Cornwall Ontario City Councilor Congratulates City Manager Christine Lefebvre for Job Well Done Regarding Lilac Groves

Having worked in Cornwall’s Park & Recreation for 17 years in Park maintenance, Marina 200 Manager, and Park Landscape supervisor, I  100% support the removal of these Lilacs.
I was Parks and Landscape supervisor when the Lilac trees were planted. Yes, if the department would have had money to hire 4 more people to do the maintenance needed to keep these high maintenance tree under control we would not have had the clusters the department had to deal with today.
The easiest thing to do was for Christine Lefebvre to not take any action on the complaints until something major happened… But no Mrs Lefebvre did her job and took action to avoid a major safety concerns. It’s called due diligence.
Well done Christine !! Your department took the right action !!
Councilor Andre Rivette – Cornwall Ontario

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  1. Two Questions. Why were so many trees planted? It seems now that overplanting occured. Also did or didn’t Christine consult W/F Com? The point being Adm should Always keep this very important Com in the loop & not after the fact.

  2. They were planted I believe in the early 90s, it was a project well supported by different service clubs and other sponsors with the idea to have a yearly Lilac Festival that never realy got off the ground.

    In 1996 there was a major layoff at the middle management level accross the corporation because the city had got involved in the operation of a major hockey team and lost mega dollars. This layoff also included reducing the seasonal employees in the Horticultural Dept. The manpower that was left in the dept was not sufficient to properly maintain all the landscaping throughout the city including somewhere between 500 to 800 Lilac trees.

    in the 80s and 90s I can tell you that the dept was very active and successful in getting grants through HRDC to train people in the horticultural section.

    With the economy over the years, the department has never been able to get the $$$ needed to get additional manpower to where it once was.

    You can’t fault the department for the lack of funds, they proposed the need and city council gives what they think the taxpayers can afford.

    Hope this helps in answering your questions.


    Councillor Andre Rivette

  3. Naresh Bhargava initiated Cornwall’s woeful Lilac Festival, which was held from 1992-98. From the start it was ludicrous to plant a nuisance bush in such numbers that the park pretty much reaked every spring.

    The sheer volume of bushes made many areas of Lamoureux Park unpenetrable… well almost — the poopy condoms, syringes, and mangled tubes of glue (that the parks department were pretty slow to collect) suggest that the dense growth provided cover for some devious activities.

  4. Hey, what’s going on here? Did the WC miss something challenging?
    Are they not suppose to make recommending/ suggestions to the high rollers in Cornwall city hall?
    Maybe they should take a walk, together, through the green acres and see what else can be done without trying to be real estate agents.
    Well, done Christine for making a command decision and to the limited staff who had to clean up that treacherous mess of needles and garbage. Keep up the good work, folks.
    Have a nice day,folks.

  5. Nothing better than the aroma of liliacs in the Spring, but sounds like they needed to be cut back or be removed,however,A better alternative to chipping them would have been to offer them free to anyone who wanted them to come within a certain time frame & help themselves,I would have loved some.

  6. Thanks for your response Andre, however, I must disagree with you on this one ! lol Granted, they (bushes) had become over-crowded & needed to be thinned out, in a big way, but they did not have to be clear cutted. This is so typical of City of Cornwall, they start some big program, festival, or build something and never spend money or time in maintaining them. Parks & Rec seems extremely lax in that respect. They sure did a wonderful job maintaining our out-door pools. Other than paint, no up-keep, you remember that Andre. Try teaching my kids to swim in Christine splash pads ? lol Surely, over the years, City workers could of spent some time, thinning & maintaining the lilac bushes.
    Andre, as it seems, you are the only elected official to ever answer questions from us, the un-washed, was the WC ever contacted on how to deal with this problem ? If not, why not ?
    Once again, thank-you , for the courtesy of your response.

  7. Trust me there are plenty of temps who could have cleaned this up without destroying them had we been asked, instead they outsourced the work. Mr. Rivette your dead wrong on this one, plenty of workers to choose from.

  8. What’s wrong with poopy condoms? Safe sex in Cornwall is a good thing. Avoids another generation of retarded 14 year olds having another generation of retarded 14 year olds.

    What bothers me is finding out that there are so many juvenile diabetics getting their freaks on in lilac bushes and leaving their gear behind.

  9. Gotta hand it to you Andre it’s as Mr. Magoo stated agree or not you have the Guts to state your opinion & call it as you see it & openly to the taxpayers, and we thank you for that.I pose another question to you Re Nick Kaneb road? Is it over planted (trees & shrubs) ?

  10. I’m sure the WC will agree that their job isn’t to make routine maintenance decisions. We pay people to do that. A good decision was made by staff re. the lilacs and bravo to Mr. Rivette for backing them. It could have been only a matter of time before a kid stumbles across some poor Overdosed soul in the lilacs.
    Lilacs are 8.99 and come in newer and better varieties than the 20 year old stumps in we have in the park. How much would taxpayers have to pay to have equipment sitting there while people search through potential transplants

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