City of Cornwall Ontario Officially Paying Legal Firm to Monitor The Cornwall Free News – March 15, 2012

CFN – It was confirmed yesterday that it is in fact the City of Cornwall Ontario this has hired heavy weight lawyer David Sherriff Scott of the firm BLG as reported yesterday.   LINK

From Mayor Kilger:

Mr. Sheriff-Scott is the City of Cornwall’s new legal Counsel and, as such, any undertaking on behalf of the Corporation is compensated by the Corporation.

That means that my tax dollars, your tax dollars, all of our tax dollars are being spent so that a very expensive legal firm can read and monitor what’s being published on The Cornwall Free News!

Now the real questions can be asked.


Are other media also being paid to monitored by this legal firm?  Imagine, they get paid to read CFN!

Does this add to the $1.4 Million dollars mentioned by councilor Andre Rivette in our earlier interview?  It’s truly mind boggling to comprehend that Cornwall Administration is spending more to have CFN monitored than they did advertising and marketing with us for all of 2011.

We’re officially on the slippery slope and what galls me most is the attitude of certain councilors.   Yesterday for example at the special meeting, in and out of camera that was called Councilor David Murphy tried acting like a heavy weight actually raising his voice to me and repeatedly asking me if I thought he should resign?

I told him as I’ve written; that I felt that any councilor that supported what was done, and especially participate in what happened to Councilor Rivette should resign.

I stand by that comment; of course I didn’t have to freak out like Mr. Murphy did.    The rookie councilor is showing signs of stress as  many on council are ; those that are defending CAO Paul Fitzpatrick and those that are not.

It can’t be much fun being on council now, but what it’s starting to show is that Cornwall Ontario really needs a dramatic clean up from the top down.  And that includes the committees that were hand picked by the lay committee chaired by Councilor Grant.

If our leaders are not accountable to the public purse why should anyone else?

Adding 2% to the tax base will not solve the problems.   Fixing them, and making sure that people are employed and elected that follow the rules is.

Municipal Act 2001

Chief administrative officer

229. A municipality may appoint a chief administrative officer who shall be responsible for,

(a) exercising general control and management of the affairs of the municipality for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the municipality; and

(b) performing such other duties as are assigned by the municipality. 2001, c. 25, s. 229.

Role of council

224. It is the role of council,

(a) to represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality;

(b) to develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality;

(c) to determine which services the municipality provides;

(d) to ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures and controllership policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of council;

(d.1) to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of the senior management of the municipality;

(e) to maintain the financial integrity of the municipality; and

(f) to carry out the duties of council under this or any other Act. 2001, c. 25, s. 224; 2006, c. 32, Sched. A, s. 99.

Hopefully everyone on Council has read that before.

Now we have to do our job at the Cornwall Free News with this cloud of knowing that every word we write is being scrutinized at $400+ per hour.   My tax dollars are actually helping to pay for the lawyers the city has hired to run us out of business.

Is this the Brand that the City of Cornwall is trying to deliver to the world?  To investors and to families who are looking for a place to move to?

Council cannot keep hiding behind the camera for ever.    You can’t just ignore issues endlessly, and while I’ve heard from a number of good councilors complaining unless they publicly step forward like Councilor Rivette nothing will change.

They say that in abuse that there’s a cycle.  Abusers tend to have been abused themselves.

Is it time for the chain of abuse and corruption at city hall to be broken?    Only the citizens and governing bodies of Cornwall Ontario can make that decision.

I have been told repeatedly myself over the last few months to issue suit against the city.   I have chosen not to because  the sad reality is that if I did two major things would most likely happen.

First off those that would have to pay would be our local viewers and sponsors; not those that initiate and support the policies that Mayor Kilger and his CAO are endorsing with the support of councilors such as Denis Carr, and Elaine Macdonald.   I also could not perform my role as journalist with litigation in play; something that many have suggested to me is the end game to silence CFN when it comes to council.  As it is many on council are muzzled and not even replying to emails or calls.

That’s where we are today.     A council that supports a CAO that flaunts his responsibility and power; that calls for city vehicles instead of a tow truck when he gets stuck in the snow, and hires major law firms to intimidate and monitor an independent media outlet in his city.

When they say Cornwall is a city “City with a World of Possibilities” I’m not quite sure that this is what was in mind.

You can post your comments below.

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. So sad. They can grasp all they want..its a new day, and new technologies are shinning a light. Sooner or later all dinosaurs become extinct. This city wants change growth and fairness in an open market.

  2. As an outsider looking in, and my info is only from CFN and The Freeholder, it sure looks to me like Cornwall is a seriously diseased town. With pretty much all the factories (decent jobs) shut down, and no hope of them ever coming back, why are people staying here? They are crying for workers in Saskatchewan and Alberta. When you combine the lack of employment opportunities with the dirty small-town politics, and the never ending English/French language fights, anywhere far away must look pretty good to a lot of people.

  3. Well i for example am getting sick of this city are city sucks anymore what happened to all this new development for businesses were suppose to get we got 3 new stores that’s it.what did are city do turn the others away. There isn’t anything good in this city for anybody the new benson center is a joke. That benson center will go to waste in the next couple years then they will raise are taxes more to make up for the loss. They want us to stay in this city.then bring good stuff to this city cause right now there isn’t anything good. And our has gonna to the dogs they don’t even care about cleaning up the downtown area give it a face lift

  4. I can say that I have always enjoyed and will continue reading CFN for free but if I can get paid to do something I enjoy please sign me up. I’m even willing to split my earnings with you Jamie.

  5. “What a wicked web it is we weave when at first we do deceive”

    It is interesting to see that “in camera” sessions are such an issue throughout low level politics. Whether it is a City like Cornwall, a municipality or a school board using in camera sessions only breeds distrust and contempt. Why not find a way to disclose as much detail as possible or at the least list what is being discussed? If we live in a democracy then everything that is paid for with Citizen’s money belongs to the Citizen’s without exception. What we need is some mechanism to control the elected officials that refuse to represent those who elected them.

    Cornwall has gone from being known as the stinky little town because of the paper mill to being known as the little city that stinks because of it’s politics.

  6. Right on Cornwall you never seem to disappoint me with your sense of embarassment to yourself and others around you who hail from the depths of your ignorance! Alright then, now that we are eliminating free press, why stop here? Let’s eliminate freedom to job choice (oops, that’s been taken away as well as only a certain segment of the population is privy to good jobs). The way I see it, why not take away freedom of association, so that Chris Cameron and others can’t gather and protest outside of the CCH due to unfair hiring practices. Which reminds me, I hope the City of Cornwall hired a biligual lawyer to spy on the Cornwall Free Press, I just may make an issue about this before someone else does (sarcasm totally intended!). Hey, do I have to use my black belt and come home and spank all of you.

    Shaking my head continously.

  7. My guess is those on council, well the ones with the spending issues anyway, are the products of children who grew up with little money. Now that they have all these hundreds of thousands of, not their but others, money, its a race to see who can spend the most on the biggest waste. Lets erect multiple retirement residences all over the city, and sink money into repairing/renovating old ones, while building a giant hockey rink (for all the able bodied seniors who just love them a nice pick up game every thursday) and hiring contractors to start jobs, not finish them and then spend MORE money to hide them. Not to mention hiring out of province companies to do work around town instead of keeping it local. ‘Cornwall: A City with a world of opportunities’; nothin truer if you’re a politician.

  8. Just toe the line carefully Jamie and you’ll continue to be able to do your good work. Litigation is a pain in the butt, it hovers in the front of your mind and you don’t need that. I’d like to see some investigation into the Waterfront Commitee of builder’s and building material suppliers, some of whom overlap with the hospital board. Citizen Of The Year? Who paid for that?

  9. Let me guess Jamiealite, you think we need an Old Navy, right? Perhaps we should get a Chapters instead so you can buy yourself a dictionary, thesaurus, and grammar textbook.

    Have you ever even used the Benson Centre? It’s an incredible sports complex that will be used by thousands of young and old hockey and soccer players throughout the year.

    As for business development, have you taken a drive to the industrial plaza lately? The SCM, Shoppers, Tartget distribution centres are huge and will provide employment for hundreds of people.

  10. I thought Cornwall was in Ontario, not Quebec, the most corrupted province in the country.

  11. I did not know that Cornwall is located in a third world Country?

  12. A little about David Sherriff Scott:

    “Routinely acts in defamation litigation both for plaintiffs and defendants. He acts for local and national based media with respect to defamation litigation, pre-print review, access to court and publication bans. He also acts as an adviser to publishers and provides media relations and strategic media advice to clients involved in public litigation.”

    It’d be a safe bet that the Standard-Freeholder is helping him out in the “inquisition”.

  13. Harold, a long rule by francophone Prime Ministers from Quebec (Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien, Martin) certainly made it look like.

  14. The public citizens are responsible for supervising their temporary public representative actors and when the citizens fail to implement their civic duties the public actors put on a show as they please. The media channels such as the Cornwall Free News, Standard-Freeholder and The Local Seeker have taken on a public responsibility to inform the public citizens on the ongoing affairs and accomplishments of the acting public council and its public actors. All state administrative powers operate by the the threat of punishment or by offering rewarding incentives. The city state is no different.

    “224. It is the role of council,
    (a) to represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality;”

    The city state considers the well-being and interest of the city state. If it is in the interest of the city state to keep its public citizens unaware of its affairs; What strategies and tactics would a city state implement?

  15. Darcy, this is Cornwall. It is not like other cities where the City Council adhere to the rules and regulations governing their conduct. Here in Cornwall they do what they please!

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