Bob Peters Spends $5,000 to Spin Cornwall Ontario Success. Why? by Jamie Gilcig

Bob Peters Spends $5,000 to Spin Cornwall Ontario Success.  Why? by Jamie Gilcig
Bob “Vienna Sausage” Peters

CFN –  It’s interesting how spin plays.  Sometimes spin is truth and sometimes spin is total fabrication.   That’s why spin can be an effective tool or someone’s downfall and should always be used, if necessary, in measured doses.

A review of local news websites show that only two allow anonymous posts: the Standard-Freeholderand the Cornwall Free News. Both sites have some moderation of comments, but a review of activity over the past several months have led staff to concur with the generalized assessment of the practice by the American Journalism Review: “Comment sections are often packed with profanity, and vicious personal attacks.”

That is the handy work of Bob Peters who as you can see appears to be trying to develop our local economy by attacking one of the  rare success stories in the city whose taxpayers pay for his salary.

If you were one of the many thousands that read the Cornwall Free News in October giving us our second highest page view count of over 1.3 million then you most certainly know that we are not filled with profanity nor vicious personal attacks.

That was taking spin to new levels of bizarre as this was an  except from a city report tabled and accepted in City Council that led to fist shaking from such uber brains as Elaine MacDonald and Syd Gardiner whose rants about sluts is still talked about.

This excerpt was also picked up by the CBC regionally and used to slur an independent local business.

Are we looking for sympathy?  No.  We requested to speak to council but were refused three times now.   The CFIB wrote two letters to Mayor Kilger likewise requesting that we correct this utter falsehood and again were rebuffed both times.

The city to date has spent more money on legal fees having us monitored by their high priced Ottawa firm than they actually paid to CFN to help promote them prior to the 2012 boycott by the city and its leaning on its network of cronies that owe their positions on boards and area agencies to the Kilger regime.

As a matter of fact we confirmed that for the first six months of 2012 CFN sent the Choose Cornwall website more traffic from old archived banners than the media that Mr. Peters was giving tax dollars too.   Is that crazy?

Some background:  Mr. Peters worked under the $1.4 Million dollar CAO Paul Fitzpatrick in the 90’s.  Mr. Fitzpatrick was in charge of Economic Development, a position currently being filled by Mark Boileau who we like to call “The Silent Man”.

Apparently around 1997 Mr. Peters ended his employment with the city under a cloud of stink related to a trip he took to Europe.  One that resulted in not only documents going poof, but an entire file disappearing!   It’s been alleged that Mr. Peters abused his P or credit card.

Cornwall Ontario is an amazing place.  It has a lot going for it.   It could have a lot more going for it if people like Mr. Peters and those that he’s aligned with were held accountable for their actions and choices.

His office has become a defacto propaganda office more than of economic development.   As a matter of fact the new distribution centres will barely cover the job losses from call centre closings.     And both of those areas, while good to have in a community, are not the type of jobs that lead to strong growth.  People on minimum wage or above don’t have the disposable wealth to spend that helps grow local businesses.

Cheap land; cheap power, amazing location; you’d think business would be flocking to Cornwall?   What is keeping that from happening?

Could it be a closed shop mentality?  Could it be permit offices that harass new business owners like two that were held up from opening for nearly 18 months?

The remnants of Old Boy cliques and the days of Ed Lumley still echo and linger like scenes from the The Shining.   The descendants and sycophants still walk the halls of power attacking new comers or those that might make them look bad.

We have a Chamber of Commerce, led by Seaway News former owner Rick Shaver, that instead of realizing the plight of small business in Cornwall who are struggling mightily right now are busy having breakfast parties and losing board members who don’t want to be there for when they have to sell their building after decades of relying on income from their license bureau profits which have dried up.

The problem with corruption and cronyism as we are seeing in Montreal and Quebec is that it lowers the bar.  Instead of rewarding hard work and excellence position after position is filled with friends, family, and cronies who owe their jobs not so much to their accomplishments, but to their masters.   And in Cornwall if you blink the wrong way you’re out creating an environment of fear.

That could be why CFN has the highest viewership, but lowest ad sales in Cornwall as many simply have been bullied into leaving us or work with us.

And that brings us back to spin.

Mr. Peters issued a press release:

Cornwall Featured in Ontario Construction Report

Development activity in Cornwall is profiled in a 16-page feature in the November issue of the Ontario Construction Report and Ottawa Construction News.  

“There is a lot of interest in Cornwall and the amount of construction activity in the City over the past few years,” said Bob Peters, Senior Development Officer.  “The Ontario Construction Report is read by many of the province’s developers, architects and engineers and this report may generate interest that leads to future investment in the City.”

Construction activity continues at a record pace in Cornwall, highlighted by major projects such as the recent completion of a 1.3 million sq.ft. distribution centre for Target, the $79 million construction of a new bridge across the St. Lawrence River and a $55 million expansion of the Cornwall Wastewater Treatment Plant. Residential development activity is also strong, with new condos breaking ground at the Historic Cotton Mills and the recent opening of the 95-unit Riverdale Terrace retirement residence.

One of the key articles in the November feature focuses on recent work at the NAV CENTRE, which included renovations to the interior of the large conference centre, a new fitness centre, spa and restaurant.

“We’re pleased that the editors have highlighted the good work that has been performed here at the NAV CENTRE, much of it by local contractors such as Bourgon Construction, Perras Distefano Construction and Genivar,” said Kim Coe-Turner, General Manager of NAV CENTRE. “The investment in this property will help us attract new business and clients.”

The 16-page feature comes only a few weeks since the $120 million redevelopment of the Cornwall Community Hospital was featured in a 4-page article in the September edition of the Ontario Construction Report. 

“We think our readers will find the stories compelling,” said Tim Lawlor, Coordinating Publisher – Ontario Construction Report. “Construction activity is just as high in Cornwall as it was when we covered the City in a two-part report in early 2011, which is unusual compared to the average Ontario city.”

The Ontario Construction Report is published monthly by the Construction News Group. The newspaper serves the Ontario construction market and is distributed to thousands of businesses, including contractors, architects, building owners, government officials and developers throughout the Province. The online edition of the report is read by almost 75,000 people.

Copies of the November edition of the Ontario Construction Report are available at Cornwall Economic Development, Suite 104, 100 Water Street East (Civic Complex). The report can also be viewed online at

The only thing is after an initial CFN investigation it turns out that Mr. Peters not only spent $5,000 of tax payer dollars supporting this article, but also contributed content via press releases and photos created by himself and Kevin Lajoie; the city information officer.

Now there’s nothing wrong with placing content and creating stories, but if you read the press release above it certainly doesn’t sound like something connected to payment of any sort?

Sometimes these kinds of stories are called advertorials even.

From Mr. Peters in response to our questions:

Bob who wrote the story? 

There are several stories over the 16 pages. Much of the content specifically relating to Cornwall was pulled from City or local-company media releases, and therefore a good portion was originally written by City staff. Some content was pulled from interviews. I would imagine some was also pulled from the web. I cannot speak to the source of the NAV CENTRE or SDG stories. I am aware that OCR had a staff writer assigned to the project, as well as a publisher and an editor.

What were the total financial contribution by your office and the city for this edition of the magazine. 

As I mentioned in my previous email, our advertising costs were approximately $5000.

Cornwall has a lot to be proud of.   Does it really have to pay to get noticed in this manner?   Does Mr. Peters and his cohorts need to practice deception on the public?  If Ontario Construction report wanted to run a 16 page spread on the successes of Cornwall why did the city have to cough up $5K?   And while nothing wrong with that why issue a release like the one above?

Oddly enough within hours of our emails to Mr. Peters a story appeared on this exact subject in the Standard Free Holder LINK

If you read the story you’ll see that essentially the press release above has been rehashed element by element.  Furthering the deception?  It seems like Mr. Peters has an odd grasp on the difference between spin and the truth and that odd grasp is being sanctioned by the Kilger regime at a cost to taxpayers?

Again, let’s praise and be praised for what we’re worthy of.   We should never have to spend tax payer dollars in this manner and it leads to the question of how much exactly is Mr. Peters and his troops spending on this sort of messaging and why deceive the public in any manner?  How many more hack journalists will he be hiring to fabricate an illusion of what spin he wishes for his version of Cornwall Ontario?

There are a ton of positives that we should be advertising and promoting.   No development charges , cheap industrial land, cheap hydro, talented people many of whom are bilingual, great location and environment and proximity to major centres and traffic arteries.  Tons of success stories locally too; from this very newspaper becoming number one in its market as an independent in less than three years to that of countless other endeavors and achievements by my fellow Cornwallites.   Cornwall rocks and has a very very bright future especially once we as a community decide how we wish our amazing  waterfront  to develop.

Why is Mr. Boileau & Peters failing to land the big fish?   What are the hurdles that are preventing growth in industries that will create higher paying long term jobs for Cornwall and the area?   Maybe it’s time to rejig the team and get some new blood in there?   Maybe it’s time to clean house like Montreal and Laval will be doing?

But then there’s history…. a dark history with murky clouds that go back before 1997….

Is this just another thread in a ball of yarn that the Ontario Ombudsman needs to unravel in the mysteries of how the Kilger regime is run and its impact on our proud city?

More to come!  And you can post your non-profane and comments below.


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19 Comments on "Bob Peters Spends $5,000 to Spin Cornwall Ontario Success. Why? by Jamie Gilcig"

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I for one would like to see them accountable for their high spending that is for their own personal gain,higher taxes than than bigger city Kingston rate payers are on the hook for, tax payers need to know why the city is paying big bucks to lawyers from Ottawa!!! Big bucks to cover their own asses, Corruption at its best when city lords are black balling our whistle blowers & trying & succeeding in driving them out of Cornwall. Inquiring minds need to know,come on Cornwall,ask questions,they are wining & dining on your dime.We need to get rid of this… Read more »
Darcy Neal
Cornwall is a wonderful city that offers many individual and community social and economic challenges and benefits. We have individuals and organizations that are thriving while at the same time we have other individuals and organizations that are fading out. That is the beauty of an open competitive free market environment. We individuals are the results of spontaneous development and so are our communities and organizations. Yes there are individuals who seek power and control by engaging in what may be called dishonest behaviour. We may call these individuals such descriptive names such as “cons, cheats, fraudsters, or even dirty… Read more »
Mary Anne Pankhurst

Just out of curiosity…

A database search of the archives of the American Journalism Review for the quote: “Comment sections are often packed with profanity, and vicious personal attacks” yields the following message: NO RECORDS FOUND.

Was the quote fabricated? And whose idea was it? Very doubtful that city employees read a journalism magazine. But if they do, Mr. Peters knows the difference between advertorial and editorial.

Worse, scribblers at the Freeholder should start doing what reporters (like Jamie) are supposed to do: question what they’re being fed.

I laughed at the article and never knew who Bob Peters was I just heard of his name and that was it. I do know that the entire place is corrupted to the core and like I said before so many times “a good clearing how is needed from top to bottom” and I laughed about attracting business when it is they who chase businesses away. Cornwall has only 45,000 people or less and Kingston has at least 200,000 or more people. What a difference in the tax base that would be and if Cornwall’s taxes are the same or… Read more »
Ken Smith
Concerning Cornwall’s dependence on call centres and warehouses, I’ve worked for StarTek, Teleperformance, SCM and Shoppers Drugmart Warehouse. Hired in the second group for StarTek we were told by a Colorado head office spokesperson that we would be processing only simple AT&T Pay-as-you-go customers. Shortly after we were being fed ongoing endless information to deal with corporate billing plans. We were given weekends off until the centre’s manager held a meeting full of overhead charts to show how extra busy business was on weekends. We were asked to give up Sundays off for Fridays instead. Coming in on Sundays we… Read more »
You are absolutely right Ken Smith at least if not more than 27% high school drop out rate. Not only that but good paying jobs are gone overseas and that includes high tech jobs. Many high tech jobs have left the US for India, China, etc. and the people in those countries have become highly educated, well skilled and work for very little money. We are going to be that slave class with the time and this is all true. High incomes are disappearing and people have to get into things that are not going to be shipped overseas. If… Read more »
Some years ago people who worked at Domtar didn’t have high school education and many didn’t even complete elementary school and earned $60K and more a year for working in that factory. Like I said the industries are gone and still going away and never coming back. Those days are gone and today you need a minimum of high school and post secondary as well. What was is gone and will never come back. The banksters as in gangsters which they are are filthy rich and with greed they want more and more and the plan is to “deindustrialize” the… Read more »
Bob Peters is nothing short of a liar, we at the city know all too well the true goings on with this guy and yet his boss and others working close to him simply turn the blind eye and allow him to run with the cheque. We also knew it cost in the area of 5G’s for this 16 page article something many of us laughed at. Peters then turned around had Mr. Lajoie write up a beautiful scriptted article on the city’s web making it look like we were selected knowing we paid tax dollars to be featured for… Read more »

Oh and another thing that should piss people off, even though it’s of a smaller issue. Ever wonder who get’s all of the Choose Cornwall items, from t-shirts, golf shirts, mugs, hats and so on. Ask Bob and Holy Gilles Latour who gets these items, it’s not the general public folks and guess who pays for it?

This article came out of “Cornwall’s Toilet Paper of Record – SF” and that paper is only good for a few things but not real news. As for Peters and his gang I have said it over and over again – they must all be thrown out including council and start over again. All these “shmucks” have no vision whatsoever and Cornwall has always remained behind because of such people. I said before that the people of Cornwall have to change in order for the town to get ahead and as long as you keep putting these “shmucks” back in… Read more »
“CityBS” always enjoy reading your comments, please continue sending them into the CFN . It is obvious, that you are employed for the City and you provide us with an internal look at the sentiment & attitudes of the mandarins at City Hall. You mention that “the only way things will change, is to not re-elect anyone on Council” ! Well, there is such a movement & it’s called the “BIGFLUSH”, we are growing steadily & obviously will be peaking for the next election. Our group will not endorse any candidate whatsoever ! However, we will campaign against any-all of… Read more »
Reg Coffey

Isn’t that like buying a hooker and then telling everyone your new girlfriend really loves you.

Politicians are compared to “prostitutes” becauses they work for anyone. Journalists are known as “prestitutes” and that exception is Jamie. I feel very bad that Jamie is leaving but he is going to get ahead and I will miss him badly but at te same time I am routing for his success. Cornwall has to change and in order to get ahead you need people who have vision. André Rivette is quite an asset and a very good man indeed. The same with the man who resigned because of Kilger and his crazy gang of gangsters. If the people do… Read more »
David James

The 1.4 million dollar question is why would the city in their right mind rehire an individual who left under a cloud of stink?

That is a good question David James and look at the whole gang that people elect “excluding André Rivette and the other man who left” they keep getting in people that are not good for the town and the people get screwed badly for it. Look at the man that they hired from Hamilton who had a bad record but they hired him anyway knowing what he did and who he was. Then comes all the elder abuse done at the Glenn and some whistleblowers spoke out and got fired so these ladies got hold of good lawyers here in… Read more »
David James

Thanks for the insight jules! If I understand what you are saying councal approved his hiring? If the same were around when he left wouldn’t they know of his murky past? It’s very weird that there was no one else more qualified then him? by the way what is his educational background? What a joker his department should be audited not just $ but operations to!

Reg Coffey

Jules, the secret is out. Jamie is not quitting. He is just on a break while he attends to another job. He’ll be back next week.

Hi David and Reg: Yes I saw that Jamie will be back thank God. Jamie is a very good man indeed and the job suits him well as a journalist. David I don’t know anything much about Bob Peters but I knew that he works for the city and has a good job in the management levels but never knew what he did. The problem David is that so many well educated people that I knew left Cornwall for other cities and never came back. Everyone that I knew way back in my day never wanted to work in industry… Read more »
Yes council does approve the same crap every time and yes I don’t think that there is anybody in Cornwall who is qualified to take Bob Peters place and that is because everyone who is educated have left Cornwall. This is Cornwall’s downfall is that all the gifted and very intelligent people have left and never went back. There is something else that I want to bring up and that is that list where people are put in councel without being elected. That is very unfair and I sure don’t support it and so do many feel the way I… Read more »