The Power of Words – When the Lawyers Start to Dance – Editorial By Jamie Gilcig – March 13, 2012

CFN –  Transference is an interesting concept.   Essentially many people view what others would do based on what they would do.

For example; if I thought that someone hated me and would tell lies about me then I would tell lies about them.    In some strange sense it would be acceptable to my id because of the justification of thought.

Crazy I know.     Cornwall’s underbelly politically is very very interesting.   Something I will be covering in my new documentary that starts shooting in about a week.

I’m living it right now.   I had a hugely interesting discussion with a Cornwall politician last night.

This person is no dummy.  No senior who’s disconnected from the realities of living life today either.   It was a very impressive exchange and discussion of ideas and issues.

We all are special on this world in our own way.   Some people get to use their talents and some remain hidden.    Some suggest words are my special talent.  They may be right?    Of course they may be wrong too because words can get you in trouble.  They can upset people especially when there’s this thing called “Truth” behind them.

Some people’s words are like firing off a pellet gun, and some words are like shells from a .45.

Some people spray words around like an Uzi hoping to hit the target, and some people take careful deliberate  aim and nail a kill shot.

Yesterday the war of words that has been going on at City Hall hit a new low.   I was sent a lawyers letter and it was a doozy.   It truly was a magnificent piece of bullying.

Some might call it Libel Chill:

libel chill: situation where speech or conduct is suppressed by fear of penalization at the interests of an individual or group.

Of course I take every message of this type very very seriously.   CFN is not just myself.   Thousands of you read The Cornwall Free News every day and I imagine some of you actually like it and wish it to be around for awhile longer.

We’re trying to confirm if Cornwall City Tax Dollars are being spent on this attack; this attempt to muzzle your voice; not only mine.

In the meanwhile the lights are still on; the internet is still flowing; and my and the contributors to CFN’s words will still be fired into the darkness of the night hoping to find light and resonate with you our valued and treasured viewers.

Jamie Gilcig- Editor

The Cornwall Free News

(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 this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

James Moak


  1. City Hall needs to get thrown out. They have no respect for the citizens of Cornwall, even trying to further bully citizens with lawyers letters. What a rotten bunch!

  2. Keep up the good work!!! the fact that they sent you a legal document means your on to something and there worried. Its unfortunate that the cities legal fees are covered by the tax payers and yours are not, so be smart. Remember The City has never had anyone try to shine the light on there scandals and inexperiences to this extent. They might give threats and bully you, but I wouldn’t worry about it because if there were any good at it they wouldn’t of have to spend 1.4 million last year. Remember they have no experience just free legal services. Be smart and keep up the good work.

  3. Author

    Thank you Kris. What I’d really like to see are businesses in Cornwall step up and offer us more support. Not one member of CAG, whose purpose is to fight high taxes has stepped up.

  4. The rats are running scared! Put out the traps.

  5. Publish the letter. Unless you have signed a confidentiality agreement, which I doubt, it’s public domain no matter what the threats.

  6. Author

    The city and lawyer are refusing to say who is paying for the legal services at this time. I just sent in an official letter of complaint to the city and filed a third request for them to answer if they are spending tax dollars on this which would actually amount so far to more than they spent on advertising and marketing with CFN for all of 2011! Absurd!

  7. Comparing this to the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi is absurd and an insult to Suu Kyi and her mission. It’s like comparing a schoolyard skirmish to World War II.

    PJR, I think you missed these parts of the article:

    “Can freedom of speech be abused? Since historical times, it has been recognised that words can hurt as well as heal, that we have a responsibility to use our verbal skills in the right way. What is the “right” way? The Ten Commandments include an injunction against bearing false witness.”

    “Misusing the gift of speech to deceive or harm others is generally seen as unacceptable.”

    “Perjury, slander and libel, incitement to communal hatred, incitement to violence, all these are indictable offences in many countries today.”

  8. If an individual is suing for slander or libel. it would be up to that individual to pay the legal fees.

  9. Not so fast, Donnie. Not comparing plights…not at all.

    The point of comparison is that both Jamie and Aung San Suu Kyi are concerned with the power of words and the consequences of their misuse and abuse. I should have thought that obvious.

    Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a particular hero of mine, along with Nelson Mandela and the late Vaclav Havel. And I happen to have been born in her country, so I feel a living connection.

    For these reasons – and because words have been my business throughout a life in teaching at all levels – I read Suu Kyi’s article, all of her article, with great interest and care.

    Since you mention it, her fourth paragraph, which begins “Misusing the gift of speech to deceive or harm others is generally seen as unacceptable” is worth quoting in full, as follows:

    “Buddhism teaches that there are four verbal acts that constitute ‘tainted failure in living’: uttering deliberate lies for one’s own sake, for the sake of others or for some material advantage, uttering words that cause dissension, that is, creating discord among those united and inciting still more those who are in discord; speaking harshly and abusively, causing anger and distraction of mind in others; indulging in talk that is inadvisable, unrestrained and harmful.”

    Tell that to the American right, their Harperite clones in Canada, and their counterpart zealots around the world.

    In fact, I’d say we all have a lot to learn from Buddhist teaching, especially when we find ourselves in positions of responsibility – politicians at all levels, leaders in business and education, religious groups, the media, the arts, wherever.

  10. If the city is using our tax dollars to pursue you, I hope the community lashes out. I for one will be contacting every councilor to demand an answer! Refer to the link below, it will be helpful. Past rulings on similar types of lawsuits in Ontario, that’s if the city is making the case.

  11. jimmy99, that is a great read! thanks for sharing.

    I urge you to check out The Corporation of the City of Peterborough v. Kenneth Ramsden.
    Indexed as: Ramsden V. Peterborough (City)
    File No: 22787

    Yes it is a supreme court ruling that has to do with postering among other things, but the implications of what could happen if these 2 forms were combined could be totally legal and brutal to anyone in public office.

  12. @ Jimmy… that is agreat read, from what I read, so long at Mr. Bob Peters is seeking his own legal counsel to defend himself, it is ok. However, if the City is footing the bill… this could get interesting.

  13. Author

    The city is paying for the lawyer.

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