Cornwall Ontario Waterfront Debacle – Who is to Blame? Questions? Ed Lumley Speaks – June 18, 2012

Cornwall Ontario Waterfront Debacle – Who is to Blame?   Questions?  Ed Lumley Speaks – June 18, 2012

CFN – It’s been an interesting week since the Waterfront Development sessions in Cornwall Ontario.   Politics are always fun to watch; especially when the politicians are smarter and more savvy.

The public at the sessions were very loud and clear about not wanting development in their park; development meaning “CONDOS”.   I’m sure the public would like to see the park developed and more fruitful.

Personally I’d love to see a real Farmer’s Market in place Saturdays at Lamoureux Park as well as having trunk sales like they do in Europe.   Cornwall love’s its Garage sales.  Why not have small craft people and vendors meet in the amazing location?

Food vendors?  One of the biggest attractions at the highly successful and booming Long Sault Farmer’s Market are the Thai Food booth and Coffey’s Coffee.  Why not have food vendors in the park?  Valleyfield’s waterfront is lovely especially with the cascades of fountains from within the water and lights.

So far Cornwall’s biggest innovation of recent vintage it to eventually put up some flags to help chase geese away.

Two years ago Buskerville was quite successful.   Instead of the mayhem of the person who controls it now make it a regular weekend event in Lamoureux Park.   Let’s have buskers and fill the park with sound and life?  Smells, things to see, touch, and maybe even have a some more regularly scheduled events in the band shell?   We are paying city management and staff for Parks and Recreation.  Why don’t we turn these talented people loose?

Again it comes down to what we as tax payers really want with our park.   My beef in this process was the process itself.   Maybe the future of Lamoureux Park is meant to be high rise Condo’s and businesses?   I feel it should be we taxpayers of Cornwall that make that decision.

There’s a Waterfront Development meeting this Thursday and hopefully this committee is shut down as it’s failed completely and utterly.   I’d like to see the finger pointed at the forces that pushed for it too.   I’d like to see people like Councilor’s Thibault and Grant resign from the Lay Committee as well as they chiefly are responsible for hand selecting this committee whose mandate was very clear.

In fact in spite of the public’s response they still kept trying.  Check out this press release from the city from the next day.

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. 

Little Leaguers protesting with signs?  Does that match up to the press release?

Sure enough Councilor Thibault and VP Menard were quoted in the Free Holder the next day as well:  LINK

Thibault agreed that the committee should turn its attention to that space, though he said a large group of baseball and t-ball players were clearly opposed to any changes to the nearby sports fields.

“This gives us a good perspective of what should be done over the next while,” he said.

“It gives us guidance on the area that the majority of our people think should be left as green space or parking lot.”

Really? The good councilor has been around long enough to know that this opinion hadn’t changed much.   The ball diamond people have been quite clear. (Ms Poirier speaks at the 6:29 mark)

We then had former Mayor and MP Ed Lumley joining into the fray, but of course only AFTER the public response.   LINK

 “I’m absolutely, totally opposed to any development … from Race Street to Brookdale,” said Ed Lumley, a former mayor and federal minister who engineered the purchase of the central greenspace from senior government.

Again, an amazing sentiment and statement.  I spoke with Mr. Lumley and asked why he simply had not made it PRIOR to the sessions or if schedules allowed that he showed up?  Imagine if Ed Lumley had stood and made those statements at one of the two public session?

Our chain is quite clear.   The Lay Committee made up of Mayor Kilger(who ducked both public sessions) , Councilors Thibault and Grant (who placed themselves on the WDC) Rivette, and Murphy hand picked the members of this committee severely changing it’s make up.  Those who clearly did not support condos in a public park such as W.R. Parisien and Bill Beattie were removed.   There were even rumblings of an attempt to remove Parks & Recreation and planning poobah Stephen Alexander from the committee.  Mr. Alexander is one of the better thought of managers working for the City of Cornwall.   Why on earth would they try and attempt to remove his guidance and knowledge from the committee?

As it’s been quoted in our previous story; there was an urgency stated by Mr. Roy Perkins to get this done before their four year term was over.   LINK  (from the minutes)

He felt that since the term of this committee is for 4 years, the committee must move quickly if they wish to do something within those 4 years.

Bottom line is that someone has to be accountable for this sleazy charade that was attempted on the good people of Cornwall Ontario.

Someone or some group PUSHED for this particular development and this was done at taxpayers expense.   What if the hundreds of people didn’t show up at those meetings?   What if we didn’t have little leaguers with picket signs that only one media outlet showed up to cover?

Would the spin released from the city after have stuck?  Would Mr. Thibault and Menard have had to go into damage control and would Mr. Lumley have to be wheeled out to make the statement that he did which just rings hollow and smacks of cheap politics?  Is it just trying to “GET AHEAD” of a damaging news story and control the spin?   We will never have the answers to that question, but watching this group’s behaviour certainly will be indicative.

Thanks to a bunch of kids who just want to play ball, and their parents we may have saved our Waterfront Downtown Park.   It just goes to show that people can make a change.

We all need to get more involved.

We all need to be the change!

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – 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.)

I am the way

4 Responses to "Cornwall Ontario Waterfront Debacle – Who is to Blame? Questions? Ed Lumley Speaks – June 18, 2012"

  1. Wow!   June 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Your sounding very Ghandi today. May the Zen be with you.

  2. Donnie   June 18, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Ever consider relocating the baseball fields??

    Problem solved.

  3. Bigfellow   June 18, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Thanks, mr.Lumley, for the wonderful info given.
    The question was ” who started all this ” CONDO CRAP” obiviously it’s the old trick of politics “let’s start a rumour that city wants to sell a certain area and sit back and see what happens”. Well, it looks like the bait was taken and the end result is negative and now someone in a comfortable place has a red face.
    If the city wanted to sell a certain piece of land, the first step would be to have a city meeting approving it, sanction by an open council.
    Question – where is the info of this suppose – to – be condo building at the meetings ie. hieght & lenght, width? How many condos,etc,etc?
    If your going to do some selling, you better do your homework better than what I saw.
    Shame on the city hall and council, in so far I believe it started there and you MR. (absent) Mayor will have to take the steps in finding out WHO started this shinanegan and start discipling your wandering personnel.

  4. jules   June 18, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Condos are a “con job” done by the “cons of Cornwall”. The parks are for the people and not for development of places to live but for recreation. Anybody who puts up condos, houses, etc. in parks are out of their “cotton picken minds”. Those con jobs go on Water Street and other city streets where people live and not play. The people can put up a place for the sale of ice cream, chips and hot dogs, etc. and so many people are obesed these days and need to walk, jog, enjoy the scenery and even to watch the boats go by and something else that was always good was to have music in the park. Those “greedy nitwits” of Roy Perkins, Menard, Thibeault and Kilger and whoever else added to the “nitwit list” should be mighty ashamed of themselves and they already did a “botch job” on the “tax mahal” which is a “Love Canal dump” where the property has not been cleaned up and waiting for people to fall sick with cancers of all sorts. This is the kind of management that Cornwall has running things so as they can line their pockets at the expense of the people. The same thing where people from out of town get a free ride on not paying their share for that “highly polluted dump I call tax mahal” but the people of Cornwall are on the hook for everything and it is about time that all this stops now. Remember Kilger and his gang of thugs when election time comes – throw the bums out. The “tax mahal dump” was built using stollen money and I wouldn’t put one foot inside on that property for any amount. It is a real disgrace for the town after what happened along with everything else. It is about time that the people stood up to these “thieves” and do everything they can to restore Cornwall’s image.

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