And the Winner was……Cornwall City Council and Mayor’s Debate for the Chamber of Commerce – October 5, 2010 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – It was like the opening episode of American Idol.   The contestants you know have zero chance can be as much fun if not more entertaining as the real deals.    Although sometimes some surprising messages come from those that have no chance for office.

I think for me as a taxpayer, citizen, and future council candidate this batch of council candidates prove that we really do need to raise the salaries for city council.  Maybe we need to cut down to 8 or 6 councilors or simply bite the bullet.

The reality of this body of people making decisions on a $150M + budget per year is a bit scary.    There are some great people.   I’m not sure if there are ten in this group I personally want making key decisions that could impact our waterfront; our growth, the merger and impact of big box stores vs our local downtown core…the list goes on.

It’s funny.    Every stone cast at the current regime is pretty much dead on.   Of course every bouquet espoused of them is also true.   Nobody will ever do a perfect job, but is Pat Finnerty anywhere near the mark?  Would you trust him with the city cheque book?


For the most part it was the same old same old from the Councilors who had less than 3 minutes to communicate to Cornwall what they stand for.   It’s a difficult task and you need more than 3 minutes and an election sign to communicate who you are.

Councilor Denis Thibault rang a few strong chords…


…as did veteran Councilor Denis Carr who just became a grandfather this past Saturday….


…Councilor Clement first  focused on her role as the Federal Liberal candidate and how she would resign from Council if elected MP ..


Mary Ann Hug tugged at my heart strings as health care to me is the number one issue facing all of us at all levels of government and as a PSW she has an intimate relationship of how we take care of ourselves in the current system.


The most stirring council statement came from Gary Samler; a lifelong poverty and social advocate, and long term military man recently snubbed by the Labour Council endorsement whose debate he’s attending Wednesday night.

Newcomers of note included Jim Marshall….


Mike Bedard who is one of the few candidates who actually runs their own business….


Todd Bennett made some strong statements….


It was the mayoralty candidates that got the crowd going.   While the debate was a bit too close to call a winner on both Mayor Kilger and Mark MacDonald were surprising.     Mr. MacDonald known more as an abrasive brawler type showed the council at the foot of former mayor Brian Lynch is paying off as some of his rougher edges have been smoothed and his message came out in clear strong strokes keeping Mayor Kilger on the defensive for much of the evening.

It should be interesting to see if as an experience politician as Mayor Kilger is he reacts in the next round?  Nicole Spahich seemed more musically focused as she categorically stated that she would “Promise you zero” to the crowd while continually waxing about violin music being empty…..    She’s an engaging woman; especially in person, but as I type this I’m still not quite sure of her platform, and judging from her performance I’m not 100% she is either.    For a rookie Cornwall politician she’s showing a lot of courage as she faces two much more experienced adversaries.

Wednesday night is the next full on debate for the Labour Council at the Legion.    The Cornwall Public Library just announced a debate focused on the arts and culture for October 20, and of course all 3 candidates will be debating LIVE on on Tuesday October 19th.

To listen to the PODCAST of our coverage of the Debate CLICK HERE

What do you think Cornwall?  Who has impressed you so far and who hasn’t?  You can post your comments below.

Kilger for Mayor

Mark McDonald

Spahich for Mayor


  1. I certainly hope Mr. Jim Marshall is favourited by the Cornwall Community on the ballot. I see a confident, experienced passionate, sincere person who can provide guidance, leadership and representation for each individual in our community.

  2. Todd
    The splash pad, is yet another travesty riddled by poor local support and management at all levels. Some prominent business people have walked away from that project as a result. Had the places been built as designed we could have held competitions aiding in promoting the city as well as helping our economy. It is very similar to the complex…

    Where do you currently find the gainful employment for professionals? I am speaking of yearly incomes of $175,000 as a base salary. Add to that with the current levels of education in the city what kind of gainful employment can you bring here?

    You may not like the mills but they were paramount in creating the city. The Mill town mentality was only a result of the people working within not having more then a high school education and in many cases not even that level was achieved. In that time earning a good living was important and it made sense to me as well. Don’t slam Domtar slam the unions and the local politicians selling industry down the road to either get themselves elected or to ensure the tradesmen were only available for local industry as well as controlling the pay scales.

    Still pullin for ya Todd

    You may think small business is the key, however unless government reduces taxes it is nothing more then serfdom. With minimum wage employment people will only be working to get by. I am not sure that is right however it does meet with current council’s mandate of oppression. You may have never seen General Motors walking down the street but you did see the salesmen and mechanics from the industry they support.

    I question your logic.

    You make a strong emphasis on NOW, but you have done little as of yet. I think your now has passed.

  3. The Centre for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulentstrain of this old disease. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim. It’s pronounced “Gonna re-elect ’em,” and it is a terrible disease.

    The disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behaviour involving putting your cranium up your rectum. Many victims contracted it in 2008 when they re-elected Dalton McGunity’s Liberals in Ontario and are now starting to realize how destructive this sickness is. Now it is beginning to effect the smaller communities as well municipal elections approach..

    It’s sad because Gonorrhea Lectim is easily cured with a new drug just coming on the market called Votemout. It’s pronounced “Vote-em-out”. You take the first dose in 2010 and don’t engage in such behaviour again; otherwise, it could become permanent and eventually wipe out all life as we know it in Ontario

    Please pass this important message on to all those bright folk you really care about.

  4. Pardon me “smee”, with only 2 or so minutes it’s hard to avoid sweeping statements.

    My reference to GM was a reference to corporate GM and not the family of dealerships or GM employees.

    GM was bailed out by working taxpayers and small business and small business owners, because corporate GM was over extending itself; setting up facilities in Russia, India, and Mexico, not simply to expand, but to outsource Canadian jobs. And in 2011 GM is still expected to ramp up importing of vehicles from China.

    And remember that it was corporate GM that didn’t hesitate to shut down 245 out of something like 730 dealerships. Sure they’re a big employer (over 33,000 in Canada) but that pales compared to the small and medium business, and entrepreneurs that act more responsibly toward the community on which they rely..

  5. Jim
    I can remember a GM manufacturing facility and how difficult it was to complete a simple task. However that is a result of the people working there not only the company. Out sourcing is a necessary evil as a result of poor solutions for bad management known as unions.

    Yes the company makes money, peoples “it’s all about me” idealisms must be changed combined with governments desire to steal from people in their own version of “what about me”
    As long as Mr GM is rich we have employment if you think you have the right to dip too deep into his pocket, he has the same right to move.

    Lower the taxes or provide better services for what we pay else you are no better then GM

  6. Oh and if GM plans to ramp up imports it is a sign dealerships will grow and a sign our economy is improving…or else where is the demand for the supply’

  7. One can only hope that that’s true, …or is it “déjà vu all over again”.

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