall of this year? Look for no major format changes but expect to see lots of promotion of morning shows and that means TV ads and contests. 
I think it behooves me to say radio station advertising is dreadful on TV. Stop going down to the States and having some content developer put your ad together from some generic plan. Please. And no more testimonials from actors talking about how they listen in the car, at work, etc. 
BOB FM. Your ads are not funny.
Do something different.
Case in point. Tourism ads. Some are quite good but try to find the difference between North Dakota and South Dakota ads. Don't get me wrong but similar vistas, music and western drawl don't look much different on TV. Then look at Minnesota's ad.

Now, that is good.
So listen up radio broadcaster: Here are some suggestions.
Lip dub can be fun. Radio broadcasters doing a broadcast from a desk at Portage and Main or something like that. Or an actual jingle like we saw with Minnesota. No more snippets of songs and and logo crapola.
Example of NBC's Today show having some fun.

Okay, have fun, play safe and come back and wow us in the fall.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Charleswood Shopping Centre Plaza 2

Charleswood Shopping Centre Plaza

Since the reconstruction of the Charleswood Shopping Centre Plaza a few years back, it has been more or less full leased aside from a few hard to rent spots. The closure of Blockbuster was quickly jumped on by Pet Valu who grabbed the spot and moved into the larger space. It is a huge improvement over their cramped space a close to middle of the mall.

Their old location continues to await a new tenant. There is a new restaurant going up where an old restaurant closed down. Quizno's shut several months ago, a likely victim of Tim Horton's being in the parking lot of the mall. The store under construction and slated to open soon is Subway. There is a Subway on Roblin Boulevard three blocks away. I supposed they think it far enough away to not hurt their business. Perhaps they're right. I often think you could put four Tim Horton's on a crossroad and none would go out of business. Likewise, there seems to be no fear of Tim Horton's so close by.

With the restaurant going in, the mall will be near filled again. It is a reminder that an upgrade in light of losing a major tenant in Zeller's years back was the right move. Now if only some owners on Roblin would examine their assets and see what upgrades would be attractive, they might see some change too. At least one owner was doing that exact thing.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Isaac's Live Lip-Dub Proposal

Biggest viral video this week

Winnipeg RCMP Forensic Lab To Close

RCMP Forensic Lab to Close on Academy Road

It can be barely seen from its location on Academy Road from the street level but the forensic lab for the RCMP has been tucked in River Heights since 1986. The parking lot there was recently upgraded for the 20 to 30 who work in the building.

The federal Conservative government led by Stephen Harper now sees fit to close the lab which has had a presence in Manitoba since 1970. It is the same lab that provincial Progressive Conservatives under Manitoba Provincial Attorney General Sterling R. Lyon requested the province get to handle its forensic needs.

The lab has survived budget cuts under Mulroney, Chretien and Martin but now under Harper with massive increases in crime legislation, the office gets the cut.

The Auditor General has indicated turn around time has been terrible at the labs but there has been a dramatic increase for their service at the same time.

The Harper government was toying with the idea of privatizing the labs. The plan now is to reduce the six offices to three. Ontario and Quebec have their own provincial labs yet the feds kept Ottawa's office along with Edmonton and Vancouver. The labs that will close are in Winnipeg, Halifax and Regina.

Some defence attorneys are already saying wait times are too long for lab reports. It is hard to see the proof that consolidating the labs and increasing the workload with more crime legislation is going to see an improvement in turn around time.

It is obvious that if evidence has to be flown or driven to Edmonton or Ottawa, it will cost more. The $3.5 million savings might be eaten up in rising logistics cost.

The Manitoba government and opposition have been notably silent so far on the loss of a the lab, high tech jobs and what it means to the province.

The three provinces affected by the closures are small and their pleas for consideration are likely to be ignored given that two of the provinces have NDP governments. The third, Saskatchewan, has a conservative government so it might be interesting to see if there is pushback there that gains traction.

In any event, it is difficult to see how Manitoba can avoid seeing the lab close with a majority Harper government in Ottawa.

My personal view is that the government needs to try to keep the lab. However, if they can't keep the lab a federal responsibility that the Manitoba government take it over themselves.

Yes, you heard that correctly. Given the extreme difficulties of the RCMP over the years. it is high time we considered our own provincial police force. I say grab the lab and do as much forensic work for the entire province here and offer services to private and police interests world-wide.

Sound far fetched? Well, as far fetched as a mint in Winnipeg making coinage for other countries?

Don't take the lab closure sitting down. Either fight it or grab it. However, don't hang the gone fishing sign up while federal services continue to get chopped and then shrug later on when you have an empty building, continued slow turn around on evidence and ultimately no answers on what to do.

It is time we had our own provincial police force and it will need a lab. The Academy Road lab is modern and ready to go. Let's start with that and then move to create a police service for Manitoba.

I have a suggestion: Call it the Northwest Mounted Police.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Where Do You Get Your News? Part 1

Where do you get your news?

It isn't an idle question. And it just doesn't refer to news, sports and weather. Nor does it mean just newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. For many people news is information. However, not all information is news.

The dictionary says that news is selected information based on current events. The earliest news was most likely disseminated orally by those who travelled between communities. Perhaps the first written news was actually government edicts from the Pharaohs in ancient Egyptian times around 2400 B.C. These communique were delivered via a courier system throughout the land.

By the time of the Romans, Julius Caesar, 44 BC to 100 BC, the Acta Diurna was the daily system or gazette for delivering news from the government.

Various nations around the world used the written gazettes to inform the public about what was happening. However, the first newspaper didn't appear till 1605 in Strasbourg. It was called Relation aller F├╝rnemmen und gedenckw├╝rdigen Historien.

The literal translation for this German language paper is:

Account of all distinguishable and commemorable news.

And so it has gone with news. It is the dissemination of information by governments, organizations and individuals.

The New York Times says it publishes "all the news that's fit to print." That is a lot. And if you work for FOX News, you find what the Times say laughable because they say that only they publish is "fair and balanced."

In Winnipeg, how does one receive news? I would hazard a guess that being the city we are, we look for news that is free first and foremost. That would be television. I always like to point out that TV is hardly free. It requires a device to receive it and to get the best quality signal, you generally have to pay a distributor like a cable company a significant chuck of change. But whatever, people often believe TV is free when for the buck, the newspaper delivers more for less.

So what do we have for news shows on Winnipeg TV? Well, for all intents, we have four news slots in a day. Morning, noon and evening and late night. Not all networks avail themselves of all those times though. City TV, for example, only has a morning program from 5:30 AM to 9 AM. It is cut from the same cloth as Good Morning America in that it is very light on news and is more about information and entertainment. The news segments are basic reports culled from news service or other reporting sources. However, for the longest time it was pretty much the only act going when it came to local morning TV? The Big Breakfast is less about standard news and more community activities.

In 2011, CTV decided that City TV had the mornings too much to themselves and started running CTV Morning Live from 6 AM to 9 AM. They brought in experienced new staff from their local evening news and used them to do more reports as well as follow City TV's format of light entertainment and community programming.

The last entrant in the breakfast programming crowd in 2012 is Global TV's Morning News. It runs 6 AM to 9 AM. It has some experienced news staff on air with one notable addition brought in. They have a traffic helicopter for their reports. This is as tactic used by U.S. local programming to some success.

CBC Morning News runs on the main channel from 6 AM to 7 AM. It is a national news program very light on local content.

Suffice to say that, CBC, CTV and Sun News all have national news programming on their all news channels all day long, Throw in CNN and several U.S. and international news networks. The main U.S. networks run both local and national news and entertainment programs all morning.

However, for our purposes, we will only talk about the local ones here.

For many years, it has only been the City TV offering local news and entertainment in the morning. It is now three stations who actively compete for content to fill three or more hours every day now that Global and CTV have joined the fray.

So what is news can be derived from watching these morning programs? The most likely thing is traffic and weather and maybe quick re-caps of news and sports. Nothing is in depth on such programming but it is enough quick info that maybe useful for someone's day to start. Often times, the morning local programming amounts to a community bulletin board.

If someone wants more depth that than early morning TV, is radio the answer?

Continued in part 2

Monday, May 21, 2012

Donna Summer - I Feel Love (Live)

Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, dies at 63

This song has been rising up the charts again all over the world since.

City Circus On Shaw

City Circus On Shaw

Marty Gold started a new series on Shaw TV's Channel 9 as of May 15 at 9:30 pm. It runs 13 episodes and will examine city and provincial issues. It repeats various times during the week so no danger of missing it in a week.

It is always hard to match the strength of a radio show with what you get on TV.

Charles Adler, Rush Limbaugh and Larry King were all accomplished radio hosts before jumping into TV. It is hard to match your radio format to your radio style. Limbaugh gave up in the 1990s and now his TV appearance consists of him being filmed while doing his radio show. Adler has done TV on and off as a commentator and now has a regular show on Sun News.

Larry King has been able to match a radio style with a TV style and for a long time was part of the national conversation with his CNN show.

Marty Gold's strengths in radio broadcasting are a possible strength in TV broadcasting. I am sure we will see some fits and starts as they find their pace and style. What we see now might not be quite what we have a few episodes down the road.

TV is a visual medium and Gold has promised City Hall and Legislature video. Punctuated with his observations, there might not be anything like it on TV in Winnipeg. Combine things with some interviews and some correspondents and the show might be must see TV.

For those not getting it on Shaw, I suspect it will be available in the days after on a website.

Here's to a new voice on TV on issues affecting us where we live. Hats off.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

One Man Commitee Lowers the Curtain

One Man Committee Announces He is Ending it All

Well, Walter Krawec wasn't that drmatic but he has said that he has decided to lower the curtain on a city blog that was thoughtful and always interesting to read.

I will miss his deep interest in the city around him and the enthusiasm he showed for the subject.

He is correct that there are a number of continuing bloggers and newer entrants every year. Still, it is hard to lose a distinctive voice.

I want more city writers not less as a rule.

My perfect world has writers covering every subject from neighbourhoods to civic-wide issues. I want to hear about that tiny little restaurant up in that neck of the wood. I want to know the history of that building. I want to listen to frustration with politicians, businessment or old man Hubert who has the one eyed dog named Max.

It is funny how fast a knowledge is lost if someone isn't recording it. Think of your own neighbourhood. Is there a school that was once there that is no longer? Sir John Franklin elementary school is now a dog park. I was wondering what year it was knocked down and can't remember. Aside from yearbook pictures, I am wondering if there are pictures of it being built, dedicated, used and then destroyed.

I need that history. I want it.

Dumb as it sounds, I sometimes mention changes in places we are all familiar with because I know I will have a time recalling them as the years pass. I have no shame mentioning Swiss Chalet being built in the city after 15 years absence. It is the single most sought out information on my blog. Ten years from now, I won't have a clue what the history of a particular area was without my notes. It is so easy to let a name slip away from use and fade altogether.

OMC helped reflect the time, the discussion and will add to the colour of the city of Winnipeg. I hope he continues to be part of the conversation in whatever capacity he can. Thanks for being you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Orbit for London, Grounded for Winnipeg?

The new Orbit Tower in London outside Olympic Stadium

In the days leading up to the next Olympics in London, the city has opened one of the most expensive, largest and tallest exhibits of public art in the world. It will overlook the games stadium and be available over to ticket holders attending the event. In case you haven't guessed it, you can climb it like you would the Eiffel Tower. To be sure, there has always been delight in seeing things from high.

Britain already scored big at the beginning of the millennium with the The Eye ferris wheel. It is the most visted attraction in the country now.

In all the debate about waterparks and stadium, one wonders if Winnipeg might be up for something like The Eye on Parcel 4 or a tower overlooking Investor's Group Field for women's soccer in 2015.

Manitoba and Winnipeg's 150th birthday is coming up: what will be the grand projects that will fire the public's imagination?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Everybody Needs Somebody To Love - The Blues Brothers

Booker T bass player Donald Dunn dies

Seen here smoking a pipe with the Blue Brothers band. His best friend Steve Cropper beside him in the video.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

FIFA Women's World Cup Comes to Winnipeg in 2015

In terms of sports, this ranks up there with one of the greatest moments in Winnipeg history. The announcement that 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup soccer will be played in the city. Now, don't get me wrong, the city has hosted some amazing national and international sports events but this is truly a global spectacle.

The last World Cup played in Germany in 2011 saw Japan win in a incredible shoot out. Monster crowds watched and monster TV ratings ensued throughout world-wide (although only the final games in the U.S. produced big numbers).

Canada, eliminated from the final rounds, still had many people riveted to CBC and Rogers coverage. It was compelling TV and the country embraced it despite having our national team out of it.

The Germans sold out all 32 games played in 8 venues. It should be interesting to note that Investor's Group Field would have been bigger than all but three of the stadiums that hosted the 2011 games.

A lot more excitement will be coming with the games as Canada prepares a team that has done no better than 4th place in the biggest soccer event in the world. After the winter Olympics in Vancouver, there is a realization that to place high requires a ramping up of all that is needed to perform well. The best results ever in those games didn't come overnight and one can expect as much for the cup.

Every teenage girl playing soccer in Canada will no doubt think about the coming games. Some will be good enough to make the team. Parents should be aware that elite athlete training will be kicking it up a notch from here on in.

For the fans, breadcrumbs of the emblem and mascot will be dangled before us. Announcements of TV coverage, game schedules and right at end, team rosters is going to build excitement.

Winnipeg will one of only six cities in Canada hosting the games. The others are Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and MonctonHalifax dropped out when cash strapped Nova Scotia and the federal government refused to put up any money for a new stadium. Shame. I think a new stadium would have equalled a CFL team in the newly muscular Halifax.

As for Toronto, they are cursing these last days about why Winnipeg gets the FIFA Word Cup and they get the 2015 Pan Am Games. How soon they forget. It wasn't too far back that the two time Olympics loser was wondering what event with some world class credentials they could land. Some wondered how Winnipeg was able to land the Pam Ams in 1967 and 1999 and thought: If they can do it, so can we.

Well, now some of the citizenry of Toronto are eyeing the soccer that will be drawing millions upon millions of viewers and wondering if they did't pick the wrong thing to stake their claim to. Can't be helped now.

Nothing Winnipeg has done in sport and sporting events to date comes close to tourist and TV bonanza that the Women' s World Cup will begin.

All it all happens sooner than we think. The private sector and three levels of government need to start getting this right and fast. The entire tourism ad campaign should focus on this when seen across Canada and internationally. Key will be to sell out all the games, then fill all the hotels, all the restaurants and then make sure we treat the media that visits the city for the event like we celebrate like this all the time.

I'm not quite sure the people of the city know just how big this will all be. Even though they are playing out of just one venue, this is the biggest sporting event Winnipeg has ever held.

It is going to be good.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bloomingdale's Coming to Winnipeg?

Bloomingdale's Coming to Winnipeg?

The Globe and Mail reported this week that luxury retailer Blomingdale's is in the final stage of talks with The Bay to come to Canada. There is no doubt that The Bay is trying to position itself well before other major retailers like Nordstrom's arrives.

There are three Bays in Winnipeg in Polo Park, St. Vital and downtown. It is the downtown stores that The Bay are trying to shore up first. To that end, it is Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver stores that get some form of Bay and Bloomingdale's combo.

After that, the concept is supposed to be rolled out across the country in boutique style. How much space this takes up in a store or how many stores is anyone's guess.

There is empty space in the downtown Bay so could we be looking at Bloomingdale's there?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Highways for Winnipeg?

The dog park where William R. Clement Parkway dead ends above. Highway through it and all the way through Charleswood?

 The William R. Clement Parkway and future path through Charleswood.

The new road plan snuck in at last council meeting. From Cherenkov's blog

For a city that can't seem to get enough money to fix the crumbling infrastructure that already exists, it is able to somehow designate $300 million for capital spending that was not forecast to begin for 20 years in some cases.

The city and the province often jump the gun and pick and choose targets to fund based on politics. It is hard for councillors to see the benefit of working on things not in their constituency. This isn't news here or anywhere else but it does create future dysfunction.

There is one small segment of a rapid transit system in place. It was built because the federal government said use or lose it. You would think that future dollops of cash would be incentive to continue but federal/provincial money totalling $126 million was basically ignored and that money was spent elsewhere or not at all.

The city cries and cries for more money and they do have a case in that they lead a hand to mouth existence at the doorstep to the province. The fear is that the money given for transit won't be enough to cover the costs of buillding it.

And what about all those urban MLAs who are like just so many potted plants? It is within their domain to do something for the city in terms of its structure, taxation, schools and education and infrastructure. The often remain silent on critical things within their ridings.

It must be fairly amusing to MLAs who completely outnumber city councillors that they can blame the city for failures and take no responsibility for what is going on, nevermind accountability for it.

The plan of highway construction listed in the map above is a provincial and city push.

Over $200 million has already been spent on a superhighway for the CentrePort project just off the Perimeter Highway. It would appear various levels of government are banking on this having a big pay-off in jobs and growth and want to connect various highways to the site.

Maybe this project is good, maybe a pipedream. One thing is clear though is that it continues to stretch things out even past city limits. And the province keeps feeding the beast by allowing for more sleeper communities just outside city limits as well.

I will focus on one small aspect of the highway extension: The William R. Clement Parkway built in 2002. Originally called the Charleswood Parkway, it was a solution to the problem of the Moray Street/Charleswood bridge built in 1995. The traffic coming off the bridge dead-ended at Charleswood Golf Course and people roared down Haney Street. 

The golf course had been bought by the city back in the 1960s specifically for a highway. Now, I am not sure which part of the city designated the land as future bridge and future highway. Back then, it was St. James, RM of Charleswood and Metro Winnipeg. I suppose it doesn't matter. Suffice to say though that many people in the west of the city wondered when the promise of the bridge would be fulfilled when they had only two choices for crossing to the south: the St. James Bridge and Perimeter Highway.

As beloved as the golf course was, it was always part of long term planning that it was to be used for other purposes. Still, there was resistance and people unaware that this was on the books. Some thought they could stop the bridge and road to preserve Charleswood. Any why not? River Heights successfully successfully fought off long term plans for a bridge at Waverley Street and more traffic down to Fort Garry. Ever wonder why Waverley Street is wider than all the other streets in River Heights? It is because it was part of a planned bridge and road expansion.

The plan was never going to succeed with a mayor living on the street in the 1980s, To ensure that the bridge never happened, the land on Wellington Crescent was sold and a future city councillor's built his house there.

Charleswood had more supporters for a bridge and road than it had in opposition and so by 2002, the William R. Clement Parkway was built over the Charleswood Golf Course. It now dead ends at Grant Avenue. The next obstacle for further highway development is a much beloved dog park. That, and a strip of forest land behind Haney Street and a few other streets of Charleswood is all that stand to Wilkes Avenue and beyond.

The estimate for this and other projects are $300 million. Where is the money coming from in anyone's guess. Infrastructure like the St. James Bridge will fall into the water if they don't set a deadline for the work soon. And Kenaston is a disaster. Not to mention street after street in the city.

The city charged ahead with so many projects in the 1970s and 1980s that they ended up borrowing and paying high interest. The drastic cutbacks of the 1990s and recession created a much more reticent council on borrowing and spending. That might be changing with this new push for highway spending.

The problem the city has now is that there is so much infrastructure to maintain out there and still demand to build more. And the reluctance to build more public transit hurts efforts to build density along those routes and alternates for commuters.

The leadership for solving this insurmountable bill for infrasture is nowhere to be seen. What is worse is that the province is as keen on developing new highways and suburbs as the city is.

Trouble is looming ahead.