Cornwall Ontario – As promised it’s time for my Naughty & Nice list for Cornwall and the area for 2013!
We’re going to start out with the nice list. These folks get oranges, chocolate, and candy in their stockings this year!
No lumps or coal or cat poo!
The hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers at different organizations across the area. People really give in this community. While some groups sadly take advantage of the generosity of those volunteers, the act of giving should never be taken for granted by anyone. Cornwall and the area truly give as seen as recently as the Dean Laponsee fundraiser!
Reg Coffey of Coffey’s Coffee. I’m a bit biased as Reg is the only other shareholder of this newspaper, but he’s also a friend and has endured nearly five years and five percent of the abuse our humble little newspaper has endured including the boycott and beating by Mayor Kilger and his cronies. Many another soul would have walked, but Reg has not only stood strong; but stayed at the wheel helping as much as he can, as has his good wife Kathy! Reg also has been a key to the success of the Long Sault Farmer’s Market and is a director of the South Stormont Chamber of Commerce which has started an incredible membership drive!
Rob & Ana of Riley’s Bakery! (even if Ana facebook likes that other non newspaper and doesn’t have CFN liked ) Riley’s is home for most of Cornwall. Mention Cornwall to those who have moved away and one of the first things they mention is coming home to have a Riley’s sandwich. As a matter of fact I’m munching on one of their Rum balls as I write this piece! What’s really special about Riley’s is that their door truly is open to all and you never know who you’re chatting with in line. It’s one of the most interesting spots in our city around lunch time with all the good goss dished!
Jeff Brunet of Alkaline Entertainment & Nancy & Larry Sylvain who are trying to do the near impossible and save the Port Theatre. After years of decline the roof isn’t leaking anymore. The place smells way better; has heat, and more importantly action. 2013 saw the first full house at The Port in decades! Live Music may just be the saviour of the 70 year old theatre; especially until they can raise the needed monies to go digital. Now if the city works with them with the project they’re working on now they just might be able to do it… It’s utter insanity to give Aultsville Theatre nearly $100K per year and nothing to the Port which is probably the best venue in Cornwall and the best value. Good work guys and keep up the work! And yes, they still have the best popcorn in Cornwall!
Public Works in Cornwall, and most of our City staff who endure a lot of abuse at times for the wrongs of elected officials and senior management. In particular Deputy Clerk Manon Poirier who is one of the most consummate professionals at City Hall in spite of how she was treated by Mayor Kilger & Council.
South Stormont Council and Management who stayed on the high road and didn’t get into a slagging match when their Deputy Mayor (see naughty list) lashed out like a school girl who didn’t get her way. The group have led to strong growth in their community while keeping taxes as low as possible; a rarity nowadays in Ontario!
New small businesses like Tampico’s Mexican restaurant & King Street Percussion. Funny Man Mark Vincent fits in here too as he tries to bring in some mirthful culture and build up a comedy scene here in our fair city! In spite of some of the difficulties from City Hall new businesses keep opening here in Cornwall. While some make fusses about places like Smart Centres (Wal-Mart) coming to our fair city (with $3.5M in corporate welfare) it’s small business that’s the life and blood of any strong community. Cornwall has seen several small businesses open this year and hopefully some will survive!
Dan Allaire – the talented long time radio vet tries to rise above the clique drama and mooch space on CFN for some of his causes and clients. While he won’t reciprocate I have a hunch he would if he was allowed.
The Cornwall Police Department – While not perfect kudos to our force for at least trying; and sometimes even making it easier for me to do my job for our community. This scribbler prefers working with them to the OPP at this point and while there’s a metric ton of room for improvement the boys and girls in blue in Cornwall deserve Kudo’s for communication including our Chief of Police, Dan Parkinson.
My very special main graphic artist who has to stay in secret for fear of losing their day gig and clients.
My core group of people here in Cornwall who sadly I can’t name again for fear of retaliation to their jobs or situations; but without whose amazing friendship and utter support CFN and myself would have been run out of our fair city years ago. Thank you my friends. You rock!
Jim Moak – Not just another pretty Newington face Mr. Moak is now 4-0 in cases I’ve had to fight in court (with two big ones pending). Cornwall’s preeminent Para-legal is also someone I consider a friend and mentor, whose kind and sagely advice has kept me out of trouble at times. He’s also introduced me to the joys of breakfast at Spinners!
Mary Anne Pankhurst who is the curator of our new The Art of Everything Program which is trying to lift the Artistic bar of the Cornwall area in spite of some area artists and our ridiculous art gallery.
Mike from Autotec (off of Vincent Massey) who not only keeps my winter beater running, but has sold me an amazing car or two. I have never seen a mechanic diagnose a mechanical issue like Mike. He truly is a maestro when it comes to cars. Thank you my friend! The only down side is that he’s introduced me to some amazing imported cars which can be addictive. It was really odd the other day seeing the very rare Lexus he sold me in his book of 501 Cars You Must Drive!
Mike from Snogo.ca – Yes, Snogo are clients, but Mike has gone above and beyond with his service so far this year. It’s amazing watching all that piled up ice from the plows so effortlessly disappear!
All of our amazing sponsors on CFN. They deserve an award not only for making the decision to advertise with the largest and most read newspaper in the Cornwall area, but to also endure the occasional slings and arrows that the bad guys use to intimidate some of our past and former sponsors.
Marcel Bourgon from the Groomery. Marcel in between playful insults has been inspirational at times. Cornwall’s finest Dog Groomer also is never short to share his opinion and advice when I bring Fitzy in for one of his visits.
Former Deputy Fire Chief Rob Hickley who challenged the Mayor with Conflict of Interest charges over the hiring of the Mayor’s son to the fire department. Mr. Hickley has been said by some to have “settled” with the city by taking an early retirement but the city not asking for legal costs in the proceedings after the judge ruled against Mr. Hickley’s legal costs being covered by the city.
The Waterfront Boys: The Bills & Gerry have been committed and dedicated to saving our Waterfront in Cornwall. They have been amazing to work with and hopefully together with the rest of the community we can get these darned Chemical tanks out!
Former Councilor Leslie O’Shaugnessy for simply telling at least some of the truth and outing Mayor Kilger for not telling the truth to himself and council.
Marc Mainville – Another example of how great people are in the trades here in Cornwall. Marc works for Shaw Direct and not only installed my dish, but has been amazing fixing it after a storm. Kudos to Marc & Shaw!
Milena Cardinal and the Cardinal Law team! Milena should be on a billboard showing how people can be attracted to our community and come to contribute and build their lives and businesses. Not only has Ms Cardinal created one of the hottest boutique law firms in Cornwall specializing in Real Estate and Criminal law, but she’s moved her family into our area including her brother Theirry who is now working alongside of her providing accounting and estate services.
Mark A MacDonald and the Air Force Wing for allowing us to hold our first Town Hall meeting there this year which was an amazing success in spite of a low crowd turnout. We had one of Canada’s most famous comics, Mike MacDonald talk about life after his Liver Transplant although he ended up providing some very funny comic material!
Dr. Lorne Scharf, Chief of Staff at CCH. Dr. Scharf, who I’ve interviewed a few times is one of the bright lights for me personally at CCH. It’s amazing that he’s even at our hospital considering his credentials and the manner in which our Hospital Board has conducted itself towards CFN which it boycotts. (see naughty list as well)
I’m sure there are some I’ve missed. Some I’ve had to leave out for fear of retaliation sadly; some threatened me with violence if I named them
And now the Naughty List
It’s odd how some people can be on both, but I am only putting them on one or the other.
Guy Lauzon for being one of the most unproductive and unprofessional politicians I’ve ever encountered. Leaving out “old history” our MP has shirked his responsibilities refusing to allow CFN access to Federal service via his office as well as to answer any question from even our interns! He has actually told a loyal Conservative that worked with us that he would not grant them an interview as long as they worked for CFN.
His answer and handling of the Chemical tanks on the waterfront shows how urgent Conservative MP Michael Chong’s Reform Act is needed. Never have I seen an elected official clearly show a loyalty to his party leader and party over the voters that put him in place.
I don’t know simply doesn’t cut it as an answer when it comes to something as large as the sabotage of the waterfront future of the largest city in someone’s riding. His failure to gain results after his voters clearly shared with him that they don’t want the tanks clearly show his inability to get the job done. Even local Conservatives have shared that they are glad that he’s retiring after this term.
David Murphy, our rookie Councilor at City Hall is on the list for simply not having a voice of his own. His zest for higher office is clear and present, but purely at the behest of others. Essentially a very scary mouthpiece with a few skeletons hiding in his closet.
Elaine MacDonald – Ms MacDonald gets the biggest lump of cat poo that can be found. The biggest hypocrite in politics in the area. It’s surprising that her own party, the NDP haven’t dumped the former teacher yet. Her strategy is to infiltrate organizations dependent on City Hall dollars like the Agape Centre and Art Gallery where she then installs her party faithful or flunkie wannabees like Alyssa Blais. Spiteful, petty, willingly ignorant; these are her best qualities with things going downhill from there. Still hoping to keep elected into political office.
Alyssa Blais; has had a website for her upcoming run for office for ages now. Another David Murphy type (it’s amazing how many monkeys this city turns out for politics). The former Business Non Development office leader who actually had to give EC DEV Bob Peter’s wife Tracy a job was promoted to running the Agape Centre, an area food bank. Her leadership has led to nepotism and cronyism as well as law suits from disgruntled former employees. After paying for a weekend seminar for staff with Jim & Better Healey put Mr. Healey in place as the chair of her board of directors. Cut the Snow suit fund while spending more on staff which allegedly includes a Trillium grant going to her hubby and his buddy. Wherever Elaine MacDonald is politically Ms Blais and hubby are in attendance. How could anyone whose entire livelihood is dependent on hog troughs lead or participate in a city council?
Under Alyssa’s management Agape has frustrated so many that there is now a meeting being held after the holidays to create a new food bank that actually will focus on feeding those that need it as opposed to running a junk shop that competes with the city’s struggling junk shops.
Jason Setnyk; another Elaine MacDonald disciple accept for a brief period where he jumped ship and joined myself while I was the Federal Green Party. Mr. Setnyk’s goal is to be elected to anything. Apparently bullied while in school he was said to become a school teacher to gain control over kids, but his complaint of Ms MacDonald not helping him get a gig with our school board ( he teaches at the Hockey School for far less wages) and Ms MacDonald not endorsing him to run either Federally or Provincially. While I was away from one of our Green meetings Mr. Setnyk tried to commandeer the meeting and focus on his own run provincially. Upon learning about this I put a motion on the floor at the next meeting that our group would focus just on the Federal list for the next 9 months which would take us 1 month past the next Provincial elections which led to Mr. Setnyk’s snively return to the Orange. Mr. Setnyk gives Ms MacDonald a run when it comes to pettiness.
Mayor Bob Kilger; the last politician on this list. Our Wacky mayor kicked off February by having moi removed from Council because he didn’t like my t shirt. Not happy simply phoning the police he hit the actual panic button which saw seven officers enter council in 46 seconds putting myself and members of the public in danger.
He also led the gang bang private session of council against Councilor Rivette which he and the city were sanctioned for by Stephen Fournier. With holding mail from council; lying to council, in particular simply by with holding facts like the Chemical tanks on the waterfront; suggesting that the city having a link on their facebook page to our 100 Letter campaign about how great Cornwall is was somehow a security threat and of course allegations that one of our clients was told that if they didn’t drop their ad with CFN that they would not get their patio permit are just some of his highlights for 2013!
Mayor Kilger still has not publicly condemned the Chemical tanks on the waterfront. He has allegedly spend over $3M in city monies covering up his “Good Friend” disgraced former CAO Paul Fitzpatrick’s(Who he through under the bus in the Hickley case) affair with another city manager while destroying the careers of as many as five long serving city workers.
Mayor Kilger also said he knew nothing about the Chemical tanks when the story broke in December even though he discussed them at a Nov 21 meeting of the Waterfront Committee and the city has been confirmed to know about the tanks as far back as February 2013 and June 2013.
And finally for spending more time outside of Cornwall than inside. And I won’t go into the rumblings about the secret family hush hush stuff with he and Courtney May and their alleged love child.
Councilor Denis Thibault should and was going to be on this list, but we were so entertained about his antics at the Waterfront rally where he crossed a street to enter a conversation I was having with Bill Parisien and Thom Racine just so he can be on camera without breaking his “no talk to Jamie” rule.
Cornwall Waterfront Committee – Yup, the whole group gets on the list from their crabby chair Lee Cassidy to mopes like Keitha Fisher who are simply their to vote as told. There are at least four members tied to being property developers on this committee. Can you imagine which direction this group would want anything to move towards? I mean any group with Roy Perkins being a player in is scary enough. To talk to Roy is to get a feel for what’s really wrong with Cornwall and holding it back compared to Brockville and Kingston. I mean we’re talking about a man who led a foundation that’s response to getting free beer for 450 people was to ban the person that made the connection.
Cornwall Ontario Council as a whole: This year saw the closing of our train terminal having live staff present. It saw the city give up taking over the Tourism building which would make an awesome Inter City Bus Depot. Instead it will be left for Smart Centre to buy. The city gave Smart Centre $3.5M in corporate welfare. They even justified it in that they would get more taxation from the land which is utter pooh pooh in that much of the land will be used for parking. While yes, it will generate more taxes than if it sat empty the prime piece of land if used for multi purpose development would generate far more dollars. Council this year seemed far more intent on killing animals that moving our city forward. Councilor Samson wanted to gas pigeons and council still has a hate on for Geese!
Alison Hudson, Tony Lackroix, Kevin Lajoie, John Earle, Graham Greer, to varying degrees the “Brown Nose” group have succeeded. Some like Lajoie have a plum city job for the moment; others like Ms Hudson desperately crave one. All are Stepford Children that in most societies would be caste to where people that overbearingly suck and blow end up. In Cornwall….well you’d be surprised where some of these Jr. Monkey’s end up.
Rick Shaver, his pet Monkey Todd, and Claude McIntosh: After Claude pulled a porky one too many times and ended up getting the poor Standard Freeholder sued, again, (his last column for the Freeholder was when he printed that I had said that Councilor Thibault was fired from the EOTB when I in fact had not) and Claude never wrote another word for them.
He’s on a tighter chain at the Trans Continental owned Seaway News. Trans Con is a smart company. Prior to the mono browed Mr. Lihou being hired as Editor Mr. Shaver had taken moi out for lunch asking if I’d sell CFN to TC and be their editor. I’m not sure if Mr. Shaver ever truthfully relayed what was said at this lunch to his employers (Mr. Shaver sold his shares to the company and even lost his title as publisher) but it’s always nice to feel loved and one day I’m sure there will be an offer I say yes to; especially if it’s from a higher up from a company like TC.
Rick this year, after a few pops at the Lift Off VIP tent was railing against the “deadbeats” that sit outside of Lift Off ”mooching”. So much for community cheer and support. Mr. Lihou himself was caught not once, but twice regurgitating poop citing the US customs folks as being the cause for the Lift Off Balloons moving to Avonmore. A few phone calls and emails like I did would have turned up the truth; but Mr. Lihou is far too busy criticizing my “professionalism” to worry about his own journalistic integrity I guess (including his f bombing performance prior council last February) ?
Mr. Shaver and his monkey are at least working hard to compete with CFN. I guess his thinking was that it was easier to beat us than buy us. He should read up on the Ebay Paypal thing to see how that usually works out
City Managers Norm Levac, Maureen Adams, and clerk Helen Finn. People are still wondering which reaches of Quebec Liberal land Mayor Kilger found Ms Finn. Many are also wondering what the heck language she’s speaking when she reads aloud during council meetings. Ms Finn makes many yearn for the days of the stylish and charming (yet integrity challenged) Denise Labelle Gelinas. While many including myself had hopes for “Norm” he quickly showed that he had sold out and allowed the Kilger crew to use up the integrity and good will he’d built up over the years. Many will be surprised to see Ms Adams name on this list. Frankly I was very saddened when she refused to answer some basic questions on the City’s ad budget that we will be filing FOI’s over after the holidays.
What these three seem to forget is that unlike their elected council friends they earn Sunshine list dollars to provide service to the Corporation of the City of Cornwall of which we residents are the de facto owners. And polite requests for simple information should be promptly and professionally answered; especially to the media who are supposed to hold all accountable for the public. But then I never took any journalism classes at St. Lawrence College, so what do I know?
St. Lawrence College: Sad. So much potential; but for the school to play City Hall politics is frankly embarrassing. Don Fairweather should know better. And frankly the school should know better.
The Benson University Group: Imagine a list of some of the wealthiest people in Cornwall coming to City Hall asking for $60K to fund a feasibility study for a University in Cornwall? Imagine some of them being on a group asking City Hall to cut taxes at the same time? Insanity! Imagine a mayor and Councilor not recusing themselves from the council meeting asking for the money and even voting on the issue while being members of the team? That’s Cornwall. And get this; months later no report has been provided! The city even tried to say that they’d take dollars from the EC DV pocket as though all City Department pockets didn’t come from our own at the end of the day! Two lumps of coal for each of the 30 committee members who among them clearly could afford the $60K ($2K each) .
Mike Bedard: Mike has gone from promising future leader and business owner to hiding in the shadows from creditors and having no political future. It’s sad to see someone plunge so quickly.
South Stormont Deputy Mayor Tammy Hart: The fiery Deputy Mayor has never seen a hissy fit she isn’t willing to throw. She frustrated her team at South Stormont to the point where they called in Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze. Her response to being guilty as charged was to go on a media rampage. While South Stormont has stayed on the high road some feel that they can’t trust the Deputy Mayor any longer. After she threw the costs of Mr. Swayze into the air she became eerily silent when it was suggested that because his verdict indicted her that she pay for his fees.
CCVS Principle Patricia Brown & UCDSB David K Brown. After not removing Swastikas from school washrooms after repeated requests from a Holocaust victim family member we wrote a story about the incident which resulted in Mr. Brown threatening me and questioning my integrity and “agenda”. The school’s response was to call in a speaker to talk to the class instead of simply calling Principle Brown onto the carpet for her clear lack of good judgment. Something that suggests what other issues could her judgement be impacting?
Chris Munro of Life’s Little Pleasures: Ms Munro runs a lovely little shop on Pitt Street in Cornwall Ontario. She also moves and shakes to try and rah rah the clique at City Hall. The thing is that you really can’t selectively do that without looking like a total cliquester sell out. If you want to promote downtown Cornwall, and lord knows it needs it, you need to embrace one and all; not just your friends. Again, one of reasons our economy is one quarter the size of nearby Brockville’s when we have double the population.
Bob Peters & Mark Boileau, Economic Development: Rumor is that Mr. Peters is about to get thrown under the bus over the Chemical tank issue as Transport Canada has clearly stated that the City of Cornwall was contacted in February 2013 with details by June. The City has stated that communication came through Economic Development. What we will be attempting to confirm beyond doubt this year is who spoke to whom and why Council was not officially notified. If it’s the Bob, Norm, and Bob game with Denis & Glen advising then Council and the Public need to take action.
If Chuck Charlebois and the residents of Cornwall would have known in June 2013 does anyone think construction would have started in December? Methinks not!
Lezlie Strasser & the Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce Board. Never has a group had so much and done so little. Going hat in hand begging the city to cut the already low rates of the Civic Complex so they can badly run another trade show was utterly embarrassing. Instead of raising revenue they asked tax payers to subsidize their event. Some people just don’t get it. And when they jumped on board to fight the Chemical tanks they did not send the largest newspaper in the city a press release. Pettiness over Principles. Again this is not how to run an organization Lezlie.
And finally for now Corey Roach and the moderators of the Unofficial Cornwall Ontario Facebook page which was created chiefly after the City’s page played monkey games with CFN and others. The spirit in which it was founded has sadly eroded to the point where Mr. Roaches’s bizarre behavior has essentially seen it mimic the city. Moderators Rebecca Sorrell, Clifford Stork, Stan Stork, & Ian Wilson, many of whom should know better have gone along with the decision of Mr. Roach which is again another albeit minor, dark stain of why Cornwall is Cornwall. Sometimes in life we simply have to get that Free Speech is not only allowed for people we agree with and that if we impeach our integrity we have none. That group also has forgotten how and who helped build it.
Of course this is Christmas
It’s a time for cherishing those we love and sometimes forgiving those that may deserve our forgiveness. It’s about looking forward while learning from the past. The glass is always half full and not half empty.
I’m sure there are many names on either list that should be there. Feel free to post your own choices and why below.
But mostly thanks to all for an interesting and occasionally Merry 2013! May you, your families and loved ones be safe and sounds; healthy, joyous and smiling this Christmas season.
Or as they say occasionally on Montreal Road Ho Ho Ho!