T-Ball Players Tie a Ribbon Around Conflict of Interest Ridden Cornwall Ontario Waterfront Development Committee by Jamie Gilcig

CFN – It really is about our future.  It’s not just about a City Park or even ball diamonds.  It’s having our elected officials actually listen to the public.

The City of Cornwall forms a “Lay Committee” to “select” people to focus on issues that they are brought to council.   Again, people are hand selected by council members on the lay committee.  In Cornwall that means Mayor Bob Kilger, who skipped both Waterfront Consultation meetings; Councillor Glen Grant, Councillor Denis Thibault, Councillor André Rivette, Councillor David Murphy.

Councilor Thibault after the Waterfront Committee’s double spanking.

Councilors Thibault & Grant are on the actual waterfront development committee.

It’s odd; as the Waterfront Development committee, chaired by Lee Cassidy, kept spouting off about wanting to hear from the public they very clearly had an agenda; to actually want to focus on developing the parcel of land that the city owns in the park.  Why?

Ms Cassidy doesn’t get the optics of Mr. Perkins not disclosing his Landlord?

According to VP Guy Menard, because an interested party asked if a bigger developer would be interested.  Does that make any sense to you?  Didn’t to most in the room either.  There also was a hubabaloo from the committee over a “Ribbon” of green along the waterfront, but who wants to hang on the waterfront looking at the back or front end of a Condo?  Would you pic nic in front of that?


To this scribbler it’s all about process.  When you replace nearly 80% of a committee I ask why?  In this case it clearly looks like members of the Lay Committee didn’t like the answers the committee members were giving; that they didn’t feel development should occur in the park.   So they were replaced by developers and even tenants of developers in the case of Mr. Roy Perkins who’s Rona store is owned by Mr. Menard’s firm.

According to Ms Cassidy neither gentlemen made this disclosure at the formation of the committee nor did she see a reason why they should?

One resident saw a conflict of interest issue however when discussing the process and the development of public lands for private purposes by a committee stacked with developers.

Zip to the 14:13 mark of the above video to hear the challenge.

Again it comes down to process.   Elements have seemed to want the Legion’s Ball Diamonds or parts of for some time now.  Imagine would you a request that went something like this:

“We’d really like to develop this part of the city.  We know you’ve worked hard and created an amazing facility, but we’d like to offer you another location and help assist you with some more resources.”

Ms Poirier speaks at the 6:29 Mark of the video below.

As opposed to dark of the night sneak attacks to steal the land.  Which do you think gets better results?  Again, this comes down to process.

Calling these meetings on a Tuesday?   Without notifying the public in the most read media in Cornwall?  Does that make sense or does that seem like an agenda?  What would happen if only say, forty people showed up instead of the close to 600 between the two meetings?  Holy Gilles Latour this reeks of foul political gerrymandering!

Parking lot questions?

An issue with Lamoureux Park is that it’s not used enough, but when it’s full there simply is not enough parking.   Putting a condo in the parking lot surely would not resolve those issues.  Is there nothing less Hillybilly like than seeing hundreds of cars parked on grass at an event?

Things get a bit wooly!

I attended both sessions.  Particularly disturbing was the move to divide the crowd.  Instead of a standard Town Hall type session it was decided to break the crowd into groups with each table having a  committee member reporting back.   This was rebuked by members of the crowd.  After protesting moderator, Pat Finucan, (close associate of Mayor Kilger) asked for a show of hands and in spite of about only a quarter of the hands going up to support moving to tables stated:

Majority rules!

And that ladies and gentleman is the issue.   The elected officials and their hand picked committee simply do not seem to be respecting the voice of the majority which if these two meetings were of any indication hugely show that the public does not want its park messed with.    Could you imagine condos in Central Park in NY or Lafontaine Park in Montreal?

Table Talk led by VP Menard and local developer Bill Kaneb at the table.

The crowd erupted into cheers when local lawyer Etienne St. Aubin demanded the committees resignation which led to further criticism of the process.  Does anyone think that Moderator Pat Finucan really was a “Neutral” party?

Councilor Rivette heard the crowd loud and clear!

And at the end of the day; the response from the city was not to terminate this committee and issue an apology to the public.   The response was:

Waterfront Committee pleased with response to open house 

Over 300 residents visited the Cornwall Civic Complex on Tuesday, June 12th to participate in a pair of open house information sessions hosted by the City of Cornwall’s Waterfront Development Committee. 

Through the open houses, residents were asked to provide feedback on possible development opportunities for the eastern parking lot area of the Cornwall Civic Complex as well as Lookout Point, the former oil tank lands and the T-ball lands east of Marina 200. 

More than 100 residents attended the afternoon open house which took place in Salon B of the Civic Complex, and that was followed by an even larger crowd for the evening open house session. 

“The Committee was thrilled with the turnout and the lively discussions that took place,” said Lee Cassidy, Chair of the Waterfront Development Committee. “Clearly, the community has a keen interest in the waterfront. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend and participate in this important discussion.” 

At the open houses, residents had a chance to fill out a questionnaire and review various maps of the subject areas, and they also heard a presentation on the history of waterfront development in Cornwall and the current consultation exercise. Moderator Pat Finucan invited attendees to participate in roundtable discussions on the areas being explored. Time was also set aside for individual questions and comments. 

Through the roundtable discussions and individual remarks, a wide range of opinions were expressed during the two sessions. They included everything from preserving parking, greenspace and the Legion Park ball fields to generating new activities on the waterfront and encouraging development on the former oil tank lands. 

“There were a lot of well-considered comments and arguments put forward, which was great to see,” said Stephen Alexander,  General Manager of Planning, Parks and Recreation. “It’s clear that many Cornwall residents are very passionate about the waterfront.” 

For those who weren’t able to attend one of the sessions, the questionnaire and related information is available on the City website until June 29th. Residents can click on the ‘Waterfront Consultation’ graphic on the homepage of the City website (www.Cornwall.ca) to access the questionnaire and information. 

Copies of the questionnaire are also be available at various locations including City Hall, the Civic Complex, the Aquatic Centre, the Benson Centre and the Cornwall Public Library, and completed questionnaires can be dropped off at any of these locations. 

City Council has approved the consultation exercise, and the results of the consultation will be collected and presented to Council at a future date. 

Are you insulted reading this release?   I know I was.   I was there for both sessions as was Kevin Lajoie, the city stooge that wrote it.  Underestimate the crowd and not a single word of the vast response of negativity by those in attendance?    Is the City of Cornwall going to come up with some mystical numbers showing support for a condo in the park after the public’s clear response of no?

So what do taxpayers in Cornwall do?   They clearly spoke with a very loud voice only the have the city reject their call via this Magical Mystery press release?

In a fair world some heads would roll.  Surely councilor’s Grant and Thibault should resign from the Lay Committee and this entire waterfront committee as per Mr. St. Aubin’s request (and the one I printed a few days ago) should resign or be folded.

They clearly have no moral mandate from the public.   If council could appoint them, council can pull their plug and to any honest person that clearly is the only choice.

But that’s not where this should end.    I think the public is owed an explanation as to which councilors pushed for this.  Was it just Thibault and Councilor Grant who also pushed hard to get a friend of his a job for his daughter at City Hall?   So hard in fact it’s been speculated that a whole new job classification had to be created to accomplish it?

We need more transparency at city hall and we need much much more accountability.    Is it any wonder why our taxes are so high when these sorts of games occur.  We also need the media to truly cover the news.   CFN was the only media present at the night meeting and the coverage of the afternoon event was timid at best.

Smart people always say.

Follow the money.

In this case methinks we don’t have to sniff to far to find out whose at the bottom of this.  The answer is which of our elected officials and bureaucrats will do anything about it?

You can post your comments below.

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  1. Great coverage Admin. Where is the video of Mr. St. Aubin? The emporers wear no brains.
    Congrats to all attendees. I wish I was there.

  2. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that CFN was the only news media there. Then again, CFN is the only media that brings the truth to the people of Cornwall and area. The other two only print what they are told to print by City Hall. We’ve known that for a while now. Keep reporting CFN we love you!

  3. I attended the meeting in the evening, and I would like to express my disappointment with the outcome. I was the maker of the “Legion Park Belongs to the Rats” poster, and I walked to each of the tables with the children to make a statement that the land should be left alone. During my walk about, we stopped at Guy Menard’s table to try and get a feeling of how people were feeling about the possibility of development on the two locations? When Mr. Menard was questioned about the ball diamonds, his response was, “we’re not discussing that land, and we’re discussing the parking lot to the East of the Civic Complex”. Further into the discussion, Mr. Menard went old school and asked, “By a show of hands, who would like to see development?” There was very few, maybe 4 that raised their hands. When the question was posed “by a show of hands, who doesn’t want to see development?”, there were approximately 7 who raised their hands, but the unheard voices were that of the 5 children, ages 10-11, that also had their hands raised. When Mr. Menard gave his debriefing of what took place at his table, he said “majority wanted development”. I am a little confused. Do our children not have a voice? Considering the younger generation will be the future leaders of our City, Country, not to mention tax payers, why do they not have the right to speak and be heard? When did it become more about the wallet, than the wants and wishes of the members of our community? What I took out of this meeting/opportunity to speak was, tax payers have a voice, tell us what you think, but in the end what you want doesn’t matter, and the children they are to be seen not heard. I lost some respect for the committee members. If they want to develop “Water View”, as Mr. Menard kept referring it to, fine here’s an idea, how about you enhance the current T-Ball diamonds. LEAVE THE PARK ALONE!

  4. Susan Poirier and her supporters and young players from Cornwall District Minor Baseball stole the show at the evening waterfront meeting. These volunteers create great joy in the lives of young people… I recall as a kid putting on my Cardinals little league uniform… I was so proud. And they produce provincial championship teams like Cornwall Black Sox! What fresh air compared to the ‘let’s make a buck’ crowd on the committee over-seeing Legion Park.

  5. i am impressed with the public turnout to this …one day of meetings was for a reason it appears… don`t forget to fill out the city questionnaire availbale online ….it limits the amount of responses from citizens to only thoe with computer access of course…………………maybe they (waterfrontt committee_) should be redifined as a” Let`s buid it over for privitization committee” because that is the idea isn`t it… maybe one more public consult on a weekend would be better …public land should stay public ….it improves the quality of life for all in a community not just a paying few who want a good view on their weekends…………………

  6. Kevin Lajoie is Bob Peters butt kisser, he does what he is told prints what he is directed, he is the pupet and when his strings are not being pulled he is busy playing on Facebook the rest of the day, now why would tax payers support that as a full time job?? don’t believe me? simply view cornwall’s FB page and read for yourself the time stamps. Mark my word when Bob gets caught being up to no good and he will. Mr. Lajoie will take the fall. As for this BS again the Mayor is MODERATED MODERATED MODERATED to get this waterfront developed. Perkins and Menard are now in the same class as Latour and Lecky. I am starting to wonder if all these players are family members of the KXXXXX. Selfish Pigs and nothing short of it. As for Grant getting a family member a job look they all do it just ask the Mayor how many hockey playing sons he has who are either a cop or a fireman? Get rid of all the cancer in the City then maybe just maybe things will change, otherwise once all the old die off, Cornwall will become a ghost town because all the young educated ones have left.

  7. New to Cornwall and my first meeting attended. There is absolutely NO transparency. I think they must give a specialized 101 course on “HOW TO”: 1) avoid answering questions 2) replying vaguely and in a roundabout way to confuse the hell out of people and 3) how to look sincere while lying through your teeth. They say they put out a call for ‘citizens’ to join a Waterfront Committee’ and then Council gets to hand-pick the members – behind closed doors ? How is that fair and transparent? How blatant is the favouritism? THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN: DISBAND THE ENTIRE PRESENT WATERFRONT COMMITTEE AND IN A NEW OPEN PUBLIC MEETING, allow those interested parties who want to join the committee to drop their own names in a hat and those names be picked out at that time, in front of all attendees. COUNCIL NEED NOT EVEN BE IN ATTENDANCE !!!
    Even the awkward description of the ‘ball diamonds’ ‘BEING’ part of the area under consideration, ‘NOT’ not part of the area under consideration, ‘only with regard to the oil-tanks area’ IT ALL REEKS AND SMACKS OF PARTIALITY !!! ENOUGH with this garbage. Do they think people of Cornwall are blind AND stupid? THINK AGAIN. WE’RE ON TO YOU – AND STUCK LIKE A FLY TO MOLLASSES – AND NOT LEAVING ANY TIME SOON !!!!! GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER !!! EVEN BETTER, GET RID OF THE FARCE OF A COMMMITTEE AND JUST LEAVE EVERYTHING AS IS.

  8. Ed Lumley hammered the last nail in the coffin to this dumb water front groups plans. (THEY ARE NOW DEAD IN THE WATER) . Who in there right mind would take him on? The only hope they might have now to save face would be the vote count, which they control

  9. Judy welcome to Cornwall,raked worst city in Canada to do business, they destroy the areas that are of no interest to them for personal gain, these people believe in there little minds how great they are, and like to tell you . They don’t apolgize for there mistakes cause they don’t care.Everything is a meal ticket here!

  10. Welcome to the City Judy, it is obvious by your letter that the meeting you attended opened your eyes quite wide. As a long time resident (old fart) that is used to the politics here, the meetings were an incredible breath of fresh air. Like yourself, Cornwall residents stood up, and said enough ! I’ve noticed a very interesting change, in people’s attitude towards the Park, and that is, they feel an ownership, connection to the Park that didn’t really exist prior ? I believe, it’s the old example of, you see something everyday, you take it for granted ?
    Once again, welcome, enjoy your Park……..

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