Fear and Loathing in Cornwall Ontario. Is it our Culture? by Jamie Gilcig – March 2, 2013

Fear and Loathing in Cornwall Ontario.  Is it our Culture? by Jamie Gilcig – March 2, 2013

JamieGilcigCFN –   I used to be a member of Team Cornwall.   Great name.  Great concept, a tragic loss of opportunity for our community that essentially seems to be a rah rah excuse for the president, Gilles Latour, who doesn’t even live in Cornwall, or coach hockey in Cornwall, to go to Sens games, and hang around with athletes when he’s not hanging around with former broadcaster Max Keeping.

No, this column isn’t about Gilles or why I won’t be a member again of that group until they clean house.  It’s about what sadly far too many people brand the culture of Cornwall Ontario to be; that of Fear and Ignorance.

Do I believe that?  Well I don’t deep down, but an awful lot of people are trying to make me look wrong this week.

As many of you know I was yanked out of our City Council meeting for wearing a t shirt with the mayor’s picture on a milk carton by seven police officers that arrived according to another media outlet in less than one minute of the mayor hitting his panic button.

The mayor, Bob Kilger, a self described non techie and high school drop out, is nearly 70.   Now that’s not a crime.   But if you are not hip to the world and how things have changed since the 70’s, especially with the speed of information and the internet, that can lead to issues.

Not everyone acts well in the face of adversity.   Some people when they are afraid do odd things….like hit panic buttons….or boycott local businesses.      Gossip is a huge factor in the life blood of smaller communities.  While Cornwall is a city of over 46,000 people in many ways it’s still the same small Mill town where if you stepped out of line you lost your job and not so long ago if you wanted a Federal or City Job you had to be “vetted” by the man in charge.  You either were in or you were out.

While many here in Cornwall talk about the “old boy’s club” it really is the Little boys (and girls) club.  It’s shrinking.  There even was a news story out a year or so ago with one Joey Gault’s picture talking about how the Cornwall Club’s membership had shrank.   That building btw, is now owned by Kilger bagman Gilles Latour.

And that’s when things get crazy in a town like Cornwall.  Everything is so circular and interconnected that when the hive feels a threat  it’s almost as though the whole town has to strike out and hit that panic button.

When we first broke our Lift Off story simply asking questions as to where the money went we were attacked,and  even though founder Chris Savard was run out of our city CFN has still been branded the villain.

When we were forced to issue suit against Traci Trottier for breaching her no compete clause, which she lost, we were again punished by the clique.  Her message to us:

 Also – if you want to get down to it…you won’t look very good sueing a single mother of two who’s ex-husband has mere months to live with ALS. Former OPP – lots of connections – not sure who would even want to work for you. Also keep in mind that I am extremely good friends with the Savards, the Pommiers, the Kilgers, boat with the Sabourins…shall I continue?? Come after me if you wish but at the end of the day – no one will win.

See how things interconnect.   Now some would suggest we were wrong for protecting our interest.   Our radio station was new.  We had the Chamber president, Scott Armstrong,  who would be let go from Corus radio at about the same time as Ms Trottier, telling people that our station was pirate and he’d get us shut down.   We had just sold a bunch of ads for her new show, and even though she had a clear 90 day no compete clause to avoid this exact situation she chose to jump ship.

Instead of Traci being vilified for hurting a local company and jumping to an American one;    gossip, gossip, gossip, and somehow we were the villains.  Her vindictiveness even leading her to the point of making false accusations to the police and trying to have me arrested not once, but twice!  If I wasn’t lucky enough both times to be in crowded places I would have been charged and had to spend thousands of dollars defending myself.

The Cornwall police finally cautioned her, and warned her to keep away from me which for the most part she has thank goodness.

In the end she was right, nobody won; mostly the community lost.   Traci is no longer employable in radio.    Seaway Radio has been off the air for over a year in spite of some of the amazing interviews and shows we did with over 30,000 listens!   Chris Savard, I guess liking CFN so much, dumped Cornwall Square’s ads with us and started Our Home Town before leaving his home town.    The Pommiers, Sabourins, and Kilger, via the City; all have stopped advertising on CFN, and not because we don’t deliver eyeballs as Mr. Sabourin himself had a testimonial banner on our newspaper for over a year and the city has admitted that CFN, from old archived banners from 2011,  still provided more web traffic to the Choose Cornwall website for all of 2012, than the advertisers they were paying.

Fear and Ignorance.  It’s bad enough in itself, but when it creeps into the upper levels of a culture and society?   It’s not just the bullies,but those that give them their false power by their fear and silence.

Cornwall is not a bad place or city.   It is an uneducated one in many ways.  It’s technically backwards in many ways, but it’s a city in transition.  While Kingston had Queen’s University; Cornwall had textile mills and chemical plants.  But how on earth will we ever attract the entrepreneurs and talent to help with that transition if we kill every new thing that isn’t part of the hive?  Will distribution jobs attract the builders of a community alone?

The air in Cornwall is probably cleaner than Kingston’s now.   While there are feeble attempts and chatter about bringing higher education, arts and culture to Cornwall those have to be viewed as seeds of hope; like CFN has been.  After all, we have grown and thrived in many ways in our four years.  We’ve changed Cornwall and change can scare the ignorant; to the point of striking out and trying to maim and kill like a frightened animal that’s cornered.

Reading columns in other media this week and seeing some of the comments was frankly sad and embarrassing.   Some of the people who wrote such things I’m not sure should be allowed to walk around without supervision?

I can tell them one thing.  People that seek and want attention do not choose to live in Cornwall.  Honestly!    One major media outlet when querying me about the council meeting story even joked that Cornwall is not the center of the universe.

So dear viewer of CFN, and to those 70-75% of you who look from outside Cornwall and wonder how we survive some of these circus antics, it ain’t easy 🙂

But again, I’m an optimist.  I see change happening.  I see some of the bogeymen and bullies being beaten down and slithering back into the shadows or fleeing to the comfort of honey haired maidens in far off places, and it gives me strength.  The Emperor’s really are not wearing any clothes.

These past few weeks, before the council meeting,  CFN had 5 clients bullied away.  Excuses from lost catering, to threats of not getting permits if their ads stayed up on CFN were enough for these businesses if the buzz is to be believed.  I heard from business owners that stated clearly that they wanted to advertise with us, but were afraid of repercussions.  None of those that cancelled their ads cited a lack of results or complaint.

Not a good way to grow a community.   But this week I saw some people stand up to some of the bullies, and again that gives me strength and hope.

And one of the biggest things I love about this city is that it has the chance, as it evolves and comes out of its cocoon, to blossom into something very very special, but that can only happen if we as a city stand up to fear and ignorance; stand up to the bullies, and take control of our city and build strong new foundations, one brick and block at a time.

I and CFN hope to be there shining the light on some of those great steps forward, and helping lead our great city forward.

j

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49 Comments on "Fear and Loathing in Cornwall Ontario. Is it our Culture? by Jamie Gilcig – March 2, 2013"

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mary bray
Guest

Great story Jamie….again! We have to support you to keep good reporting in Cornwall or else we will be kept out in the dark once more about all those deals made in secret,closed door meetings,conflicts of interest by council members’ & darn right corruption!!! Bravo & hang tough! Please everyone come out to this Monday,s council meeting to show support for CFN

Wow!
Guest

Could a few of those who left been awarded Chamber of Commerce awards as a result (or is it the reverse). Weenies.

David Oldham
Guest

Although you and I may not always agree, on this piece we are united.
“…false power by their fear and silence.” speaks volumes of not only why Cornwall has the image it does but provides the answer for the way out of the darkness, the means to escape our past.
I too am an optimist, I see the tide changing, I love my adopted city and have faith that this community will break their fear, silence and APATHY to speak out LOUDLY for the benefit of all.
TO THE FUTURE JAMIE !

cornwalllaughter
Guest
I still have a huge issue with {MODERATED} Gilles Latour who for some reason thinks he is well above anyone who has done a fantastic job trying to promote Cornwall in a positive way. This past week the Chamber gave out bogus bonus awards to certain people, (Cliques) Latour being one of them. How on earth can Team Cornwall sponsor the “Ambassador of the Year” award, chaired by this trash and this trash walk away with the award? This is Latour’s quote on his web page and also heavily promoted by another piece of trash Bob Peters, Latour’s best bud.… Read more »
Jennifer
Guest

Strength, hope and optimism are all good things Jamie…

stellabystarlight
Guest
One attracts bees with honey. That being said, people especially business people do not want to be part nor to they want to support those who come across as being controversial and challenging. There are ways to get one’s point across, share their views and opinions without the putdowns and personnal attacks. What does it serve? All it does is creates negativity and division among it’s citizens. It doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to everything…..absolutely not. In a democratic society, we make changes happen come election time. These are the men and women the majority has elected……….so be… Read more »
fedup
Member

Great message Jamie. Excellent explanation…

It’s unfortunate for the businesses that have pulled their ads with CFN. Marketing is all about repetitiveness, and the more times you see an ad, the more times it becomes embedded in the brain.

You have belittled the mayor. The Mayor should have just ignored your T-shirt and not made a circus out of the Council Meeting.

I hope that you continue to cover these meetings and continue to do your work. Even without a t-shirt, you will continue to get under his skin, so just be yourself…

Also Frustrated
Guest
I moved here from a major City a few years back, and wanted to get involved with the community. When I saw practices that were not working I would suggest things like perhaps the person running the show was not the right person for the job, or why don’t we try this instead of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result and the response was that of terror and fear. “OH no you can’t do that that person has friends in high places” I just shook my head and walked away, now 7 years later, I… Read more »
Mary Anne Pankhurst
Member

everybody gets punished when a gang controls everything. you’re the first to challenge it. you’ve accomplished a lot, Jamie. gang can’t take that away

jules
Guest
Pommiers and Medical Arts are all part of the “clique” and you wrote an excellent article Jamie and you told the truth. The people of Cornwall are afraid to venture and that is their problem. When the people of Cornwall see others from other cities and towns they become intimidated. You are lucky that you were able to make a business in Cornwall. I know of a man in Cornwall who had a very hard time to make a business and if it were not someone that he knew in Toronto he would not have been able to open his… Read more »
jules
Guest
Jamie it is Kilger and his sign destroyer “the bully” who are doing this to you. Kilger and his “clique” threaten those people and this is what is going on down there. Jamie ask yourself why I left with my family. If we did not leave my children would never have had a future of any sort. The best thing that we did was to leave and believe me it was not easy but it was something that had to be done. We knew of this “clique” going on for years and there were many very good business people who… Read more »
garywsamler
Member
I love Cornwall and I love this story The Good the bad and the ugly all in the day of life in Cornwall. I HATE Bullies, always have and cannot understand why at this time with anti Bullying campaigns going on all over the country I hear that people (and businesses) still bow down to their bullying antics rather than to stand up proud against them and say this IS WHAT IS GOING ON HERE.The fear-mongering has to stop now. I shop local and always have and supported local businesses but if they let the bullying carry on I will… Read more »
BIG MAC
Guest

Surely this can’t be the same Stella that accused somebody of being a thief that drove a local business to ruin….
You (stella)gleefully put enough detail in that story to ruin that person but went crying like a baby when somebody “stole” your online handle…roll reversal you old “honey pot”

Maxville Manor
Guest

Maybe if Harry at Med Arts had spent as much time on customer service as in “hosting” another ribbon cutting…I would still be a customer.

stellabystarlight
Guest

Jamie, figuratively speaking one reaps what they sow….

Lum Dome
Guest
Please everybody..as Freeholder is too gutless to have a comment section under Mac “retraction” McIntosh columns…write your replies under their main news stories to get the message out… They seem afraid of the truth…or in reporting…that the Mayor of YOUR city..needed to push a PANIC button..reserved for ” INTRUDERS” to get SEVEN police officers to remove ONE t-shirted guy. Great pro writer- Seaway handout editor- Toad Lihou..he once wrote a freeholder article about drinking with a local business man, when they were younger…the day the story came out..the guy was almost in tears. TOAD, never made it out of Cornwall… Read more »
jules
Guest
I just thought about something kind of funny at least for me. Can you imagine people going over to Freeman’s and buying those T-shirts with the mayor on the milk carton. LOL LOL. That would be good advertisement for sure. Oh here is another brainstorm if any of you people go to the Sens game wear that T-shirt here in Ottawa please. LOL LOL. If you have other ideas to spread the word go to it. Jamie needs all the help he can get. LOL LOL. Cornwall is like what you see on “BOSS HOGG” and such programs and even… Read more »
bigfellow
Guest

Can you imagine if there where 1000 cornwallites carrying a private property placard like the ones that were torn up and T’shirts to the next city council meeting. Wonder how many police officers there would be there?
I believe “Chiefy” would be breaking his overtime account.
Do you think that these over-privilege council and mayor would get the message?
Personally, I don’t think they know how to think,but that’s only my opinion and I am allowed that.

jules
Guest

“big fellow” I love that idea for sure. LOL LOL. ROLF! An excellent idea. Wear it to your local hockey games as well – that would surely turn heads for sure. If only I were a fly that can be on the walls or buzzing around the stadium – with people hearing me roar with laughter. LOL LOL.

Sick of Stupidity
Guest

Well everyone, we know what we have to do…make arrangements now so that we can be at the next city council meeting March 25th at 6:30 pm outside with signs (heavy non-bendable gauge steel preferred). We need to support Jamie and this is one time we can take an important stand against bullying!!!! Bring your friends and family. This is serious stuff and a perfect opportunity to show them enough is enough.

Reg Coffey
Member

Cornwall very much believes in a “shoot the messenger” approach. The power elite have used the traditional media to hide all their dirty little tricks and feed the general population “Valium News”.

Instead of having to explain all the laws suits, increased taxation and general vandalism of, not just protesters’ signs, but of small business rights, they attack the media outlets who actually are doing their job.

Ignorance is bliss, but don’t complain when your taxes go up or a city councilor decides to destroy your property.

Dukers 1
Guest
Only a few support this anti-establishment group think. Premise is right on but methodology being used IS causing a major backlash. Witness this in the lost advertising. All is interconnected folks. I’m with the criticism or at least the motive to criticize however people are sensitive to change, especially radicle change. Save it for election time. Remember, things can and likely will backfire if you become too radicle here. Let it go for now. The whole bottom line is to draw in advertising but what is happening is a bad taste in the eyes of our own business’s by their… Read more »
Dukers 1
Guest
Well, not wanting to get into a spitting problem with such and artistic company as Disney, I relent. The ‘spit’ is inference actually to the shirt itself as being a shot at the mayor on his turf. I recall years ago it was over a Kory Kennedy tie. No direct spit was intended…only as a symbol about how the mayor and council ‘felt’ about it as unfortunately the advertisers that changed their minds. Jamie, I’m not the problem here either, only a messenger that saw a situation differently than yourself. Your notes on ‘Fear of Loathing in Cornwall’ are an… Read more »
cornwalllaughter
Guest

6 police officers to many, proof we have too many on the payroll, time to cut back, no wonder the budget is so inflated, wasteful resources laying around waiting for panic buttons to go off.

Reg Coffey
Member
Cornwall is a community that has been brainwashed to not stand up for their rights and to always back away from confrontation with the authorities whether they be the police or the city council. It make us uncomfortable to see someone doing it. I know, I feel it too. I was brought up in Cornwall. What Jamie does is stand up for the rights of all citizens of Cornwall. He does not cower when the Mayor speaks or quietly fades into the background when the police show up. Jamie does what a journalist is supposed to do. He questions authority… Read more »
Stacey
Guest

Thanks Jamie for standing up for us!
You are a great reporter and CFN is an asset to cornwall media for those who dont think so good or bad peaple are talking and that`s good . The difference between a good reporter and a great reporter is.The good one prints what they are told.And the great one prints the truth.

PJ Robertson
Member

Clearly bullying is a growth business in Canada these days. And the root cause is in Ottawa. So, here’s a thought, Jamie: Raise the bar and train CFN’s sights on the bully actions and tactics of the Harper government. Canadians everywhere will thank and support you.

jules
Guest
Reg Coffey said it best here. I stand up for Jamie whether he wears a clown outfit, that Bare Assed Bob t-shirt, Bob’s mug shot on the milk carton, byllie Syd Gardner t-shirt or whatever Jamie comes up with is fine with me. It is about time that all of you people in Cornwall stand up for yourselves as well. Jamie is showing you how to do it and I noticed that the BARNEY FIFE PD wanted so much to laugh and one of the cops took himself away from the camera smiling and wanted so much to laugh. There… Read more »
jules
Guest
There was nothing offensive on any t-shirt that Jamie wore in councel and if I were the mayor I would have laughed at that one. You all know me for laughing and it is healthy. Bob knows that he is corrupt and a bully and feels that he can push everyone around and it is about time that the people of Cornwall stand up for themselves and stop taking all the BS that is being pushed down your throats. Jamie is acting the way journalists do and that is something that the people in Cornwall are not used to. You… Read more »
Dave Windsor
Guest
Seems you have a calling and a following Jamie. Keep up the challenges. You just may be onto something here that’s for sure. Those among us, and at times it may be me, that are use to conformity over confrontation have initial difficulty with changes in our ‘society’, our culture, that disrupt the status quo. Indeed the bullies, cheats and liars have had the control wheel. Seems via their bully pulpits they get to play us ‘their tunes’. Heck, even the police fire departments and service clubs unwittingly fall for their malarkey and unfortunately the advertisers do to. As elected… Read more »
puzzled
Guest

looking to get gift certificate to a local restaurant as a gift. is truffles advertising with u still? i read that mustache joes caved and i want to support a business that advertises on cfn

Anon
Guest

I “was” going to buy my engagement and wedding ring at Pommiers, Gordons Jewellers it is instead..

jules
Guest
I would never go back to Pommier Jewllers and I said it in the section of the mayor on the milk jug just a while ago. I have never been to Truffles and won’t go there either. My husband was very disappointed in Pommier Jewellers some years ago and would never go back. I don’t know who this Sabourin is and I don’t know who Licky is and kept in the dark about all this crap. Kingston got bigger and it has one of the best universities in Canada and the population is more educated. Brockville has a more educated… Read more »
jules
Guest
If something ever happened where Jamie would be out of business I would not bat one iota of any news in Cornwall whatsoever and I give you my word. I have not touched “the toilet paper of record” in a mighty long time on line or any other. If Jamie were gone Cornwall would become a great deal worse off and I can tell you that because it is true. People are awakening about Cornwall and not just little Cornwall or cities and towns in the surrounding area but the entire country knows that Cornwall is corrupt to the hilt.… Read more »
Tema
Guest

I always look forward to reading your columns. U have your finger on the pulse Jamie. Keep up the good work.

One Against City Bulliers
Guest
One Against City Bulliers

@ jules

Perfectly stated jules! This city is a place where the laws only work in favor of the corrupt bullies.

God bless Perry Dunlop and Jamie Gilcig. They both are true heroes for putting it on the line and trying to save this town. Funny thing is neither of them think of themselves that way. They just really care a heck of a lot. Unfortunately, the s~~~ has to be exposed first and boy is Cornwall stinking again!

People continue to speak up.

One Against City Bulliers
Guest
One Against City Bulliers

@ Anon

Good going Anon. Businesses that are high profile supporters of the clique must be now overlooked for the smaller and more honest type business people here in town that have yet to be tarnished and bullied!

jules
Guest
“One Against City Bulliers” the shit has to stink again in order to solve a lot of the problems. I was looking into things on London Ontario and there is a well known mayor down there Fontana I don’t know if he is still mayor but he was up for fraud and was with the Federal Government as well. London exposed him for what he was. The people of Cornwall are living in a “little cocoon” and are afraid of people and want to be looked after. Well that doesn’t work at all. Real journalists are like Jamie and he… Read more »
jules
Guest
There was a case here in Ottawa where a man in my area of town but near Billings Bridge – I am further south of that – anyway he was a boyscout leader since the early 50’s. This man was elderly when caught and a trial was held. The man either died or went to jail – I was living in Cornwall with my family when this case came up. Ottawa did not hide all like Cornwall. The city even had his house torn down. Now all the old houses in that area are mostly gone and condos and old… Read more »
jules
Guest
Jamie you can have all the universities and college educated people and they can still be dumbfounded. If people are not willing to open their eyes and ears over what is happening and willing to do something about it then nothing will be done. God gave us eyes to see and ears to hear but people do not use them. Companies will not open up in Cornwall or any town like Cornwall unless the people change their ways. Jamie you can talk till the cows come home but if the people are not willing to make that change then what.… Read more »
Kilger is an A**HOLE
Guest

The truth will be exposed about this crook that we call a mayor. Kilger, you should very soon think about resigning from your post. You are nothing but a corrupt A**!! Get out of this town and do us all a favour!! Bring your {MODERATED} mistress with you!!

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