Why is the Province of Ontario & Area Agencies Boycotting CFN via Ad & Notice Placements?

Why is the Province of Ontario & Area Agencies Boycotting CFN via Ad & Notice Placements?

Jamie arms foldedCFN – One of the biggest obstacles in growing our humble independent media outlet is the bizarre boycott of CFN by government agencies.

While some could argue that the City of Cornwall has some sort of reason (they don’t really and were disrespecting CFN before the War started) what reason does the Province of Ontario?

Our province has refused to advertise or post information on CFN even when some of our competition trash them; calling the Liberal governments under Dalton McGuinty and now Kathleen Wynne MacFiberals.

While I’m a Free Market and choice supporter when it comes to the public purse and tax dollars there should always be a fiduciary responsibility.

For example in 2012 the City of Cornwall according to their budget spend an astonishing $281K in advertising.  Not one dollar went to CFN yet we were the largest supplier of web traffic to the Choose Cornwall website, again according to the city.

The Province blames its ad agency Zenith Media.  They cite a hands off approach, but that too reeks.

An example was this excerpt from an exchange with Darren Dalgliesh of Upper Canada Village; ie Parks Canada in Ontario.

Sorry it took so long to get back to you.  I was waiting for our Ministry Vendor of Record to provide a marketing impact assessment for our product on your Website.  This VOR (Zenith Media) is the clearing house for all of our marketing and advertising activity and we take their advice on where to place our limited marketing dollars and they pay the providers for us.  Below is their assessment.



“We have gone through all the key sources for digital audience/reach stats to get info on the cornwallfreenews.com and so far have come up empty.  It is not measured by any of the recognized industry sources such as ComScore, Alexa or Google Ad Planner (way too small). “


We pressed for further investigation as this seemed inconsistent with what you had told me….and received the note below:


“Hi – just wanted to give you a final confirmation that none of the sources that track web measurement have anything for the Cornwall Free Press.”


Based on this Jamie, we have decided to continue with our current marketing platform where we feel it best suits our needs. 

Alexa is a fine tool for web measurement.  It’s not perfect, but that being said we have not only consistently been the number one ranked of the local media, we still are, so that argument is mute.   Btw, did you catch that interesting switch which of course would not show any rankings?  www.Cornwallfreepress.com instead of our actual id, www.Cornwallfreenews.com?  Pretty clever huh?  Or grounds for someone at the Province’s agency to be fired.

Again these are tax dollars being spent.  Millions of tax dollars being spent when you add it all up.

Why on earth would any government agency pay more for less value when spending the public’s monies?  Does that make any sense?

CAS, Cornwall Community Hospital, the Bridge Authority, Raisin River Institute, the School Boards, Seaway Tourism, the local library, city funded art gallery, and museum, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit who were refusing to send the largest media outlet in its city health alerts as well!   The Champlain LHIN, Eastern Ontario Training Board,  St.Lawrence College (who refuse to send us journalism interns as well)  the United Counties of SD&G and many more.   We’re not talking weak sister or not reflection, but zero, nada.

Heck even our Premier’s office was contacted with no results.

How are we supposed to grow and hire more people and contract more services?  As it is Seawaytv.com is on the shelf because of these boycotts.   A city of 45,000 people should have a local newscast, shouldn’t it?

Kinda nuts, huh?    Some in our circle suggest some kind of conspiracy.   Some point to some groups just being lazy and buying ads via chain for multiple cities.

But as CFN approaches its 5th birthday in February it surely raises questions and red flags.

When the public decides where they wish to congregate online surely any taxpayer based spending should reflect that, at least to some degree.

The questions are why these agencies are playing politics instead of serving their mandates?   And is there really some prejudice against the only locally owned media corporation in the city of Cornwall and area?

Should these agencies have to reflect the numbers of viewers and demographics in their ad buys?

What do you think dear viewers of CFN?  You can post your comments below.

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17 Comments on "Why is the Province of Ontario & Area Agencies Boycotting CFN via Ad & Notice Placements?"

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Jamie I can assure you that you are not the only one being discriminated against. Years ago Cornwall could have had other industries to establish there but those at Cornwall (Fossoli) administration turned it down so as to ward off competition. Old John Rockefeller once said way back when “competition is a sin” and believe me dear man your paper would surpass the “toilet paper of record – SF” by many long shots. Cornwall cannot compete in anything no matter what it is and they are weary of people who come from somewhere else. You are not the only one… Read more »

if only……but I will refrain. Best I keep my observations to myself in this case.


Why start now stella?

Driving the Karma Bus
Driving the Karma Bus
Yesterday morning, very early, about 5:45 AM I sat reading the news on CFN. I read the sad story of the passing of baby Gionni. Written with compassion and respect for the family. I walk into a store an hour later only to see the screaming headline of the standard freeholder. “Billota Jail Baby Dies” and I thought to myself….oh no you didn’t! I don’t know this family, but I am certain I CAN imagine just what each and every family member felt when they saw that horrible headline. No matter what this baby’s beginning, his ending did not have… Read more »

Maybe make it a poll question…whether or not the people want their city to advertise on CFN. Try to do it so the two possible answers don’t mean the same thing.


Those damn milk cartons. Write it out 1000 times friend.

I have to agree with Driving the Karma Bus here Jamie and I have to say that no matter what kind of a person this woman Julie is that SF article according to Driving the Karma Bus was uncalled for. I read enough about what she did but it isn’t the baby’s fault what the mother did and that kind of reporting done by SF shows exactly what kind of people work in such a place. Jamie I say what I mean and I never back down at all from my opinions and when I say to you and everyone… Read more »
reality check
A little off topic but since a statement was made in this discussion and that statement shapes many discussions across a wide swath on cfn i feel its worth a mention . A truly fair and intelligent person forms a opinion on available information once they made that opinion their true intelligence is displayed by taking into account other peoples valid opinions on the same topic learning from them and changing or tweaking their opinion if wrong while on the other side of the coin are people that are responsible for discourse because once they make an opinion they refuse… Read more »
Jamie you wonder why I am off topic as you said. The “toilet paper of record – SF” gets advertising because they are the “mainstream-lamestream BS liars” and I can tell you for a fact that very few people purchase any paper that is mainstream-lamestream these days. Most reading is done on line by people. A lot of people are awakening to the truth and don’t follow the news and many are even dropping their cable TV since they know what it is all about just like I know. What I am getting at Jamie is that you try not… Read more »

@ Jules. George Carlin is one of your favorite comedians? That surprises me. He’s one of mine too.
Read this and tell us what you think of it. http://www.rense.com/general69/obj.htm
Back on topic: I’m wondering if the boycotting may have something to do with the thousands of anti-French comments over the last few years. Not a criticism, just a thought.

Jane Doe
OK I am being very honest here.. I think the milk carton photo of the mayor was in bad taste.. Too much about Anglo rights and too much discussion of Anglo/French politics.. I think sometimes too many comments on particular subjects which should not be one here. You do much good stuff and articles but some letters to the editor from the Camerons, Eric Little etc.. These type of articles pull you down IMO ..Now I am looking at the big picture.. Sure it makes for good discussion but looks bad on paper .. You can be better than you… Read more »
Michael Clifton

One of the defining features of the new media is the focus on the “interactive” element.
It seems to me that the volume of responses displayed for any particular article/issue are simply a reflection of the impact of the story and the level of passion it generates. I think it’s a dangerous territory when it is suggested that the real responses of the engaged readers (public) should be groomed or edited.
I personally find inspiration in the prolific, sometimes wildly different viewpoints of CFN’s readers.

Jane Doe

Good points Michael… I did not explain myself very well after rereading my post.. it is the bickering that continues on particular subjects (comments) that I think do CFN no favors

Michael Clifton

I value your opinion JD and I thank you for my first “dialogue” with another responder on CFN. I watch your comments and can see that you love and respect your community – good on you. I look forward to your future comments on all topics. Vive le difference.

This is one of THEEEEE best posts i have ever read in these forums. The Barney fyfe comparison produced thunderous laugh also… Thanks reality check. October 17, 2013 at 8:24 am rc wrote, ” A little off topic but since a statement was made in this discussion and that statement shapes many discussions across a wide swath on cfn i feel its worth a mention . A truly fair and intelligent person forms a opinion on available information once they made that opinion their true intelligence is displayed by taking into account other peoples valid opinions on the same topic… Read more »