Oops! He did it again – Cornwall Ontario CAO Paul Fitzpatrick’s Ghost Policy Costs City Thousands of Dollars

CFN – Geez, I miss one session of council and look what comes out!   Monday night a donnybrook took place over a “Ghost Policy” implemented by CAO Paul Fitzpatrick nearly three years ago.

Essentially CUPE 234 employees seeking full time status had to take extensive aptitude testing for such roles as raking leaves in the park and city maintenance.   Of course that’s not a crime or something that might not even be bad, but Mr. Fitzpatrick is not an elected official and setting policy is usually the role of council.

Test Sample

Is it really necessary to spend over $100 per applicant for jobs such as garden work and entry level positions?  Does this truly help avoid favoritism or level the playing field?

They debate and consult before deciding to inflict the city with prohibitive costs which in this situation could amount to nearly $1,000,000.00 (Mr. Fitzpatrick has not shared any numbers as of print time and still hasn’t shared if he repaid the city for using a municipal truck to pull his car out of a snow bank earlier this year.)

Councilor Andre Rivette was out raged at council Monday night and incredulously council voted to support and back date the new policy instead of sanctioning the CAO for acting out of turn.   The actual new policy wasn’t the issue so much as the arbitrarily manner in which it was implemented.  As council takes the heat for the budget and cost to taxpayers across the line any new policy should be debated and decided by council.

There are two separate unedited clips in this video separated by a CFN promo.

Councilors Rivette, Dupelle, and Murphy voted against rubber stamping the CAO’s chicanery.  Of course when you discover something like this the question that begs asking is how many more Ghost Policies are buried in the city’s $150M or so budget?

And of course while councilors Clement, Carr, MacDonald, Gardiner, Samson, and Thibault might not have any issue with nearly a million dollars being spent of tax dollars without their approving first would voters who showed support for said councilors?

And in tribute to our CAO here’s some Britney Spears!

What do you think Cornwallites?  Has the CAO crossed the line and are the councilors that back dated this completely off their meds and out to lunch?    You can post your comment below.

And if you as a tax payer wish to ask the CAO about this his email is pfitzpatrick@cornwall.ca – councilors can be emailed at councillors@cornwall.ca or by individually using the first initial and last name @cornwall.ca such as arivette@cornwall.ca



  1. Cornwall has long been a country of limitless possibility. But the dream has now become a nightmare for many. The Cornwall is now realizing just how fragile its success has become — and how bitter its reality. It was to be the kind of place where dozens of Cornwall dreams would be fulfilled. But a few things are missing. People, for one. And houses, too. Could the Dream Be Over? Now people are leaving the city. Cornwall resident have lived beyond their means for decades. It was a culture long defined by a mantra of entitlement, one that promised opportunities for all while ignoring the risks. The dream was the Cornwall’s driving force. Now, 63 percent of Cornwall resident don’t believe that they will be able to maintain their current standard of living. And if Cornwall is indeed on the downward slope, it will have consequences for the economy and the political order. The political system, plagued by lobbyism and stark hatred, is incapable of reaching consistent or even quick decisions. The Cornwall is reacting strangely irrationally to the loss of its importance — it is a reaction characterized primarily by rage. I had hoped that the Cornwall council would change their way of thinking, that they would take responsibility and only spend as much as they made, but Cornwall council aren’t like that. Cornwall council are not careful. I think what we’re seeing now in Cornwall is an outbreak of isolationism, nativism and xenophobia. Cornwall has to change. I wish we had fewer financial engineers and more real engineers instead, like mechanical engineers. Cornwall, must “rebuild its industrial sector.” The Cornwall economy has been losing momentum for the last decade.
    But will the Cornwall wake up? Or is it already much too late?

  2. I want what Ludwik is smoking. Xenophobia?
    These profile tests are BS. I’ve taken them and outsmarted them each time to get the position. Total waste of money.

  3. So one could imagine that if the CAO took the test (in light of this situation) that he would have to check off the following descriptors: Aggressive, Persistent, unrelenting, refuses to quit.

    And the councillors who support the testing would have to check off: Resigned, gives in.

    I wonder what the consultant would have to say about how suitable these people are for their positions.

  4. This is ridiculous!! Kudos to Councillor Rivette for speaking out when other councillors are too worried about reprimanding the CAO/co-worker/friend. Council should have set an example of what is and is not allowed by not passing this. Policies need to be respected and council can’t just make new rules up as they go along to suit the situation. They should be more worried about what they are doing with taxpayers money. Taxpayers voted in the council members to make policies not the CAO. Council doesn’t have the backbone to respect the public who voted them in and stamp out this “tool” being used that is costing tons of taxpayers money. It’s a useless tool anyhow and answers would differ depending on the situation a person was in. Such a waste of money. The applicants current supervisor could provide the best information in regard to these questions. Talk about throwing money down the toilet.

  5. Standing up for the CAO makes no sense. Perhaps the reason that many councilors have stood behind the CAO Fitzpatrick is that he has something on them. Food for thought, eh?

  6. It amazes me that after three years a ghost can appear from under ones nose and place fear in a city that works hard in keeping its employes within.
    With all due respect Mr. Fitzpatrick, is it not enough that someone who is willing to cut your grass go through high school and college. Do they really need to write a test that looks more like a beauty contest than to have a chance to cut your grass for a living?

    It is things like this that makes it hard to understand politics and to tell someone that it is their right to vote.

    Sir, again with all the respect that I can rake up. I think it’s about time you cut your own grass.

  7. Throwing money down the toilet will become the norm people..Remember we just upgraded our sewage plant.

  8. The reason why this so called testing was put into place was to stop people from getting their kids a free job when other citizens of the city applied to get in but were denied, however the good old CAO and Council forgot to include the temporary employees who apply because guess what? their kids got hired this summer and no test was done. Explain that one Mr. CAO or did HR, Mr. Levac and Public Works pull a fast one on you?

  9. People of my day left Cornwall in droves and never went back. I for one left as well but went back to live for some years and left again. There was nothing for my children and I knew that it was a potential grave yard to come and that is exactly what is happening. If you do not belong to a certain family with very deep pockets and a well known name then you are toast. All young people have to leave Cornwall and go elsewhere for work especially the west. Cornwall has always had a very strange way of hiring whether it be with the city or with companies and it has always been a “good ole boyz club” and has never progressed to be modernized. Forget about industries folks because the global elites will not allow industries anymore. The west is becoming post industrialized and all industries are being sent to third world countries. People will have to live in a lower standard of living.

Leave a Reply