Cornwall Ontario – As she’s about to celebrate her 5,000 published comment on CFN we thought we’d finally publish the third part of our interview with “Jules”.
Like many, she’s afraid to post using her full name because of having grown up in Cornwall and fearful of retaliation to her family. Good or bad; she’s a snapshot of a certain generation of Cornwall Culture, and part of those that fled the city to Ottawa and other pastures because of abuse and racism. (Jules was married to a visible minority before it was more culturally accepted)
Jules Interview Part 1 LINK
Jules Interview Part 2 LINK
You mentioned memories in your last answer. What other fond memories do you have of Cornwall?
In Cornwall I had some good friends and you knew who was who unlike living in a big city where you don’t know people very well. I found some people to be very nice and others the entire opposite. Like my husband has said for years is that the people of Cornwall are themselves (not the rich people but the ordinary people) who are down to earth and have a good heart. The people of Ottawa are usually unbearable in character and driving.
Did you meet your husband in Cornwall? What was it like back then being married to a visible minority in Cornwall?
Yes I met my husband in Cornwall and being married to a visible minority was difficult because terrible racist remarks were made. When my husband came to Canada he spoke very little English and only French (dialect of France) and Arabic (dialect of Lebanon). When my husband was at work he would speak French to his co-workers who were French Canadian and the supervisor would get very upset and say “no French! no French! and my husband was upset wondering what kind of a country is that if you cannot speak in the language of your choice?
My husband is dark complexioned and one Native man came up to him at Canadian Tire in Cornwall some years ago and thought that he was Native. That was funny to see. We had a friend in Ottawa who looked a little like Michael Ansara the actor who was from Syria (the one who played Indian roles and married to actress Barbara Eden) and I have a picture of him when we were in a park in Prescott Ontario.
We had plenty of problems with some people but not everyone. Looking for work in Cornwall being a visible minority adds to the greatest hardship because the people of Cornwall are very racist. The people of Cornwall are not accustomed to other races and nationalities. Mr. Nick Kaneb and his family were from Boston Mass and there were many horrible names said in past years and they were good people.
I went to high school (St. Lawrence) with Karen Kaneb and a very nice girl. My husband told my daughter that finding work would be difficult for her because of her being half Lebanese and it was heart breaking for her to hear that. I had a landlord in Cornwall who was from India and he told us about his daughter being rejected in high school over applications for work – the teacher would pass around papers to everyone except her and she came home crying to her parents. Cornwall does not live in the 20th nor 21st century at all – more like the cave people from the beginning of time.
If you could change one thing about Cornwall what would it be?
Cornwall should clean up its act with that Big Ben and have the waterfront cleaned up along with other places. We enjoy going to the parks in Long Sault, Ingleside and Morrisburg area but Cornwall is a dump compared to those places.
What do you think is the best quality of Cornwall?
Cornwall is easy to get around in because it is small but it lacks good public transportation. It lacks buses at different times, it lacks the Voyageur bus for those who don’t drive and so many things. Buses should be everywhere to those smaller towns that I mentioned among many other areas in the Glengarry areas as well. With the huge taxes that Cornwall pays there should be better things offered. For Lift Off and other things to have disappeared you know that there is plenty wrong with Cornwall. I never went to Lift Off or anything like that but it is good for people who do like such things. Cornwall has driven away businesses of all sorts good paying jobs and not so good paying jobs. It is hard to pinpoint just what is good that I like about the town.
Last comment is yours. What would you like to say to the people of Cornwall?
I would say to the people of Cornwall to wake the hell up and stop living like everything is ok because it isn’t ok. It is a disaster. People from my day (I am now 66 years old) left Cornwall for better opportunities and Cornwall is situated in the right spot where it is not all that far from major cities.
People need to get educated and not everyone is capable of doing university but get educated in the trades. Get to know what is going on in the world and stop being narrow minded and not informed. Get Cornwall on the move and stop electing mayors and council that are completely dumbfounded not knowing anything and making literal fools out of themselves. Diversify yourselves and make businesses that work. Get involved in council and mayor and not rely only on a few people to get involved. Get out there and take part in the community. The community is you and if you are not so good a person it reflects on the entire town.
How does it feel knowing that from the many many comments you leave on CFN that you’ve become more famous than Sue Stewart, and that people actually email CFN asking if you’re ok if you don’t post for a few days?
Jamie the people of Cornwall don’t realize that you are a great person and you can believe that if your paper didn’t exist you would not hear of me going to look at what is going on in Cornwall and area. Cornwall has opportunities but it has to do with the people and it is in their hands what happens to the town. A retirement town would be mighty depressing. I am a senior citizen now and I would not want to be with just the elderly – that is mighty depressing to see and experience. I like to see diversity and see people and businesses prosper. I don’t want to see a graveyard that will come along sooner than I can picture. I get down when I think about how long I have left.
Folks improve the town and get active and Jamie is the very best there is and I don’t just say that I mean that fully. Jamie and I have never met but I can see from my end that he is a good and caring person. I am not Jamie at all and I live in Ottawa South in the Alta Vista area of the city. Jamie has my IP address so don’t assume stupidities and get to be intelligent. I am my own person “wacky Jules” many times and I have held that position for many years and don’t need to share it. I have eaten so much junk and put on some weight and just now my daughter is giving me hell because my blood pressure is very high and hit through the roof and I am very sore on my left arm and side. My doctor retired and I have to search for another one. Jamie you take good care of yourself and those beautiful animals of yours. You are the best and I mean that fully.
Your wacky Jules(the one and only) LOL LOL. ROLF!