CFN – Bernie Villeneuve was still working hard today. The owner and face of the Cornwall River Kings was pressing the flesh and getting petitions passed out to area meetings. He’s hoping that somehow the public coming to city council Monday night in Cornwall well somehow tilt something that will help resolve this situation that has devastated him.
Rick Lapierre, by some said to be the root and villain of some of the latest troubles, officially resigned from the team Friday. A new hoped for investor and buyer pulled the plug, either discouraged by the shenanigans of City Hall and Mayor Kilger or hoping that if the league pulls the team from Mr. Villeneuve Tuesday that a better deal can be had.
The big questions are why?
Why did the Mayor and city agree to a 3 year exclusive contract with the Colts one week after the River Kings came into being? Did the Colts owner need a bigger spread than the $350K one he had purchased?
There are many whys to be asking, but what we did know is that when the wheels were rolling to create the Kings it was Bernie that wrote the cheque and gave Cornwall a great season of hockey. For Christine Lefebvre to state that if the team left the ice would still be rented shows an attitude that just makes one’s head shake.
For City councillor Gerry Samson and Mayor Kilger to feed other media quotes akin to that they’ve lived up to the terms of the contracts is utter utter bs. After all who wrote the contracts and at the end of the day? What about economic development?? What about the hockey fans in this city? I mean if you’re going to mortgage your future investing in white elephants like the Benson Centre how do you chop the Kings at the knees?
At the end of the day if the typical sleazy Bob Kilger back door deal ends up with Bernie Villeneuve out and a cushy new deal with one of the in people what will that say about doing business in Cornwall Ontario? While the odds are good that the River Kings will start the season; the odds are not good that Bernie Villeneuve will still be the owner.
What will happen next time a project needs private cash in Cornwall? Why would any company open or move to Cornwall knowing that it could be bullied in this manner?
There still is time. Maybe the rally in front of City Hall will help?? Maybe if 200, 300, 0r 500 people show up something will change?
Who knows? But sadly this is a city government that when asked to grant a 90 day moratorium on beaver trapping to present information reacted by moving the traps next to the beaver lodge and wiping out the family living there.
Will Cornwall ever change? Only if the public wants it to.
Monday night should be interesting; will you be there?