Letter to the Editor: Mike Bedard – City Council Candidate on the Communties in Boom Report – October 20, 2010

Cornwall ON – Is Cornwall one of Canada’s top or worst entrepreneurial cities?  Even though rankings point to Cornwall falling behind in economic development our leaders are not convinced!
I believe Cornwall to be currently in a very similar position to what has been portrayed by several economists and industry leading professionals.  Cornwall is currently NOT an easy city to start and operate a business in for various reasons including but not limited to: High Tax Rates, Slow Building Permit Approvals, a lack of ‘Small Business Awareness’ by local government and a stagnant population.
The rate in which new businesses start-up and the expectations of current businesses to hire new full-time employees is very low in comparison to other communities and our economy is the direct cause of such conditions.  It is the responsibility of our local government to create a climate to promote business start-up and growth from within our own borders.
We have been creating work and new jobs but the reality of the matter is that so are other communities and we are doing it much slower than almost everyone else!  The majority of our new construction is due to the influx of investment from the provincial and federal governments and that spending is now halted.  It should be also well noted that the biggest current project under construction “The Cornwall Community Hospital” has requested city staff attend several meetings, regarding the construction phases, of the on-going project and too the amazement of the Contractors no city staff even show up!  In no other city would this happen but in Cornwall!
So, how are we perceived by outsiders and do they have any justification of their opinions?  Here is some eye opening statistics that will show just how well this current council has done in comparisons to other cities.  I am not saying they haven’t worked hard or have not accomplished anything what I am saying is that it is still not good enough and we need to continue getting better!
MoneySense – Canada’s Best Places to Live List
In 2006, Cornwall was ranked 19th out of 108 Canadian Cities.
In 2010, Cornwall was ranked 92nd out of 179 Canadian Cities.
CFIB – Communities in Boom: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities
In 2010, Cornwall was ranked 100th out of 100 Canadian Cities.
Important Notes: A very small number of businesses were polled for this study (24). But out of those 24 these were the hard facts:
  1. When rating local government’s sensitivity to local businesses: The percentage of respondents who give a ‘GOOD’ rating to their local government on ‘Awareness of small business’ was 0.0%.

That means not one single business, who responded, in Cornwall believed their local government knows enough about how small businesses are operating in today’s economy!

  1. When rating future full-time hiring’s: The percentage of respondents who expect to add to full-time employment levels within the next 3-4 months was 2.8%; tied for the lowest percentage.

This means that although we have brought in new jobs we still have not created a climate of growth and our economy is not in such a state that local businesses are planning for growth despite what our current government tells us!

In Summary, our current councilors have worked very hard but they have NOT closed the gap of prosperity between Cornwall and the rest of Ontario and Canada’s cities!  We are still viewed as a risky city to invest in and that image will not vary until major changes are made in the way Cornwall DOES BUSINESS!
We need more business oriented individuals on City Council because the city is a business and our business community needs to regain its confidence in our local government.  On October 25th, 2010 vote for change and vote as if you were hiring your businesses new management because in essence you are!

Thank you,
Mike Bedard
Cornwall City Council Candidate

(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.)
Gary SamlerMike Bedard


  1. hear hear… too much red tape in this city… keep chasing artists out of parks for not paying for licenses to play their guitars…

  2. Finally, somebody with some common sense and the urge to fight for whats right! Good Luck and don’t let the old boys club get to you! Because I am sure they will come at you with there “Hey, my friends work for the city BS!

    P.S.- There are more of us then those in the old boys club and keep up the good work!

  3. Amazing! I haven’t felt this inspired about a local politician in a long time. It brings a tear to my eye knowing that Cornwall’s youth will step up and surpass us in the very near future.

    Congratulations on your bravery Mr. Bedard!

  4. Mike – this editorial / advertisement is spot on. Thank you for calling a spade a spade and not simply blaming the report data for Cornwall ranking last. There is a lot of validity to what you have written, but no ones seems to want to talk about it. Hopefully you will continue to push this type of business / entrepreneurship mentally when elected to city council.

    You’ve won my vote by this commentary alone.

  5. A lot of people will not be happy with what I have written but it is not that I am trying to be critical of the people more so than the results. Performances speaks for itself and I believe that our performance, as a city (business), can be improved and almost every business owner will tell you that there is always room for improvement and very rarely will we reach a perfection. To improve your performance you must realistic view were you are presently, no holds barred, and then begin strengthen the weak points!

    Gone are the days were people are willing to except failure from government and protection of those who are directly responsible. People just want the simple truths, about weaknesses, acknowledged and resolved!

  6. This is of course not news.

    Step outside of Cornwall and you’ll find that the only target that has been hit by the branding hype that we paid to consultants, is Cornwall (our logo is shared by half a dozen trucking companies, the China Daily News and Belleville, I believe).

    Logos and slogans are baloney churned out by consultants that will tell you whatever you want to hear.

    You can’t buy a solution and it’s going to be a long hard slog until Cornwall fosters a community of hard working well educated citizens that are equipped to take on the challenge of developing our own businesses and attracting others.

    Is Cornwall ready to accept that it will take time, and rolling up our own sleeves, or do we continue buying solutions and begging for business?

    I hope we’re ready to bite the bullet and earn a reputation. Because I want my kids back, and my grandchildren nearby.

  7. Mike Dont think of those few people not happy by your comments. They really don’t matter anyway.What matters is what you said being true and it should be told and not doctored up by those only trying to get back into council. I admire you for your standing up for what you believe and please read what you said in the mini Proust quiz last question What you want to be remembered for?. Be true to yourself always and Congrats. I also loved your motivational speech given tonight at the Library Arts and Culture Debate Well Done.

  8. *lol* I like you Jim!!!
    The logo on our sign lacks creativity. It also shows a lack of local talent synonymous with Cornwall administration.

    A person once wrote of the new sign
    Beneath the big green line someone should write in big red letters . “ Bring us your DNA” That I believe holds true

  9. Not much needs to be said about Mike’s comments because NOT only are they true but indisputable. Plus, Mike is very smart and if I were a smart man I think he might of wanted to see who would take the bait, so to speak, and get into a public battle with him. My guess is he is still sitting on information that he could use because like I said he is a very smart man!

    I think he just believes that the old school politicians would be better off by changing the way they deal with negativity!

  10. Hi Matt,

    I wasn’t trying to bait anyone into a public battle! I appreciate your relentless support of me; but I want to win an election based on merit and substance. My passion comes from my drive for perfection which I think will be greatly appreciated on council!

    Since, I like to motivate people I will give you this though………I am NOT afraid of anyone and I will NOT change my opinion, to make them look good, no matter how hard they try! And trust me, they have tried!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

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