Cornwall Ontario City Councilor Mark MacDonald’s $500,000 Solution to the Seaway International Bridge Crisis – Markus Noé- March 15, 2010

Council Refuses to Ignore Bridge Issue

Cornwall ON – Cornwall and area business owners as well as commuters were given a glimmer a hope with the departure of Minister Peter Van Loan as Public Safety Minister. The thought was perhaps the new Minister Vic Toews would be able fast track a resolution for the bridge issue. Unfortunately for Cornwallites Toews has chosen to be just as inactive on this issue as his predecessor. The first evidence of this came last week with Toews refusal to meet with Mayor Bob Kilger.

This has ruffled some feathers on council and during next week’s meeting a curious motion will be brought forth. Councilor Marc MacDonald’s motion which is seconded by Mary Ann Hug if passed would charge the Canada Day Committee $500,000 for the use of Lamoureux Park for this year’s celebration.

When asked why he has put this motion together MacDonald said, “We have been going unnoticed by the federal government long enough. The Chamber of Commerce has said that local businesses are losing thousands of dollars a day. This motion is to keep this issue on the table as well to hopefully recoup some of the money the city has lost.”

MacDonald’s is also seeking a quick resolution to this issue because it has put the construction of the lower level bridge on hold. “This is a 100 million dollar project that will change the face of the community, I keep getting told that the money is the bank but we cannot start construction until this issue is resolved.”

Charging a half a million dollars for the use of Lamoureux Park may be excessive, however Macdonald defends his motion when he said, “It is one thing to complain about this issue and say we are not satisfied with the government’s inaction but it’s not enough. We have to do something a bout it. It is up to the mayor and the rest of council to do something about it. If this motion doesn’t pass than I suggest for someone else on council to come up with something.”

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  1. Interesting suggestion. At least someone is thinking outside the box and trying to form a practical plan of action. However, where would this half-million be going, physically? They can’t possibly divide it up between all the businesses. Any idea, Markus?

  2. While it is nice to seem someone trying something this idea is ridiculous, and should not make it out of council. I don’t even understand the point. Why would the Canada Day committee care about the bridge enough to fork over that kind of cash? Where would the money go? How will this help the situation?

    The only thing I see is an election coming up, and one guy standing up and saying “Look at me, I’m doing something and no one else is”. Something silly, but I guess it is something. And now when the motion doesn’t pass he can say “at least I tried, no one else even did that.” Well, we’re all trying to keep a straight face. I’ll be watching on Monday, ready to laugh my buttocks off. Should be a good time.

  3. Author

    Hi Destructo,

    I think if anything Councilor MacDonald has spurred conversation in a topic that upsets a lot of people. Sometimes that’s not a bad thing….

  4. So do you agree that this is a silly motion? Is it council’s job to spark interesting conversation, or is that your job? I’m not trying to be rude or funny, I really don’t get it. Would it not make more sense to charge rent for the actual location? Then at least we a re putting pressure on the right people. I don’t see why we need to bring Canada Day into this mess.

  5. Author

    Destructo I can’t speak for any involved but from my perch it looks like a few councilors, including Mr. MacDonald have wanted to expedite discussion on this issue. I know that our own journalist, Markus Noe contacted Mr. MacDonald which led to him having further discussions with other media and of course that great photo of him in that other newspaper that recently in a childish act of spite attempted our mandate of transparency when posting as a media outlet on their or any other media site.

    Sometimes you have to scream loudly to get people’s attention. If that was councilor MacDonald’s goal I think he succeeded.

  6. I think the idea is flawed from the start. You cannot use these tactics on the Fed’s because in the end who do you think will suffer? Cornwall will suffer in the future because of some hotheads action.

  7. Sure, you can scream loudly, but if you’re screaming nonsense you’ll get the wrong kind of attention. Or maybe you’ll get ignored. No one likes to be yelled at, especially governments, even more so Conservative governments, even even more so Harpers government.

  8. In business you present a business case to support your model, in politics, you make a similar presentation but with a bunch of voters to back it up with phone calls / email / letters to the editor.

  9. Eric, those same voters that must have had Guy Lauzon’s phone ringing off the hook, and his email jammed, to say YES to making it possible to implement the HST in the first place?

  10. grimalot, when you get the Premier saying things like people can write letters to the editor if they want to complain, it would have taken a major backlash to alter it. The kind we saw when the NDP / Liberal/ Bloc tried to take control.

  11. I think this a ridiculous motion and doesn’t have a chance to get passed at the upcoming City Council meeting. Sure we all agree that is the fault of the federal Conservatives who will likely lose this riding in the next election over the bridge issue, but it another thing for a municipality to threaten the feds using a sort of financial blackmail. This is not the way to go.

    I agree with the mayor that to be denied a meeting with Vic Toews is unacceptable and unprecedented. This tells us that it doesn’t matter what minister of safety is in place, the decision to do nothing comes right from the top, Harper and the PMO. Mayor Kilger should now request a meeting with the prime minister to try to get negotiations going. I think it is the only way.

    I would be very surprised to see Guy Lauzon re-elected in this riding now that everyone sees how ineffective a leader he really is.

  12. Eric, my statement above was just to point out the fact, write to the MP if you want, he wont do anything about it. He tows the party line. He’s Harpers little lapdog.

    And please don’t be so misinformed, or maybe you already forgot when the Conservatives attempted to team up with the Bloc, and the NDP, to take down the liberals. Same exact thing. Even Stronach crossed the floor in her disgust at the situation going on at the time. The Conservatives actually attempted an as they say “undemocratic” coalition first. So they are hypocrites in that regards. Also to note, they were supposed to have elected senate, what happened to that? Same crap, different day, in Canadian politics.

  13. Kevin, I would wager you that Lauzon wins the next election by 5000 votes at least, but most likely it will be 10,000. There has never been an M.P that has shaked more hands and kissed more babies. He has the baby boomers and their parents vote locked down. These two groups take up the majority of the voting population thus giving no one else a chance.

    People in our community don’t care enough about the bridge issue vote Lauzon out. In fact the majority are tired of talking about it. It is only a small percentage of the SD&G population that are acting out on this issue, and most of those people blog here. There needs to be more pressure placed on Lauzon by the voters. This is an important riding for the Conservatives and if they were scared about losing it, they would act.

  14. i think are Canadian government is garbage and all the people in it should be shot they don’t care about anyone but themselves there money hungry.are government is just as corrupt as the U.S government Barack Obama is gonna bankrupt the U.S and if we don’t get rid of Stephen Harper this country is gonna go bankrupt as well i use to watch the news all the time and then when you see government spending money here and there and everywhere HA it’s a joke

  15. Author


    Please do not use profanity when posting a comment. It’s not because you don’t have the free right too, but we are trying to keep this an all ages paper and we do know that some younger people read our paper. We are asking that you not post profanity out of respect for all of our readers.


    Da Management 🙂

  16. A big problem is that any governement does not want to touch issues concerning our Native population, bilingualism or multi-culturism.

    Grimalot, the difference was that the conservatives were given the minority by the voters and could form partnerships on our behalf.

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