CFN – Cornwall Ontario PLUNGED from 90th to 167th on the Moneysense Magazine annual Top Cities to Live in Canada list for 2012. This in addition to it’s abysmal ranking in the CFIB Communities in Boom report on Small Business.
The good thing about being in the toilet on lists like this is that there is a huge opportunity to move forwards. If Cornwall can PLUMMET 77 rankings out of 190 in one year surely it can rise that amount or more?
But that would take strong leadership and management. It would require leaders that don’t require assistance in writing a simple letter or email to communicate with their voters unlike Mayor Bob Kilger and President of the Chamber of Commerce Rick Shaver who never most likely would be seen on the TV Show Jeopardy or even “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader.”
And before Ricky and Bobby go running to have a joint release sent out here is the methodology used by the report.
Right now Cornwall is a city that is overburdened tax wise. Where for example a home in nearby Orleans Ontario valued at $434K has a yearly tax bill of $4332 a house valued at $194K in Cornwall is paying $3552. The same valuation in Orleans would be $1940!
Imagine what happens if housing prices rise in Cornwall?
For a city to move forward it really does need to start at the top and work its way down. Small business needs to be able to have opportunities to thrive as opposed to be run out of town and attacked in the shadows while cliques and “Old Boy” cronyism run amok.
So where did Cornwall fall in the rankings between 2011 and 2012?
Here are the categories:
Weather 2011 53 2012 62
Affordable Housing 2011 25 2012 38
Household Income 2011 168 2012 176
Discretionary Income 2011 129 2012 133
New Cars on Road 2011 116 2012 122.
Job Prospects 2011 76 2012 NA
Population Growth 2011 108 2012 141
Access to Health Care 2011 136 2012 NA
Low Crime Rate 2011 129 2012 148
Walk Bike to Work 2011 67 2012 70
Doctors per 1,00 0 2011 NA 2012 156
Jobless Rate 2011 NA 2012 180
Culture 2011 NA 2012 121
In not a single category did Cornwall Ontario improve from 2011 to 2012. Again, a true opportunity to improve!
What these type of reports show is that the status quo in Cornwall Ontario is not working. That the leaders of this city; the Bob Kilgers, the Gilles Latours, the Bob Peters, the City Council and Chamber of Commerce, and other agencies are failing the community.
The high rate of taxes is alienating most businesses and people to move here. A city that no longer has inter-city bus travel within its boudaries and VIA Rail has all but abandoned.
Where nearby Brockville Ontario is attracting Zoomers, Cornwall is attracting Seniors in the last stages of their lives where traditionally the contribute less resources to a community and suck up more resources while our youth are fleeing for jobs and life as close as Ottawa which ranked number 1 on the list and Kingston that ranked number 3.
Our youth don’t have to head to the Western provinces. They still get to visit home more often.
What will it take to reverse these numbers? Simply a strong and honest look in the mirror and the reality that things have to change for the better.
That perhaps a city shouldn’t be spending thousands of dollars monitoring an organically grown small business with a huge legal firm and instead should focus on supporting growth in the community. Imagine taking those resources and putting them in more support for the permits department so that small businesses could open sooner and be better supported?
People need to be more open in Cornwall at the top levels down. They need to truly embrace and give people a chance to build things here because when that really happens it attracts and not detracts from a community.
And that ladies and gentlemen is where Cornwall Ontario stands now. It’s time to grow It’s time to heal, and it’s time for everyone to work together.
To see the full 2012 Moneysense Magazine list of the best places to live in Canada CLICK HERE.
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