Will Cornwall Ontario City Council Subsidize Vanity University Scheme? Are the Mayor & Councilor MacDonald in Conflict?

Will Cornwall Ontario City Council Subsidize Vanity University Scheme?   Are the Mayor & Councilor MacDonald in Conflict?

Steering CommitteeCFN –  We now officially know the names of the 30 member steering committee asking Cornwall & the Counties for $75K to do a feasibility study that the province requested before considering to support a university in Cornwall Ontario.  I wrote about this last week and about why I thought it was nuts for this group to ask taxpayers to float their vanity project.   LINK

Gerry & gailWhat we seem to have is a group of politicians trying to grab some glory before the next elections.  Most on this list do not have University degrees nor have many shown much support in their community for efforts that are made to help grow and evolve.

.

For example, what jobs will a university grad in Cornwall attain?   We have students graduating from St. Lawrence College not able to attain jobs in Cornwall for example right now.   Will a more costly University degree help?

Over one third of this group live off the back of the taxpayer already, either sucking up a tax payer job or pension.    There are only a few people with actual expertise and they are politically dependent on others on this list.

Where are the real people that could possibly help a project or show why  it could or couldn’t work.

Last night Mr. Benson & the Kaneb’s came to council.   They did not have a plan.  They did not have a goal other than asking for money for a feasibility study and this after one year of meetings and back room discussions.    Does this make sense to anyone?

Is it worth $1.25 per resident of Cornwall; that vast majority of would have about as much use for a university than they do for the Benson Centre?     If Mr. Benson and his other group of friends are accurate and Cornwall is over taxed how does asking for money to float this boat (and Mr. Kaneb joked about coming back for more after) help the tax burden?

Councilor Thibault did his Monty Hall impression suggesting that Akwesasne should cough up some cash and that they and the counties be true partners if cash was to be spent.

And there is the shadow of Conflict of Interest.

Kilger

Surely with Mayor Kilger and Councilor MacDonald on the Steering committee, the one that’s asking the City for, CASH, ie, monetary gain, they should have both recuse themselves from any possible influence on the subject and discussion?   After all they are members of a committee asking money of council?  A council they both sit on and get to vote on normally?  Surely they should have followed Councilor David Murphy’s step of declaring himself in conflict because of his employment with the Benson Organization?

Today you can go to University online for free.  That’s right free.

University of the People  – Tuition Free –  Want to take classes at Harvard for free?  Yale?

You see most of the people in this committee are used to living from the labours of the public.  If this austere group really wants to give to the community surely they can each find $2,500 to donate to the cause?

Youth retention and good jobs are critical to this community.  Education is driving our youth away.    But we need some of these people to get with the status quo and stop being afraid of our more modern ways.

Support local business because that will create good jobs for our young people that have potential for growth.   Work with and help local initiatives grow.   Government can’t solve problems, but they can support and aid the solutions from people the create them.

Sadly council embraced this not hot mess of a presentation, and seem to be racing to write a cheque.  After all a provincial election may be around the corner and there are less than 720 days to the next municipal election.

This voter however is noting who is supporting this mess and who has some back bone and is actually representing the tax payer as this committee surely doesn’t seem to be.

OF course if this process ever became legitimate and there was a real plan with a real need presented to the public surely an actual public meeting with feedback from the residents of Cornwall would make more sense?   Trends in education, besides online, are clearly visible with a minute amount of research.

Process is everything.   Politicians are accountable only if we the public hold them accountable for the way they spend money.   I personally find it ironic that this group of mostly seniors are bankrupting the future generation who have to pay off this debt by doing so in their names!   Am I the only one that finds that odd?

Cornwallites do you think that the Mayor and Councilor MacDonald should impact this vote while being on the committee?

You can post your comments below.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

Share why Cornwall Ontario is an Amazing community and earn a chance to win a $1,000 local shopping spree!

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!

Start Communications

Related Post

107
Leave a Reply

avatar
400
88 Comment threads
19 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
31 Comment authors
FerrishighlanderstellabystarlightRosieJen Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
mariah
Guest
mariah

If it were such a good idea Jerry Benson,Tom & Gail Kaneb would be using their own money for the feasibility study then come begging for taxpayer money,we cannot afford higher taxes which are already higher than Kingston. Mayor Kilger & councillor Elaine McDonald are both on the University committee & should have excused themselves from this presentation to council talks at council meeting! Only in Cornwall!!! Our children would still leave Cornwall after their degree as there is no jobs here for them,especially if they are not french enough,sad because Cornwall is not a bilingual city & never will.The… Read more »

Mary Anne Pankhurst
Member

@Mariah. Right!

Cory Cameron
Guest
Cory Cameron

Schools of higher learning are fine but one must remember that there needs to be a reasoning behind it. I see this idea as doing nothing but saving some kids a few dollars by having the ability to remain in their hometowns while attending university and living with their parents. Again, to echo others’ ideas, will there be jobs available for these grads once they graduate? Or will we see the continuation of a brain drain atmosphere with but the creation of another school. It’s fine and okay to educate your population but what is the sense in doing so… Read more »

Hailey Brown
Guest
Hailey Brown

LOL I stand corrected Eric, typing and thinking is not a good thing at times. Even so look around the council table and add them to the list of University graduates. The 2% is derived from a statistic What if the statistician thinks the amount of people in Cornwall having an education is too high or is encouraged to play with the data? The answer is quite simple; just trim the values by 5 percent, which means that the top and bottom 5 percent of the values are simply left out in the data analysis. So the higher number and… Read more »

Simon
Guest
Simon

It’s bad enough that naive young people are steered through High School and into University without a thought for finding work or the insurmountable debt that lies at the end of a “paper chase”. Now, taxpayers are being shaken down for $75,000 from a bunch of sad sacks that, as they approach old age (near corpses and sundried specimens some of them), they find that chasing money, tail, and sunny climes all these years, has left them empty of real and satisfying achievement. Before we get sucked in by this little band, remember, “What is crooked cannot be straightened” And… Read more »

Lolochuck
Guest
Lolochuck

Ha! Ha! Simon your way with words is a humorous, but exact discription of who we’re dealing with!

Concerned
Guest
Concerned

With tidbits from the council presentation and Eric’s additional information, now everything falls into place. Secret meetings behind closed doors were to conceal a plan for French university that local majority anglophones would find unpalatable. We are too familiar with questionable French language politics and personal agendas playing out in Ontario. As a turn-off, there are also some ugly precedents, like Moncton University, which was supposed to be a bilingual university, but after the funds were collected from local citizens and the college built, the attitude toward the city people changed. The school was no longer for persons of English-speaking… Read more »

Concerned
Guest
Concerned

Ontario francophone organization has the same francophone consultant who they use to cook up studies to support their plans for whatever French thing they want.

Concerned
Guest
Concerned

In terms of employment, local Francophones already have it better than the general population due to bureaucratic creation of artificial demand for bilingualism. Francophones earn more and have less unemployment. It’s the local anglos that are disadvantaged. Whatever university that is ever built must be geared to improve the lot of the anglos.

Unemployment Rate (Source: Statistics Canada, Census of population, 2006)

Prescott and Russell:
Francophones 3.7%
Total population 4.2%

Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry:
Francophones 5.4%
Total population 6.1%

http://otf.ca/en/knowledgeSharingCentre/resources/Champlain_Francophone_EN.pdf
(By Ontario Trillium Foundation – Profile of the Francophone Community in Champlain)

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

I fully support a university in Cornwall even being complementary to the programs given out in st Lawrence college I would not support a university in Ontario that provided courses in French however as if I wanted to take my degree in French I would have went to Quebec. I also am wary of the “luminaries” that have ascribed their name to this. I think economies of scale would be immense having two higher learning institutes in the one city. Having a university however is only the start, as we would require jobs that are relevant to the learning. We… Read more »

Simon
Guest
Simon

The rumoured site for a university is the Nav Canada Centre. Old John Chrichton, the head of a friends and family gang running NavCanada, is holding out for $100,000,000 million for the site. Now, that’s a bit much for a shell of a building that was once the centre of Air Traffic Control training for all of Canada. But after the failed (huge financial blunder) decentralization of training, the building is pretty much empty in spite of the silly gals running the place that fancy themselves to be executive geniuses. But 80 odd acres of real estate that can be… Read more »

Hailey Brown
Guest
Hailey Brown

Admin, I worked for Lumley on his campaign when he ran for mayor. Then MP, I still have his buttons and lapel pins. It was a good thing he ran and won because he seen growth potential, the industrial park was his potential legacy. Navcan was his as well and at great risk to his career. The reason the industrial park sits bare now is a result of his predecessors not wanting to loose their strangle hold on the people, Nav Can is the same thing. He brought growth and the people you see before you on council and in… Read more »

Hailey Brown
Guest
Hailey Brown

-L- Savviness?? Well then you did not talk to Ed, maybe a drone.

As for his take on the waterfront, he had intentions of making that whole are a public oasis at one time and I believe it still holds true today.

vagabundus
Guest

Hi,
An “International University of Cornwall” would be a success,
teaching the following courses or relevant course material:

– Mandarin
– Cantonese
– Spanish
– English
– French

And in that order !!!.

Cheers.

vagabundus
Guest

Hi,
I had another look at the “Steering committee”.
I do not know any of them personally, but:
-Are any of them under the age of forty(40) ???
-Any of them students or potential students ???
-What qualifies them to steer- what, where and when???

Looking forward to your response.

Dave Windsor
Guest
Dave Windsor

Re: vagabundus January 31, 2013 at 1:47 pm Philanthropy, charity, Mega business acumin, mentors, multi committee handles, networks as high up as you would welcome to go and oh yuea, money. Of course these are only a few but I digress. Oh, alright, I will digress, contrary to some, they have a love for and a compassion for this community…all of them. They also have motive, yes, that naughty word, motive. They actually think they can raise up this corner of Nefoundland….er, Ontario. But so far, as far a sQueens Park is concerned, we might as well be in NFD.… Read more »

puzzled
Guest
puzzled

no comment from any of the steering commitee here to enlighten the readers (public/taxpayers) no facebook page from this group to promote its idea. no forum for input. would love to support this cause but every minute that goes by without any respons e confirms that community opinion has no place in this deal. i recommend that all administrators,politicians, anf future groups looking for public funds embrace transparency. if none of the above read the newspaper a facebook page called cornwall citizens demand answers may need to be created and shared until communication is achieved. any other ideas out there?

Wow!
Guest
Wow!

My wife and I have degrees and commensurate income in Cornwall after being away for 20 years. There is no reason to have more university grads here. There is only work for professionals, teachers, and management jobs. No demand for educated employees = no demand for university spaces. Who wants to move to “The Dirty City Under a Crooked Bridge”? Why would anyone want to come here with all the crime, methheads, 13 yr old mothers, and assorted useless citizens? Stupid idea proposed by those who should be going to Carousel.

after
after acquiring

Wow!
Guest
Wow!

Oops!

Here is a classic Cornwall situation: Target has acquired the former Loblaws site and is doubling the amount of employees previously required. The new development will be to fill online orders since Target is not opening many stores in Canada. Most of the people hired by Target already are disgruntled SCM employees. SCM is anticipating having to hire from outside of the area to meet the positions. Why you may ask? Because there are not enough people in Cornwall with a pulse who want to work to fill the positions. And they say we need a university? Screw that!

vagabundus
Guest

Re: Dave Windsor, Hi Dave, Just to let you in on something. The INTERNATIONAL SPY SCHOOL, you mentioned, has been here and is well established. See, it is so secret, you do not even know about. One more observation for the Steering committee. I did a quick feasibility study (at no charge). Within a radius of approx. 200 km (Cornwall) , i.e Quebec, Ontario and New York State I have counted more than twenty five (25) institutes of higher learning. Post secondary as it is called, i.e. universities, colleges and academies. That will be Cornwall’s University competition. What will the… Read more »

vagabundus
Guest

Re: Dave Windsor – Spin-off Industries

Hi Dave,
Spin-offs could be:

MOTIVATION
INNOVATION
INVENTION
INVESTMENT
INCOME

You must admit, there is a market for it in this, the Cornwall area.

Ed
Member
Ed

How about just restoring the provincial funding for St. Lawrence College that the Harris goons cut in the nineties? There is a serious lack of qualified trades-people and technologists all over Canada.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Look in the mirror, Ed. It was your Dalton McGuinty who cut $42 million to university research grants. “What is the incentive to go to graduate school if you’re not going to get the proper education and research funding that it takes to get yourself into the workforce?” she asked. “The McGuinty Liberals decision to unilaterally slash the fund further undermines Ontario’s economy at the worst possible time.” Ontario’s research universities and colleges told the Star they are stunned by the cancellation of key parts of the Ontario Research Fund grant program in the areas of social sciences, humanities and… Read more »

Ed
Member
Ed

@ Tim. Mirror? My Dalton McGuinty?
OK.

Jen
Guest
Jen

This isn’t a respectable blog – that’s the problem. Most people who try doing something positive for this town don’t visit this site because nothing but lies and slandering comes from it. A university would be a boon to this town – one only needs to look at other cities who went through this debate (in the 60s) to see what they reaped.

Dave Windsor
Guest
Dave Windsor

Ouch! Good comment though admin. vagabundus January 31, 2013 at 5:59 pm Hi Dave, Spin-offs could be: MOTIVATION INNOVATION INVENTION INVESTMENT INCOME These are all wonderful words and some, if not all happen to apply to the ground breaking University ‘committee’. No ‘I’ in ‘team’ but they really are a power packed group. If it be resolved that no Uni. for Cornwall to be, they will eek it out to the n’th degree. Some negativists may be closer to the truth than we realize, yet HOPE springs eternal. Yes, there are quite a few higher Ed’s within the 200 km/mile… Read more »

vagabundus
Guest

Food for thought, aka “Mental floss”. I just came back from Hong Kong. Visiting friends and talking. All of us are University grads from about a dozen different countries; myself, a graduate from Queen’s University and the University of Waterloo (Canada). University of Waterloo has been teaming up with Universities in Hong Kong and China. Queen’s University has Executive MBA’s in different cities. My favourite websites are Harvard, Yale, UCLA, Khan academy etc. all providing a range of courses FREE. And, lets not forget the University of Athabasca here in Canada, well known around the world. I could name more…… Read more »

Concerned
Guest
Concerned

@Ed As you said, there is a serious lack of qualified trades-people and technologists all over Canada. However, at St Lawrence College, “Enrolment in Skilled Trades has been declining. In spite of ample space and good resources for automotive programs, these offerings are at risk. Welding and Fabrication Technician and General Carpenter programs are currently suspended “. Overall campus enrolments have also been in decline. Programs that have also been suspended because of a decrease in enrolment include: Business Administration – Human Resource Post-Graduate; Communicative Disorders Assistant; Educational Assistant; Motor Vehicle Mechanic; Welding and Fabrication Technician. At Brockville campus, Skilled… Read more »

Rosie
Guest
Rosie

@ concerned, hard to understand why this is happening with such a demand for the trades. I would have favoured a study on whether Cornwall could eventually be known as the City of Trades Education as opposed to a University, but this information you have given is quite shocking. If this group is looking out for their own I am very doubtful any of the local high school graduates would want to stay home for their university experience. I too believe it is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Concerned
Guest
Concerned

Rosie, I think St Lawrence teaches wrong trades that are not in demand anymore, at least in this region. I hear the demand for skill trades is for oil sands development in the West, but western provinces should take care of that themselves.

vagabundus
Guest

Hi Ed and Rosie. Many moons ago, before I went to University, I attended St. Lawrence College, Cornwall (Trades program). The program, the facilities/shops and teachers were EXCELLENT. After graduation, I had four job offers. None in Cornwall. Out of the four job offers, two were from abroad. The jobs abroad paid approx. twice as much as the ones I was offered in Great White North. I used all the manuals, books and teaching material from my trades courses to teach new and potential mechanics and technicians in foreign lands. So, I know exactly what you are talking about. A… Read more »

Helga
Guest
Helga

I smell a conspiracy from the “elite” here working in tandem with French language zealots, hence the committee’s secret meetings. I am afraid they want to saddle Cornwall mostly anglo community with a French-only university, “which must be autonomous and managed by the Francophone community in the region”, as franco zealots insist. Anglos pay but have no say!

stellabystarlight
Guest
stellabystarlight

vagabundus wrote: BTW. I am not of Chinese origin. Had to learn the language while working for years in China as an Engineer.

INTERESTING!!

Thinking many Canadians would benefit if they learned the Chinese language also, especially if they are living in the greater metropolitan areas.

There has been many elementary school closures in Cornwall and one, perhaps two more at the end of this school year. That being said, how could Cornwall and surrounding area support a University?

Helga
Guest
Helga

I think many Chinese as well as French Canadians would benefit if they learned the English language. They are living in Canada, after all, the English-speaking country.

That being said, I am glad stella is seeing the light in that it’s unrealistic for Cornwall to have a university. Demographics do not support it, let alone economics.

vagabundus
Guest

Good points, good arguments. To use a hockey analogy. We all start out in the minors. Most of us dream to play in the majors, i.e bright lights, fast lane, big bucks. The difference is PERFORMANCE, based on talent, skills, initiative , ambition and opportunity. Some of us make it to the majors, stay for awhile or come back to the minors, play an exhibition game (proceeds to your charity of choice). Sign the puck and move on or fade away into the sunset. And so it is with Cornwall and its University ambition. Here, in Cornwall, we play in… Read more »

highlander
Guest
highlander

Helga February 2, 2013 at 2:41 pm

How many French schools in Ontario sit at least half empty to provide French only services.

Up north a school was built for millions with only 50 students .
No if you build it ,it doesn’t mean they will come .

But I am sure francophones will get their French university even as languge in jobs numbers do not warrant.

vagabundus
Guest

To Helga,
I hope this does not come as a shock to you:
Millions of Chinese read, write and speak English,
but very few Non-Chinese speak, write and read
Mandarin or Cantonese.

BTW: Also, I understand Cantonese and some Mandarin,
writing in Mandarin will take me another hundred
years.

Cheers.

highlander
Guest
highlander

admin February 3, 2013 at 9:39 am

Very easily so admin as the international language for business is English,many of the world are flocking to it because it has become the standard .

But if Canadians were to learn Madarin /Cantonese or Punjab there is where the future ls as both groups and their respective populations are the fastest wealth growers and potential spenders.

vagabundus
Guest

Hi Admin.
I e-mailed the question re: “Chinese people speaking English”
to friends in Singapore.

Here is the answer:

“You want their names, too ??. ”

“We will start with: Tam, Tang, Peng, Ping, Ip, Yip, Chan,
Chen, Deng…..”
“That’s about 20 million of them TO BEGIN with…”

To Helga: Try some DIM SUM. Good start.

Helga
Guest
Helga

Highlunder, I don’t understand why did you jump on me. Maybe you need to brush up on your English to understand my post on
February 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm. Where did I say that more French schools need to be built?!

And vagabundus, what Chinese language has to do with the topic at hand – university for Cornwall? Everybody knows that 1.2 billion Chinese in China speak Chinese and China embraced the English language as the language of business. And your silly smirk about their names??

Helga
Guest
Helga

Highlunder, I don’t understand why did you jump on me. Maybe you need to brush up on your English to understand my post on February 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm. Where did I say that more French schools need to be built?!

And vagabundus, what Chinese language has to do with the topic at hand – university for Cornwall? Everybody knows that 1.2 billion Chinese in China speak Chinese and China embraced the English language as the language of business. And your silly smirk about their names??

Helga
Guest
Helga

Admin, is there a problem with your server today? It takes too long to connect to your website.

“Request Timeout

This request takes too long to process, it is timed out by the server. If it should not be timed out, please contact administrator of this web site to increase ‘Connection Timeout’. “