CORNWALL Ontario – There has been one consistent public message in Cornwall Ontario since December 2013, and that the community wishes to not have chemical tanks on our waterfront and in particular the ones on the Trillium Distribution Inc. site.
While there are varied responses, that’s the common theme. That message seems to have fallen on deaf ears as the tanks are full steam ahead as this writer has expected since day one.
Mark A MacDonald, a former councilor running again this term, was painting the shack he put up at the site Pink and stating that the Federal government is “Bullying” our community.
While great for picking up headlines there clearly is only one villain in this story, but what’s incredulous is that Mr. MacDonald, Chuck Charlebois, the Chamber and many of the key protesters and council refuse to publicly demand an answer to the very very clear question.
Way back in December Transport Canada gave CFN the exclusive statement below in response to our query:
The tenant provided detailed information regarding proposed activities for this commercial operation at this port facility to the City of Cornwall. Specifically, Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc. advised Transport Canada that they first contacted the City of Cornwall in February 2013, and that, among other discussions with the City, Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc. also provided details of the project plan to the City of Cornwall in June 2013.
Mayor Kilger, not on behalf of council, issued a press release via City Hall shortly thereafter:
Mr. Kevin Pollard contacted the City’s Economic Development office in February 2013 to determine possible opportunities for securing existing storage tanks, or potentially building his own. Water access was not stated as being essential. At that time he was provided information on a variety of site options, including the Cornwall Business Park, a former industrial site in the west end of the City, and a wharf in the Morrisburg area. He was alerted to the sensitivity of the Harbour Area given the neighbouring residential and recreational uses, the lack of rail, and the lack of adequate trucking routes to Highway 401. Mr. Pollard did not extend dialogue with City officials following this preliminary and exploratory contact.
No further contact was received until June 2013 when Mr. Pollard contacted City officials on a single occasion to inform them that Transport Canada had agreed to enter into a lease. No further discussion or confirmation of the lease was ever received from Trillium or Transport Canada. No specific details, sketch or site plan was provided. The City recommended a meeting to discuss concerns regarding planning and land use issues. City officials did not provide any approval, verbal or otherwise, at any time. Mr. Pollard did not pursue further dialogue with City officials. Notwithstanding this request, the City has never met anyone from Trillium Distribution.
That magic part of the statement; which is quite damning to itself is quite clear.
No further contact was received until June 2013 when Mr. Pollard contacted City officials on a single occasion to inform them that Transport Canada had agreed to enter into a lease.
Again, this isn’t some journalist making something up. These are Bob Kilger’s own words, in his own press release, issued by the City of Cornwall via the Economic Development team.
So why has council refused to call that Mayor on his release in open council? Why has City Hall refused to answer that very question? Why isn’t Chuck Charlebois or Mark A MacDonald asking that question instead of painting outhouses pink and calling the Federal government “bullies” which they may be; but in this case clearly are not?
And where are the other media in covering this very point and issue? Mr. MacDonald may be getting headlines, and creating some awareness, but surely if the people of Cornwall had known before the tanks where in the ground there’d be a much better chance that they would not be now? Surely any possible costs for breaking of a lease that didn’t involve the cost of construction would cost less to break?
So that brings us to the dark and more sinister questions of why the cover up; as this surely is a cover up at City Hall? Like any good writer you always have to follow the money. So far that’s a bit more difficult to do; but what we do know is that until Mayor Kilger and council answer these very basic questions the nasty is on.
I’m calling a rally in front of City Hall (340 Pitt Street) at the next council meeting, Monday April 14th, 2014 at 6:45 PM. Spring is in bloom so the weather should be nice. If people really do care about this issue this is the time to make a show and all to come together for the cause. No grand standing; no strangeness. This should just be about tax payers not wanting their waterfront jigged without having their say.
I invite everyone that has led the cause in some way; the Chamber of Commerce, Chuck, Mark, Todd, those great guys from Akwesasne that showed up at my first rally with their flag on the pick up truck; everyone that can be impacted by a leak of Calcium Chloride into our narrow waterway or those that don’t want multiple trucks next to a little league ball park and condos.
It’s time for people to make their statement. And it’s time for Monday night for either Andre Rivette, Maurice Dupelle, Gerry Samson, or one of the other Councilors to ask Bob what the heck happened in open council. The people want answers. The people deserve answers. It’s after all, our future; not just a few back door hustlers.
Former Mayor Phil Poirier who just passed away talked about the tanks in his last public video interview. He hits all the key points clearly; why can’t our council? Phil clearly didn’t want the tanks and wanted answers to questions and actions taken. In his memory we should be taking a stand and demanding the truth.
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