Open Mike by Mike Bedard – Canada Day & Freedom of Speech in Cornwall Ontario – July 3, 2012

CFN – Shhhh!  Do as we say and you will be much happier!  Despite what you may of heard (generally, the truth) that’s not quite true!
Sound familiar or have you ever felt like this is what is expected of you or how things truly are in society?  Well in Cornwall, Ontario not only is it commonly felt but also well practiced!

Here a few examples of how FREEDOM of SPEECH is Dead in Cornwall!

Advertising Ban

New York State wants to ban anonymous on-line posts but most say it’s unconstitutional and is against every US citizens right to Free Speech.


Some states, such as Florida, Montana, Oregon and Texas, have even protected anonymous online speech under shield laws, which are usually reserved for reporters and their anonymous sources.


Cornwall City Council passed an advertising ban and has chosen not to advertise on web-sites that let people make anonymous comments.  At first you may think, well they can decide to do whatever they want with their advertising dollars…….but wait a minute……… isn’t “THEIR” money!   They have decided to block us from free speech with our money!  Plus, they still spend a lot of money with the Standard-Freeholder (who allows anonymity) but not with the Cornwall Free News.  I believe this bylaw was truly created to hide from the public that the mayor, administration and council just didn’t want to support the Cornwall Free News but were too cowardly to say just that and in the process created one the most unethical bylaws ever created by the City of Cornwall.


“The Egos at City Hall have crushed and are dragging whatever it can into the crypt with them and their dying ideals.”


The report clearly misrepresents what is true.  In the background information it states that the huffington post, which is clearly for anonymous posts, was against such comments but yet their journalists are clearly taking the side stance that it impedes on our Freedom of Speech!


Although most of us have all of our personal information readily available via social media, etc. Some of us (City Employees) feel as if they would be fired for insubordination if they used their real names and feel comfortable protecting their identity to bring or way-in on issues and topics!


The old days of face to face meetings, type writers and snail mail are monuments to those stuck in the past.  Interesting Fact, the U.S. Republicans and Democrats are in full campaign mode and those likely to ban same sex marriage and birth control also are the demographic that use a rotary phone, do not have the internet and still use snail mail.

Interesting Point, this last paragraph sounds like I just described three quarters of Cornwall City Council!


We have had one Councilor resign, fired our human resources manager without cause (costing us $300,000) and our CAO has taken and early retirement!  Most of this due to law suits from mistreating staff!  But ….. Shhhh!  Do as we say and you will be much happier!  Despite what you may of heard (generally, the truth) that’s not quite true!


Our transparency issues aren’t all about lawsuits either!  This is from another article from the editor posted here ONLY on the Cornwall Free News:

For 2009, the latest year for which the data were compiled, Cornwall, with only 13 points out of a possible 36, ranks among the 10 least transparent cities in Canada. For six of the eleven indicators that help to determine the degree of transparency, Cornwall received 0 points. To convince you even more, compare Cornwall and Maple Ridge (BC) financial reports, available on the site.
If you are not yet convinced of the opacity of the municipal management of our city, try to find the results of the Municipal Performance Measurement Program (MPMP) on the city’s web site. This program, established some ten years ago by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, requires municipalities to assess the cost of the delivery of services and publish the results not later than the following September 30. Until 2008 the City of Cornwall published these results on its web site in a clear and comprehensible manner that allowed comparing the results both with previous years and with other cities. This way one could learn that in 2007 the cost of the police services per capita was $339.18 and in 2008 it had increased to $356.32 per person. One could also find that it was much higher than in other similar cities. For the years 2009 and 2010, the presentation of the data is so complicated and confusing that it is difficult to find the precise cost and even more difficult to make comparisons. Was the council aware of these changes, and if so, why did they accept them? Do they want to hide the costs from the taxpayers? In any case, this is not an example of transparency!


To the Canada Day staff for all of their hard work to put on such a wonderful display for our children.  I would love to see Canada Day expand here in Cornwall to include events such as lift-off…..but for free!  Either way the fireworks were great last year and this year as well!


OK, the Cornwall Standard Freeholder Editor really needs to up his game!   One article reads that we should be happy that Bob Kilger is doing better and that it shouldn’t alarm anyone that Mayor Kilger is spending more money on personal expenses then all of council combined.  Yet, several weeks before Claude McIntosh is praising the Mayor for not missing a beat even though he is sick!


So, which one is it?  Was he sick and not performing his duties due to his condition or did he never miss a beat!  It can’t be both……He was clearly sick but did his best, which was admirable, and has now spent more than he should catching up………there was that so hard to say!


Thank You,
Mike Bedard

Platinum Pools


  1. I’m not defending the Freeholder, which is full of way too much right-wing junk, but the irony of you complaining about the Freeholder’s editor in your barely intelligible screed is delicious.

  2. I didn’t follow how an advertising ban in Ontario is related to the Democrats and New York State. I found the post difficult to read. Is English your second language?

  3. Again with the crazy all over the place rant… citing the constitution of the United States?

    And as for those dinosaurs stuck in the past — “as you may of [sic] heard” — they’re still soldiering on. They’re still spelling and applying grammar in a fashion that transmits a clear message… but I digress.

    The City of Cornwall fully supports anonymous commenting on-line.

    The city’s Waterfront (Development) Committee survey may be filled out anonymously, and as many times as you care — preferably over and over again, and probably in favour of development and the committee’s agenda.

    And as for Kilger, while it’s good that he won’t be running for another term, his legacy will be a two-parter.

    One part will be the damage left by a city council and city administration alliance that reaked of scandal, and that we will pay for over the coming years (in settlements for terminations and suspect land deals).

    The other part may be a splashy public works, or flimsy city promotion, or backroom developer windfall, that will profit consultants, speculators, (and other hangers on) for which the generation following us will pay.

    And, like all the funeral, conference, and public relations junkets that we’ve been billed for — whatever the legacy — it will surely come out of our pockets, not Bob’s.

    Anyone else care to “way [sic] in”?

  4. Author

    Interesting post Simon. The city doesn’t really support comments unless you’ve drank the kool-aid. An example being their facebook page which they severely moderate.

    Another is the defacto news division between Messers Lajoie & Peters. It reminds me of the news reel stories from Germany in 1944 where the public would see newsreels about Germany winning the war while the theatres themselves were being bombed.

    You can’t fool the public forever.

    While some may not communicate their frustrations as well as others it’s good to see more people speaking up about the injustices and complete waste of money by this administration.

  5. It was just meant as a gentle tap, to remind the columnist that being stuck in the present or even the future isn’t any better than harping about being stuck in the past.

  6. Becoming aware that territorial governing entities always impose and enforce their Rule of Law by force be it by coercion or denial of beneficiary offerings is the nature of the state. Individuals seek freedom of speech to voice concerns regarding questionable governing activities. But then territorial governing entities seek invasion of privacy and the silencing of active liberty seekers such as freedom of expression educationalist. We will only be silenced If we permit them to silence us. Your silence is your consent to be silenced.

  7. Re: Simon,

    The City of Cornwall does not support annonynous comments on-line. The fact that the Water Front Committtee has allowed annonymous comments only shows that administration and council made the bylaw to ban advertising on media sites who allow annonymous comments; strictly to cause hardship on the Cornwall Free News.

    The Water Front Committee clearly saw the advantage and the potential in allowing annonymous posts. Why doesn’t council? Answer, they don’t know they are just doing what they are told to by administration and don’t want to make waves.

    Re:Jesse and Barrie Brown. – Your welcome, Please continue enjoying my article and think of my spelling mistakes as sudoku or game…lol! I am sorry for the errors. I work approximately 80 hours a week currently (not including) volunteer hours and write my articles very late at night. I do write them on Word to eliminate as many grammar and spelling mistakes as possible but I guess my fatigue shows more than I thought.

    I will work on it for all the ney sayers!

  8. Mike ,you put in the hours… are you the young fella who ran for council last election…thinking we`ll see your hat in that ring again ! mistakes just remind us we`re human ehMike? I like to read your articles .Opinions are always subject to personal experiences and interpretation… keep at it!!!

  9. If the columnist isn’t going to get a big person to help write, then at least get a big person to help read.

    “The City of Cornwall fully supports anonymous commenting on-line. “… this is a tongue-in-cheek statement.

    The statement is meant to highlight the hypocrisy of castigating the on-line Cornwall Free News for accepting “anonymous” comments, yet encouraging “annonymous” responses to the on-line waterfront Committee survey.

    The next scandal may well be the report from City Hall with regard to that on-line Waterfront Development questionnaire.

    By allowing anonymous posts, City Hall is enabling persons to post over and over again (perhaps encouraged by a Roy Perkins like e-mail) with repeated visits and multiple submissions from the same persons.

    In the meantime we should prepare to challenge the Committee to verify questionnaire submissions — by checking time and date stamps, IP addresses, copy and paste trails etc.

    (Congratulations to the Cornwall Free News for consistently exposing the corruption and scandals which City Hall enables in order to enrich their friends and families).

  10. Re: Simon,

    Thank You for continously enlighting me. You are a “Giant” and a true gentleman/women. Please continue to discuss my articles and my horrible grammar with humour. I guess if you don’t understand what I represent or am trying to do then I guess you never will.

    Don’t bang your head too hard up against the wall on my account. I enjoy your opinions especially the repeated accusastion of focusing too much on the present and future. Please allow me to explain why I continously write in this manner.

    My idea is that all municipalities, like businesses, must always be moving forward or essentially they will start to move backwards because they will be stuck in neutral while everyone else continues to move forward. Essentially, the theory is that we (municipalities) are all moving forward but who ever moves faster will be in front. Growth is a race. The race involves developing programs, infrastructure, etc. that currently aren’t being offered or differentiating ourselves from the pact all while becoming the most attractive city for investors who include; business, families, etc.

    Hence, I do not see as much progressive change take place at city hall, as their should be, I believe due to the lack of time, effort and true passion put forward by the entire council. There are more anchors than motors at City Hall and I passionately feel that it is because many have been in Council or office for too long and have either given up or have lost or even worst never had a true set of changes that they work for everyday……also known as a platform at election time!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

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