Cornwall Ontario Municipal Election – Musings Down the Home Stretch – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – October 12, 2010

Cornwall ON – I can’t paint.  I can’t draw.  I sketch worth crap.    I buy pastels, paints; love their feel and touch, and in those rare secret moments will play with the intense focus of a four year old.

Emily Carr WIKI

Emily Carr is my favorite Canadian painter.  She was quite a woman, and had an interesting life in that she struggled.   She even took a break from painting and simply was a land lady renting out rooms in her large house in BC while teaching a bit.

Struggle.   It’s an epic thing.   The essence of stories; even bed time stories.

Which brings me to the point of this piece as we near the home stretch of something that’s been an interesting struggle.

There have been a few struggles in this municipal election here in Cornwall Ontario.

There’s been a class struggle of sorts.   Councilor Mark MacDonald and his team, led by former Mayor Brian Lynch, have been trying to sell an idea.  Us or them; the fat cats vs those that may have to eat cat food.

If work were the sole factor in getting elected Mark MacDonald would win by a landslide.  Not that the mayor has slacked or is taking it easy.  His camp is very aware of the Macdonald push, but it’s really the little guy against the machine and the machine usually wins.

Nicole Spahich has about 10% of the vote in our poll.  If she can get 10% of the vote on October 25th I think she can appreciate that she’s done a heck of a job; especially for someone whose mother tongue is neither English or French, and who isn’t a long time resident.

On the council front there’s a lot of struggling too.    Incumbents Syd Gardiner, and Mary Ann Hug are stuggling for exposure, andmay not make it back to the council table.

I got a gorgeous brochure in the mail today from Bernadette Clement.  It came Canada Post.  Now that’s expensive.   There’s Jim Marshall who’s struggling to run a campaign on zero dollars on purpose.     It’s an idealistic stance and it’s a shame that Mr. Marshall doesn’t get more ink in our local media.

Some cynically have said that we media only write about those that give us money for ads.    I don’t think that’s true although I can understand the challenge of where and how to promote a campaign.   Cornwall is not an easy market to reach.

The younguns, Jason Setnyk 29, Mike Bedard 28, Maurice Dupelle, and Todd Bennett have all run strong campaigns with sound messages, but are they being heard?  Is the “We want new blood” crowd going to get out and vote on the 25th?

This years candidates are very weak on the female side of the equation.  Other than Ms Clement and Elaine Macdonald whose records speak for themselves, and the struggling Mary Ann Hug, does anyone think that Patricia Lalonde and Madeleine Lebrun have any shot?

And the final struggle is by his worship, Mayor of Cornwall, and long time MP Mr. Robert “Bob” Kilger.   The old warrior who’s been through an awful lot of elections.    The fire is still in his eyes; part Lear; part Lion.      He’s ready for the home stretch with a rally kicking off on Thursday evening at Schnitzels at 7PM on Thursday.

I have a hunch that this rally may well decide the election, and his political career.    The pressure is on Mayor Kilger and his team to make this a complete and utter home run or the 7th game of a Stanley cup.   A fumble here and it may be too late to build the momentum to overcome the quick start by Councilor MacDonald.

Advance polling starting today and it should be interesting to see the results after the election.  I have a hunch we’re going to see a lot more activity this election that last, and I think that more people may vote that last time too.

What do you think Cornwall?  Who’s going to be in and who’s going to be forgotten on October 26, 2010?  You can post your comments below.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

Cornwall Municipal Election SchnitzelsBob Copeland


  1. Is the “We want new blood” crowd going to get out and vote on the 25th? Fair question! We will find out the answer to that and many other questions by Oct 26th.

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