Grant vs MacDonald – Kilger separates the boys – Flagpole Blues for Cornwall’s Francophone Community

A weird and wooly night at Cornwall City Council and I left early!

The main event was the final decision over Le Monuement de la Francophonie.  The Richelieu Club wanted an 80 foot flag pole over a monument to honor the contributions of the Francophone community in Cornwall; specifically at Lamoureux Park. (LINK)

I personally have never seen so many people attend City Council.   Every inch of the room was packed with lots of people standing outside.

There was only one outcome they wanted to see.   Sadly, in the end they didn’t get what they wished and the council voted by a slim margin to allow only a 40 foot pole in the park; the same size as the current Canadian flag pole which the group offered to raise to the same 80 feet at their expense.

elaine Councilor Elaine MacDonald spoke of the “Branding of a public space” as she voted down the 80′ pole while Hug councilor Mary Anne Hug said “We shouldn’t move the Canadian Flag for any group.”

Councilor Kim Baird stated that “Flags represent Nations and not languages.”

Bernie1 Bernadette Clement drew a thunderous round of applause from the group as she shared that she would still vote to accept an 80 foot pole even though it looked like the vote wouldn’t pass, which it didn’t.   She said that she her colleagues, even though they didn’t agree to the pole still respected the Francophone community and their achievements and contributions to Cornwall.

She said this shouldn’t be a divisive issue and the council then voted to allow a 40 foot pole which drew another round of applause.

Organizers though were still undecided if the pole would go up or whether the group would find another location where an 80 foot pole would be acceptable.

In other council news Dennis Bryan of Barry Bryan Associates unveiled their initial plans and concepts for the new 3+1 arena project.

Council also drove home the fact that they are probably be going to close down several out door pools claiming that the $500K per year they are costing the city are simply too much for the declining numbers who use them.

Councilor Glen Grant set off the sparks for the night as he accused Elaine MacDonald of bringing in partisan politics into council by her motion for City Council to send a message to Ottawa that they follow many other communities in requesting EI change requirements to 360 hours.  He stated that the motion ” had no business bringing party politics in this chamber….this was none of our business.”

Sparks flew between councilor Grant and Mark MacDonald which led to Mayor Kilger spanking both gentlemen… metaphorically speaking of course….

The motion was defeated sadly as the costs of supporting people will end up in the city’s lap if EI isn’t improved during the recession.

What do you think Cornwall?  Do you think the city should’ve allowed the 80 foot flagpole and should the city have sent a request to Ottawa to lower the limits to 360 hours to collect EI??

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