Is it time to End Small Town Cronyism in Cornwall Ontario? An Editor at the Cross Roads by Jamie Gilcig

CFN – My apologies to those of you who have asked why I’ve commented so little these past two weeks.

Things are nuts here at CFN.   There are not enough hours in the day.  We are busy working on getting Seaway TV going and getting our Christmas print issue ready to roll!

It’s been an interesting and educational summer.    We’ve hit some high points and endured some low points.

As some of you know here in Cornwall CFN is under fire.   The City, Chamber of Commerce, & a certain clique are not only boycotting us; but have intimidated some of our clients.

At one point as we’d lost 80% of our revenue in a six week period.  Luckily with a lot of hard work and support from this amazing community we have fought back.  We now have had over 1,000,000 page views per month for over 5 months which may be more actual content read than all the media competition in our market combined.

Why the boycott?   Well maybe some of those people can answer that question better than I can.   We’ve yet in over 5,500 stories published had to ever print a single retraction or been sued.  For that matter we’ve only ever had one letter of complaint and that we published which is where that ended.

When you do a lot of opinion; whether it be my own, one of our contributors, or you our amazing viewers who have posted over 20,000 comments in three years you’re bound to step on a few toes.  Some toes are more sensitive than others and sadly some instead of dealing with reality make up lies and try and run people out of town…  For example I don’t steal from charities and never have.   I have no hidden 666 tattoos on my scalp, CFN is not OFTEN filled with profanity and vicious personal attacks ….

This Summer I’ve seen two friends come down with very harsh cases of Cancer.  It’s really given me pause to think and look at life.   At 48 I have my own life decisions to make.

As I’ve shared with some of my friends who have marveled at CFN’s endurance and ability to survive the incredible attacks we’ve had and still be the number one ranked media in our market; I’d never change things because of the bad guys (and they know who they are) but would because of the apathy of good guys.

I’m proud of the impact we’ve had on Cornwall.  I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished and helped change in this community even if it’s seen more by outsiders than the cliquey elite ruling class of Cornwall.  I’m blown away that even though the big three media outlets all rejected hiring me that little independent CFN has dramatically changed media in this city.

And I’m blown away by the support we get from greetings on the street to phone calls and emails, and of course the local response to our Intensely local program.

But we are at a cross roads as we enter the last quarter of 2012.

One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is that the “Cornwall” brand is complicated.  Our traffic is National.   While Cornwall is our biggest market it’s only about 28-30% of our traffic followed closely by Ottawa.   Yet when we pitch CFN in Ottawa it’s a challenge because of the name Cornwall Free News.

Locally when we approach a prospective client like MacDonell Motors, a local VW dealership, and they tell my rep they won’t advertise with the number one ranked media, even though we offer them a $1 ad, because it’s “A Small Town” I find it shocking.

Cornwall is a city of nearly 50,000 people.  A business of course can choose to do what it wishes, but this sentiment is not how you grow a community.   I mean our staff, readers, and people we bump into are not inspired by that sort of response.

Likewise when a hotel tells us they were pressured by a service club and city officials to terminate their advertising with us.  Again this is not how you grow a community.

And ultimately life is about growing communities; bringing people together and sharing in mutual success.

Any business or organization has the right to run itself anyway it chooses, but what are the messages that CAS, JobZone, CCH,  St. Lawrence College, Bensons, all of the city connected institutions like the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Seaway Tourism, Aultsville Theatre, CRAG, The Woodhouse Museum, Heart of the City, the Cornwall DBIA, Le Village, and so many others are stating by boycotting CFN?  Same with many local events.   Is it just small town cronyism?  Is it the same people on the same boards with too much power and control?  Again what actual business reason would any business not want to be on the number one ranked media outlet in its city? Could that be why Pitt Street has so many empty spaces and Cornwall finishes at the Bottom of the Communities in Boom report like they did last year?

Are certain people here so insecure that they just lash out and try and kill something that has been successful in so many ways?   I mean Bizfest lost nearly $10K last year.  It was a colossal failure with Joey Gault of the chamber forgetting to put in the single largest line item in his budget.

The Chamber’s solution is to have Joey go for another round while the chamber itself runs in the red?  And they think somehow CFN which runs with no external debt is a villain?

Again, I ask why bother with Cornwall?  Why not simply move the paper to another community?  I had a venture capitalist try and lure me to Ottawa and refused.    I have roots in this community and love living here.   I have friendships and frankly there are literally thousands of people that would be quite upset if CFN stopped or drastically changed.  And they are the ones that truly have built CFN.  It’s been their support that have made it number one.   I think Cornwall Ontario has massive potential and a huge future.  So did some very corrupt people that tried to sneak 2,000 waterfront condos on the public which we outed.

I could sell CFN so that it would stay local or sell it outright.   I can change the name and focus too.

But in the end would it be best for this community?  Maybe it’d be better if those that simply can’t play by the rules; who can’t succeed honestly were the ones to change or be run out of town?   What makes a community successful is success.  You want to attract people to your city create an environment where they can succeed.

We need to retain and attract young people.   That won’t happen unless things change in Cornwall.   Just like many small towns and cities that are losing their futures to greener pastures out West or in bigger cities like Ottawa and Toronto.   Low paying distribution jobs are not the solution.   Neither is running things like an old boys club.   Neither is not having an intercity bus terminal not in the city or playing games with the waterfront.

It’s going to be an interesting Fall and Winter here in Cornwall.

I’m not going anywhere.  CFN is not leaving.   But maybe it’s time for some of the bad guys and gals to be publicly confronted…..

It’s time for change and we’re going to be a part of it.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The 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.)

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  1. Me thinks this media (CFN) may be just the tool to start Cornwall finally on the road to change and progress..
    We have endured all we can take from the people who supposedly have our best interests at heart…Lets put city council out to pasture and elect people into office who give a dam about the city and people who live here….
    We need change now and our elected officials to run under a banner of complete transparency..
    The people of Cornwall need to stand up and make that change and CFN may just be the catalyst to wake us up to whats really going on behind those closed doors at city hall….
    I certainly hope so.

  2. Jamie Cornwall has always been the way you see it but only worse than before. People’s minds are very small and they are like sheep being led to the slaughter.

    I live here in Ottawa and I am from Cornwall and leaving in your case isn’t always the best solution. We left because of my children and so many people have left Cornwall during my day and I am a woman of 61 years old and even before my day since there was nothing in Cornwall. I read lately about a certain small city smaller than Cornwall that lost its car industry and many left and still leaving and one man posted an insult about the town and I won’t mention it here. When the town is corrupted like Cornwall and will not change that chases people away. Doctors don’t want to live in Cornwall and not because Cornwall isn’t pretty or anything like that but the mentality of the people and its administration. I am being honest with you. I am for the beach idea of Mr. Valentine but I will be very honest and I said it so many times before that the people have to change.

    Jamie when you go to live in a big city and coming from a small town it is a shock. The costs are a good three and more times higher than what you pay in Cornwall and the people are very different where people in general snub you and don’t talk to you except for a few people. You feel like you are almost on the moon at times. The noise is deafening and I said in one of my posts on your paper that where I live you have to be either dead or almost dead in order to live here with all the noise.

    Jamie I can tell you that I quit looking at Cornwall’s dirty rag called a Standard Freeholder since over a week now. I will never look at it again. If your paper no longer exists I will not go on any paper in Cornwall ever again – I give you my word and my word is very good.

    Cornwall lost many good jobs years ago because of those “so called elite” and we were told many things many years ago by a neighbor about the strange antics of the elite to keep other people down.

    Jamie if you were ever to leave Cornwall to go to another town it is best to pick a good small town to live in that doesn’t have Cornwall’s strange mentality – a modern approach and one that has vision and a good place for you to settle and get a good wife and have a family. I can imagine that you have a good readership from Ottawa besides myself and people always want to touch base with home. SF is not a good paper to read but a rag to place in the bird cage or to train a puppy or do windows. There is nothing worth reading in that paper.

    Jamie you are doing an excellent job but like I said again Cornwall’s mentality is mighty strange indeed and it is like a Boss Hogg town, Peyton Place and Dodge City. You take good care of yourself and I know that it is hard for a lot of people in Cornwall to pack up and leave – ask me it is hard but when it has to be done then so be it. It is best to live in a small town near a big city but living in a big city is difficult.

  3. Author

    Thanks Jules. I’m not leaving Cornwall anytime soon. 🙂

  4. Jamie I am glad to hear that. My husband who is from a big city overseas likes a small city and not living in this rat race. I have good wishes for you and for your future. The MacDonell Motor Sales is all part of Cornwall’s mentality and I have heard that before as well. There is no loss there. You take care of yourself and your paper is the only one I am reading. Keep up the good work.

  5. Holy Mother Teresa, did you ever, ever, ever nail it, (Mr.Fedup) congradulations on an excellent letter. The “BIG FLUSH MOVEMENT” hopes you consider our platform in the upcomming municipal election ? We propose voting for anyone other , than an incumbant member of Council ? Once again , great comments.

    FEDUP August 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Me thinks this media (CFN) may be just the tool to start Cornwall finally on the road to change and progress..
    We have endured all we can take from the people who supposedly have our best interests at heart…Lets put city council out to pasture and elect people into office who give a dam about the city and people who live here….
    We need change now and our elected officials to run under a banner of complete transparency..
    The people of Cornwall need to stand up and make that change and CFN may just be the catalyst to wake us up to whats really going on behind those closed doors at city hall….
    I certainly hope so.

  6. I am completely with you “Fedup” and I said it before on Jamie’s CFN paper – Cornwall needs a complete cleanup indeed. Leaving Cornwall is not the answer. Cornwall is very pretty indeed and quiet but what keeps Cornwall down is the so called “elite” of the town. These so called “elites” run the town and they barge in to places and push their weight around. I know it because I dealt with some and I won’t way who. I remember a woman telling us that she is one of the people who run the town and all 4 of her sons work for the city. I will just leave it like that and many Cornwalites can guess who I am referring to who know these people.

    If Cornwall had jobs and had a good mentality and was cleaned up of its smuggling, Boss Hogg mentality, etc. we wouldn’t be here. As long as Cornwall retains that horrible mentality it will never grow at all and in fact it will lose its entire population. I guarantee that.

    There is this nice elderly gentleman who ran for Cornwall’s council Pat Finnerty and he made me laugh on CFN paper and he said it so right indeed. If Mr. Finnerty is reading this I say hello to that dear man and I agree 100% and more with your comments. LOL LOL.

  7. I agree with Jamie 100%!

    It is FreeNews that has finally been the one to expose the corruption that goes on in this city. The clique with the $$$ that controls everything and has made a mess of it all!!!! People now know what is really going on in this town……it happens everywhere, but it is oh much worse in this city!!!!!

    Thanks to FreeNews we know what is going on at CCH(job discrimination), at city council(oh the corruption and bullying), just to name a few. Thanks to FreeNews things can ONLY get better as we clean house at the next election!

    Thanks to FreeNews, the LFA and those that stand for fairness and against government discrimination finally can have their say. The CBC and other news media won’t touch these issues!!!

    Shame on those listed above that boycotted CFN! We pretty much knew who most of you are anyway. I urge those influenced by bullies to take off your blinders, grow some &@!!$ and stand up and make a change……one that is good for Cornwall!!!

    Thanks FreeNews for your honest reporting. Cornwall needs you if there is going to be any change for the good around here. You bring the issues to light with the truth. I hope people will consider and re-consider their advertising choices. FreeNews is #1

  8. Wow Jamie let it all Out.

    At least we know where you stand ,of which almost all would not make a stand ,for it would be far easier to leave then to stay!

    Cornwall needs independent news media and will thrive for it.

    The more news media, particularly independents, brings another voice representing the people .

    When considering in this country with approx 60% of media is under control of several holdings ,then independent voice is TRULY LOCAL.

    Media plays a large part in Democracy, as it allows the voice of the people to be heard .

    Thank you Jamie for your community service !

  9. I am so glad I was turned on to the CFN. I am a former Cornwall resident currently living in Calgary and I liek following the issues facing Cornwallites. Most of my family still lives in Cornwall and I return every year for vacation. I was fed up with the Standard Freeholder. I talk about the issues with my family and yet I could never seem to find any good articles or discussions on the Standard Freeholder website. I enjoy your coverage of the EOHU protests and the CCH hiring practices. I am also interested in waterfront issues (Hint: STOP BUILDING SPORTS ARENAS AND BALL DIAMONDS ON VALUABLE WATERFRONT PROPERTY!). The city needs to follow other successfull water front cities with BOOMING summer tourism economies. Think Kingston. Develop the waterfront. Incorporate waterfront businesses and accomodations in the park setting. Build condos and pubs and restaurants on the water while maintaining a large parkland. It’s a no brainer. Or we could just fill the waterfront with more hockey arenas… uggghhhh. So frustrating.
    Keep up the good work and I will keep reading from Calgary!

  10. “It’s time for change…”, Jamie writes. Our mayor lives in Ottawa, and the outgoing CAO lives out of town. Our fire department has a competition for new firefighters with about 140 applicants for one vacant position, and the mayor’s son who is a hockey player wins.
    O brother it’s time for change in Cornwall. Bravo Jamie!

  11. There will always be small minded control freaks in every community. It’s up to the rest of us to not allow them to much influence.

    There will always be those so called community leaders who put their private agendas ahead of the community. It’s up to the media to keep them honest.

  12. Jamie : I’ll say this about you Man you’ve got Guts. The big problem here is INTEGRITY or lack thereof as shown by the anything but classy bunch the ( cliquety up to now town runners ) who have been putting their personal interest or the interest of their friends ahead of the public interest & that is the disgusting fact of how it is in our town . Until we know who these low lifes really are & I mean all or most of them are hands are tied in trying to help . One thing you can count on I wont be buying & or dealing on a V/W until they advertise with CFN . Best of luck Jamie & hang in there .

  13. I read these articles, referring to the acts of the few in cornwall who turn thier nose up at CFN .
    Did you know that when Hitler took power in germany he disposed of ALL the newspaper and radio stations before the world war 2 and declared his newspaper & radio station is the only one allowed.
    This is a form of Genocide.
    Are we travelling along the same path, here in Cornwall?
    For info only.
    Have a nice day.

  14. Comparing Cornwall’s ruling “clique” to Hitler, and calling their actions genocide is a bit over the top.

  15. Your “paper” seeks to publicly slander and bully people in this town. You rarely publish comments from people who do not support your opinions. I know a good many people who have valid email addresses that don’t get their comments made live because they challenge your stories.

    Good for your advertisers for pulling out. (MODERATED DUE TO BEING A FALSE STATEMENT) A true journalist would never do such a thing. I wouldn’t want to be associated with an organization that continually makes unproven claims. If you have proof of such corruption, then go to the police, otherwise stop harassing people who do not agree with you (Chris Savard, the board from which you were not asked to return for a second year, Lift Off, etc). You cannot continue to slander so many people with unsubstantiated claims. One day, it will bite you in the behind.

    Most people I know view your site not because they agree with you, but because they enjoy seeing the crazy claims you make.

  16. OMG Elizabeth……you are one brave woman. I would have loved to comment on this subject, but held back because of the reasons you brought forth.

  17. Author

    Stella why is Elizabeth “Brave”? Have you not been given equal access to share your opinions, feelings and thoughts?

  18. This is a privately owned web site. The owner can and does choose what gets posted or not. Quite a few of my comments have been blocked as well. That’s OK because this is not a public forum where all opinions are allowed. The owner has every right to choose what appears on his site for legal or personal reasons.

  19. Author

    Ed I don’t recall blocking any of your posts. Please note that we have spam filters and sometimes they misroute a comment. If you or anyone ever wishes to know if a comment has been blocked email us at

    Our guidelines are very simple and clear. You generally don’t get to be abusive unless you’re id is clearly public or we at CFN definitely know who the poster is. Like wise our comments are to inform and entertain the public. If you really suck or are boring….same with really really long pointless comments and of course we don’t like anything posted that we can get sued for.

    In other words pretty much all is fair dinkum as long as you’re on point and people can dance to what you’re writing about. 🙂

    CFN is about our viewers. It’s not about me. I personally cherish diversity of views even if they are not my own.

  20. It’s not really an issue with me, admin, but my comment re the Truffles restaurant add was blocked. And one or two of my responses to Pastor Newton were blocked as well. That’s OK with me. This is your site and you have every right to moderate as you see fit. Carry on. You are doing an excellent job, and we are fortunate to have CFN poking the bear.

  21. Jamie, yes I have and I want to thank you for that, however, this is a sensitive issue for you and I didn’t dare comment because of the possible consequences.

  22. Some of my posts were not put through and I am not angry at all at Jamie and feel that the man can post what he wants since it is his newspaper. Jamie has a right to sensor because of liability.

    This person Elizabeth sounds like a firecracker here full of anger. Well Elizabeth take it out on me because I am a former Cornwallite and can say plenty about the corruption down in Cornwall. We moved out of your town because of no employment unless you had a certain family name to get hired. We live in Ottawa and like it. After knowing what goes on in Cornwall I can’t see myself moving back. If I were to pick a small town to live it would be somewhere else.

    Jamie is a fair person and I respect that of him. I wish that there were more people like him to speak out on some of the corruption but he can only go so far. I can say plenty but Jamie can’t print it. I would never look at SF paper ever again and I gave my word to Jamie and anybody who reads CFN and never again would I want to read that rag under any circumstance. Jamie’s paper is the only one that I would ever read. If Jamie’s paper wasn’t here I wouldn’t touch any other.

  23. Chris Cameron I just posted on an article written by someone about bilingualism being pushed throughout Ontario and even out in BC as someone posted. I am shocked that it has gone this far with at least 22 municipalities. I know that here in Ottawa it is a demand.

    I am shocked and appaled when someone said that mayor Kilger is living here in Ottawa. How can a mayor or council live in a different municipality and hold office. Oh don’t tell me that they will come up with something saying that they own property in Cornwall and can do such a thing. This is insane – only in Cornwall would something as rediculous as this could happen.

    Jamie I love your paper. Don’t let Elizabeth or any of the rest get you down. You get all kinds. Keep up the great work.

  24. Tyler I too would like to see waterfront businesses in Cornwall and someone came up with a good idea of a fish market and maybe a vegetable market and it sounds good but people in Cornwall are not really ready for that. You and I know very well that people shop for the cheapest that they can get and those markets are very expensive and geared more to the very high incomes. I myself do not go to the market here in Ottawa and it is the very high incomes who shop there the most. People in Rockliffe Park send their maids and butlers to shop.

    Cornwall sure doesn’t need anymore hockey rinks and there are no jobs and they cannot get doctors to stay. Doctors commute from Ottawa and Montreal and go back in the evening.

    Kingston cannot be compared to Cornwall and Kingston has one of the best universities in the country. All Cornwall has is St. Lawrence College and very few people attend that college. Most people who are my age (I am a woman of 61 years old) and those even older have left Cornwall a long time ago. I do not recognize many people left in Cornwall that I know of since everyone moved on. Young people today are not going to stay around and Cornwall will be for the elderly. All those hockey rinks are not going to benefit the elderly that is for sure.

    Condos have to be built in the right places and not right in a park setting. There are plenty of waterfront spaces where condos can be built. Even across on Water Street Mr. Markell built very nice condos and not these big highrise complexes that are dangerous for seniors to live in including young families. Those are more for singles or just couples who are young and can get around during an emergency.

  25. Elizabeth R = My oh My = Did someone pee in your Cornflakes Flakes to get you all riled up ? Even though I respect your right to free speech you really appear to be one nasty piece of cake . Could it be that you are really speaking on behalf of one of those currently in power here or one of those doing the dirty work for others ? If that be so you should be ashamed of yourself . Check your Corn Flakes tomorrow carefully it might improve your outlook.

  26. Premeditated contamination of cornflakes should be punishable by death.

  27. Author

    It’s tough allowing certain comments through especially when the attack on moi was not accurate or truth filled. Sometimes I just want people to see some of the crap that CFN goes through because many of these things are common gossip in Cornwall. Sometimes it’s nice to see the dirt from out of the shadows…

  28. Admin, maybe it’s a good idea to post some of the particularly weird or nasty comments you get. You could have a weekly “We Get Letters” column.

  29. Cornwall’s economy has changed drastically over the past few decades. The City’s future lies with privately owned and funded, free-enterprise companies that make a profit. Many years ago, Cornwall citizens endured the broken promises made by companies that had business plans that depended on government funding . . . most of them either closed down or left town. Over the long term, the government-funded companies did nothing for Cornwall’s economy or for the city’s residents.

    Government funding has a downside in that it breeds an exclusive clique crony mentality. Except that the world economy is such that governments will have to reduce their expenditures . . . this means that politically favoured cliques may expect to get less money from governments in the future. For starters, we had the government owned and funded VIA Rail cut services to Cornwall.

    Like VIA Rail, many of Cornwall’s politically sacred and politically funded institutions will face similar budgetary cutbacks . . . its just a matter of time . . . like over the next few months.

    As for myself personally, consistently it was people outside of Cornwall and outside of Ontario who opened all the important doors of opportunity for me. My network is international in scope, not local. The progress that I make in this world is NOT the result of any political favour or a favour from a clique. There are international innovation networks and organizations that have allowed some one like me to compete for opportunity on a fair and level playing field . . . it has been a privilege to have participated in such programs.

  30. Ed
    If you feel that I am saying that this “clique” is equal to “hitler” methods,that is NOT what I am referring to.
    Sounds like you were not around at that time of the war. There will never be a “hitler” method of free enterprises by ONE ever again.NEVER,EVER.

  31. With regard to which business choose to advertise with CFN and support the news service, it is the choice of each business owner. There are people in Cornwall who are uncomfortable with certain political viewpoints, or at criticism levelled at their friends. We have journalists who who have written glowing testimonials that attest to the fine character of some public figures . . . . they learned their journalism lessons well from Prof. Josef Goebbels.

    A neutral and unbiased independent news media that is free from political favour is a sign of a politically and economically healthy community. Excess praise of public officials reeks of something fishy. If they are to be subject to criticism in the news media, it becomes essential to expose something that they have done that warrants the criticism.

    I’ve been a critic of businesses that show up in this area with a business plan that depends on government funding. I’ve observed the spectacle of news media covering an elected official handing over a grant to a local business under the guise of creating jobs . . . by some very strange coincidence, the amount of grant money seems to be equal to their tax bill from the previous year. There is merit to an independent media exposing this kind of ludicrous and fraudulent charade . . . the government could just as easily have given the business a tax break.

    An independent media needs to expose government officials who may wish to subtly harass businesses that advertise in media such as CFN . . . such tactics constitute indirect state censorship and indirect control of the media.

    Many years ago, Cornwall citizens became aware of the charade of new businesses that came to town, depending on government funding. Many local business owners became leery of such newcomers that employed a few people for a while, gained much attention in the local news media, socialised with the city’s business elite (who smelled a rat) . . then the rat left town, turfing Cornwall citizens on the street and leaving other local businesses having to absorb the expenses of having done business with them.

    The politically well-connected may be horrified at an independent media condemning a new business that showed up in the area with a business plan that depended on government funding, after private investors and venture capitalists elsewhere had turned them down. Yet these are the kinds of news reports that Cornwall needs.

  32. I don’t think that Ed really meant Cornwall’s clique to go as far as “Hitler” but I think that he is referring more to their dictatorship but in a milder way. LOL LOL. I think that I would describe it as a mild fascism.

    If you do not belong to this clique then you cannot get employed and believe me that clique is big enough and I remember some of the people that I went to school with (I went to 3 different high schools to know them) and they had the family name to get somewhere. The regular people of Cornwall were swept under the carpet along with all the corruption. The huge majority of us took off for better places and never regretted leaving. The vast majority would never return at all. Many of their parents left as well and nothing to come back to. My parents are deceised and there is nothing there for me to go to except to pass the day to look around and walk in the beautiful parks.

  33. When VIA rail and the Voyageur Bus company is no longer in Cornwall that is going to affect the town greatly. When people go to plan out a town they have to vision things of what the future may be. In the case of Cornwall and many small towns these towns will be more for seniors. Young people will be moving on from Cornwall and only a certain few will be left behind.

  34. Author

    Harry there’s room for everyone. I just think that more business people have to start actually thinking like business people if we truly are going to build our community and transition from the ol Mill town.

    How on Earth are we going to attract new comers to Cornwall, business or otherwise, when CFN is treated the way it’s been as well as some new small businesses that have had to wait as long at 18 months to be able to open their doors?

    If those in power don’t get that then we need to change those in power. It’s not personal. It’s business and we need leadership and people to make that happen.

  35. Agreed Jamie. I’ve known several business owners who’ve started new businesses in Cornwall over the years. They told of the red tape they’ve had to go through. There is definitely a need to curtail the red tape.

    We’ve had kids galore in the high schools getting their introduction to the business fundamentals of buying low and selling high and paying their bills to their suppliers. And they don’t even teach business fundamentals in the high schools . . . they’re learning their business skills through extra-curricula activities.

    Yep, we’ve got high school kids competing with the corner stores when it comes to selling smokes. It would certainly benefit this community if they could translate that experience a few years after leaving high school, by starting a business that produces and sells something else that customers would be willing to buy.

  36. Jamie and Harry you both said some interesting things here. When my husband and I along with our kids went back to Cornwall to live some people told us that it is next to impossible to make a business in Cornwall. Some years later we saw a man from Ottawa who made a business in Cornwall but the only way he could do that was that he knew the owners of a corporation from Toronto who let him have a space in their building. If this man had to deal with the mayor and council and all the rest of the corruption he would never have had his business.

    The people of Cornwall have to change and without change they will always remain well behind and being dictated to by the so called elites which I laugh about this every day. I say to all people awaken and get cracking. If you care for your town you make things happen for the good. You want a business you have to be good entrepreneurs and have your dream succeed. High paying jobs are almost a thing of the past and you have to make your own living. This holds true everywhere and it is gradually happening even more as time goes on. Industries that used to exist in Cornwall and elsewhere are not coming back so you have to take the reins in your hands and be creative and make things work. You can be an entrepreneur and be able to hire people. The thing is to get rid of Cornwall’s very backward so called elites and join the 21st century.

  37. My husband’s older brother lives in Sydney Australia. When he was in Lebanon he drove trucks for a living. In 1967 he immigrated to Australia and worked for General Motors and worked himself up as supervisor. One day he said that he wanted to make his own business. Tony saw a shop where they repaired shoes, made shoes, purses, luggage and other leather goods. One day he went into the shop and wanted to learn the trade and it was a Russian emigre who taught him the trade. Tony bought the business, went back home and got married and both he and his wife made extremely good money at the business until he retired some years ago.

    People if you want to work for yourself and you have a dream or an idea you can make it work.

    There used to be an Italian man that had his tailoring and sewing for women as well whose shop was near where I used to live. He and his wife worked very hard and he made a good living and he even built his home which is very expensive and beautiful himself. You have to have a dream and make it come true. Some people are excellent bakers, plumbers, electricians, etc. and you have to have ambition to make things come true. You don’t let the crackpots that call themselves elites to stop you – you pursue your goals in life no matter what it is.

  38. Jules, you are so true in your writing I could not have said it better. To all others, if you have a dream, go for it.
    I had a job and lost it ( one of those american compnies deal) by closure.
    One day I had a dream and put it to use, three years later my little enterprise netted me $3000.00 for 10 hrs. of work.
    I’m retired now and the person who I gave my enterprise to, is do well.
    Dream on and put it to use.
    Have a nice day.

  39. Folks you have to start at the bottom. Don’t forget Walt Disney started out in the garage of his house to make cartoons, etc.

    Women as well as men can do baking and cooking that can lead to catering. Don’t forget that Martha Stewart started at the bottom as well and so did many others. People can do cake decorating, sewing and alterations and so many things and you start at the bottom and sometimes from home. You would be surprised how your company can grow and most of it is by word of mouth. That is how I fell on Jamie’s paper was someone on Cornwall’s rag called SF mentioned it and I looked at it and liked it right up till today – Jamie has the best.

    We are no longer living in a time where you are able to work for a company for 35 years and have all the perks that go with it and very high salaries. Those days are gone. People have to change along with the time.

    I say to everyone don’t complain when you are living in the best country in the entire world and I don’t just say that. Look at what is going on in Syria and people are being murdered just going out for bread. I would tell everyone get on your knees and pray to the Good Lord that you are living in a peaceful country and have so much. You don’t know how the other half lives. You can make your dreams come true if you wanted. You start at the bottom and you pursue them.

    Here in Ottawa there are many who come from other countries and can hardly speak a word of English and it is the immigrants who have made Ottawa and other cities in Canada. If they can do all this then Canadians who can speak the language, etc. can do just as well if not better.

  40. One more thing I wanted to mention. There was a Canadian lady on a Canadian forum one time who took sewingcourses here in Ottawa and she moved to Halifax Nova Scotia with her husband and children. She worked from home selling high end material and she also did sewing for people. This lady used the internet as well to help sell her goods.

    An American lady was decorating cakes of all kinds including wedding cakes and all from home.

    When I say that you live in a land of plenty believe it. You don’t know how the other people around the world have to do to survive. We Canadians have nothing to complain about and we are way too spoiled. Don’t wait around for the job to come to you – you have to network yourself.

    My daughter will be finishing her job on October 19 at the latest and is getting ideas where to apply for work. If she ever happened to go on unemployment which I doubt I told her to take a course that will lead her to other avenues. My daughter is not picky and talks to a lot of her co-workers and friends here in Ottawa to find other prospects.

    People do not rely on welfare that is no life at all except for those who are disabled. There is work out west as well but you work very hard and life is mighty expensive. Work isn’t going to come to you but you have to go to it or even like I said before make your own.

    My BIL wanted to work for himself and he worked very hard along with his wife. He put all three of his daughters through private schools and university. The eldest girl didn’t go to university but became a legal secretary. Vicky is diabetic (juvenile diabetes since birth and also had cancer.) The other two are in professional jobs since they did pursue university and one is in DNA at a hospital and the other is in finance working in a bank. We don’t all have the same ambitions, health and qualifications but we can all pursue our dreams.

    One more thing my BIL can hardly speak English but his wife is very fluent in English and gets around and she is my age and still works but in a store. She has health problems but never lets anything get her down.

  41. My husband’s BIL George back in Lebanon (now deceised) started out learning how to be an electrician at age 14. He lost his parents and helped to raise his brothers and sisters. George had such a talent and made a great deal of money as an electrician and became a contractor. One time the government was having the airport wired and something happened and the engineer that they had couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They called other contractors and still they couldn’t find the problem. Then they called George and he figured it out and wired the airport with his crew. George loved that kind of work. You have to like what you do in order to be a success.

    My husband’s uncle was a genius and was a full fledged doctor at age of 24. My husband’s father knew people in high places including the presidents of their country and he got my husband’s uncle (mother’s brother) into the United Nations and he became the Director for War Refugees (the Palestinians) and he was the only one of Arab origin who had that job in Lebanon because the others were all foreigners who held that job. My husband’s uncle treated people in their own home village for free in the past since people didn’t go to the doctor unless it was absolutely necessary.

    Not everyone is cut out to be a doctor. There are way too many lawyers and so much so that the competition is mighty stiff and even Johnny Cochrane was advertising his company for clients.

    Trades of all kinds is the way to go. Some people are mighty good house builders and Cornwall has some that have that talent and make tons of money doing that. Some people are good at engineering and even that has become very competitive as well unless you are one who is mighty gifted and has an invention that hasn’t been done since the invention of the wheel. If you are gifted and inventive a good thing to invent is how to get energy that is clean, efficient and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to pay for.

  42. Its always good to hear of people who start small businesses from their homes. Many years ago, I was a member of a sports club, along with a member of the Katz family. Mrs Audrey Katz started a little business from the family home at 505 Guy Street . . . the business outgrew the basement and moved to a location neat McConnell Ave and Miontreal Road. Then Mrs Katz and her husband Ed built the big building on the south side of 8th Street, between Pitt and Augustus.

    Before the era of government grants, Cornwall had a version of “Dragons’ Den”, comprised of local business people who helped other budding local entrepreneurial types start their own businesses. I knew some of these people personally. Sometimes they would hire a budding entrepreneur as an apprentice, to learn how to run b business. I heard a story of one of the “dragons” telling a budding entrepreneur, “You have a good business idea and a good plan and I may even consider investing in it . . . except I have misgivings about your ability as a business manager!”

    There was a time when new business ventures that started in Cornwall, had a good success rate. Now with public funding, they’re actually trying to teach entrepreneurial talent at the community college . . . along with public funding to start a new business. Except that the majority of these “test-the-water” entrepreneurs either never start a business, or their business ventures fail within in less that 5-years of start up. The success rate of the old “dragons” quite literally walked right over anything that the public sector approach could ever hope to succeed.

    In my view, one of the problems with the clique members is their devotion to the public sector sacred cow. The old “dragons” told a few budding entrepreneurs that their business plans were BS . . . then came the era of government grants and the same budding entrepreneurs could get public funding for a business plan that old seasoned business people turfed out. At the present day, the McGuinty government is still trying to stimulate rural economies with grants . . . and fostering any amount of crony behaviour in small towns.

    Cornwall has a lot going for it and has much potential for the future during these challenging economic times. Privately funded companies have done far more good for Cornwall’s economy than the government funded companies could ever have hope to have achieved for the benefit of Cornwall. It is a disgrace that we still have crony types in Cornwall who still see merit in government funded companies saving Cornwall’s economic future.

  43. I think that my parents knew the Katz family – yes they did I remember hearing that name mentioned before when I was a child back in the good old 50’s era. Boy how time flies.

    Here in Ottawa the people who come from other countries usually start out being an employee and learning English and then they go and open businesses. I remember when we lived here in Ottawa in the past the place where we get our specialty foods (Lebanese) opperated from a small store like the size of a grocery store of times gone by in Cornwall like what Holisters and Brusnteins used to have – you must remember that Harry. Well later they moved from that tiny store and have a big sized store in a very different area and not only Lebanese but they have Mexican and Jewish in that store. I saw the old man who was the owner and he is way too old if he is still alive. These people knew how to save and what to spend on and how to make a business and they were from the poorest village in Lebanon near the Syrian border and today they are multi millionaires. A lot of the Lebanese people here look like poppers and all the time they are filthy rich. Some remember my husband from many years back and stop to talk to him.

    Remember the Millers with their junk yard Harry. Mrs. Goldhammer who was a Miller before she got married taught me at St. Lawrence High School – a nice lady. There was Miss Shulman at CCVS who taught me English as well – a very smart cookie and it was her parents who had Shulman’s men’s wear. The Nymans had Nymans shoes – excellent shoes and excellent service which I miss terribly.

    There was a man who had a lunch counter on Pitt Street and I remember his son. There was also Kenny Earle as well. All these people started with nothing and made something out of themselves. There are many others to boot as well and I will remember them always. The Zappias are another family who had a restaurant on Montreal Road, the Hums and I went to school at St. Mikes Academy with the two girls of these families.

    There are things that I miss terribly of Cornwall. I don’t think that a lot of young people today have it in them to make a good business and be able to keep it. The immigrants have that drive in them and they always want to make their own business and have it grow.

    The school system Harry is attrocious – the education system today is for the garbage heap. Even in my day education wasn’t the greatest but today it has sunk down to the ditch level. People are not taught how to think for themselves but are taught to go by what they are told and this is all done by design. This is all the dumbing down to be slaves for the powers that be. There is no dream left in a lot of people and all they do is spend like crazy on nonsense instead of saving for their dream.

    I see it everyday near me where people from other countries are going in to learn English (these are adults that I am talking about) and they can’t read nor write among a lot of them and they put their children through school to become doctors, lawyers, business people, etc. and they are a real success. The ones at the bottom are Canadians because they have things way too easy. Things are taught to the children from the time they are little and education is key and not just what they learn in school but by reading things and inquiring and getting ahead. Just like your idea on the beach Harry you had a vision and a mighty good one indeed.

  44. There is this man from Iraq who came over during the terrible war and endured so much under Sadam’s reign. His young nephew came after him and the uncle is a very good barber. The young boy would go to the place of where his uncle worked and swept the hair on the floor (he was only 9 years old at the time) and all the hell this young boy saw just broke my heart. He was put into the school system here in Ottawa and teachers and children were amazed at how he got along and was able to adapt to our ways of living (they are Christians) and then the uncle’s father came over and the man formed his own business as a barber and it is there where my husband goes to cut his hair.

    There are many things that people can do and it takes a market study to find out what is a good business venture.

    Some things will work in a certain area and other things will not work. A good market study is needed to see what is important.

    I ran into a lady who was originally from India when I went to the lab with my daughter some months ago. She and I got to talking and she told me about a cousin of hers who took his MBA (masters of business administration) and he wanted to make a business of his own. He was in the Toronto area and went out to Oakville and he saw that a walk in clinic was needed and he got a loan from the bank and he bought that business and hired doctors, lab technicians, etc. He looked around to see what was very important in his eyes and he went through with his venture.

  45. Perhaps the truth hurts……’s obvious that the Cornwall clique is now exposed and doesn’t like the exposure of truth. When the clique doesn’t like someone or something and or cannot control or convert, they fire them, replace them, chase them out of town and or make it so difficult times, in hopes that they go away. The Cornwall Clique individuals, are in service clubs, has had media exposure, and have done all they could to market themselves only….not what can I do for my City but what can my City do for me. Most of the clique members are liars, hypocrites and insecure and only use people for whatever information they need. They befriend people and use them. Finally, they have met someone who is not afraid of them…..and who will make sure everyone really knows what they are all about….The Cornwall click is now being ridiculed and cannot stand to read the truth about them and what they are and represent. The pen is stronger than the voice and yes Jamie may have the pen, but what he writes is what he sees the true images of what they portray.
    I personally do not know the CFN Editor or anyone associated with CFN, but I’m happy that finally someone with the mighty pen is finally calling a spade a SPADE…..If and when the old boys club comes to an end, maybe, just maybe Cornwall will become a City of growth, a world of possibilities and a place to be proud of to call HOME

  46. I have come to know many Cornwall business families over many years. The Katz kids (Glen and Anne) attended St Lawrence . . . their parents’ business was known as Glenan Distributors. I knew the Miller family, the Nicholsons, Carl McLaughlin, Gaetan Morin and many other Cornwall business owners who started their own businesses on their own business savvy and private financing.

    I knew the private sector individual who made it possible for SCM to open their warehouse at Cornwall, At the time, businesses could get their permits from the Harris Government of Ontario, at Toronto. City staff only had to “rubber-stamp” the permits of 2-high profile businesses that now operate in Cornwall. A former Cornwall official even admitted to this, privately. Except some in the business community and the general public were asked to buy into a fairytale as to how some businesses arrived at Cornwall.

    Over 40-years ago, Nick Kaneb served as Cornwall’s Mayor and his administration was about 1/3-rd the size of the city admininstration of today. Back then, Cornwall bought a fraction of the services from outside providers as they do today. Published criticism of public institutions today threatens more businesses today than it did many years ago. There are any number of businesses that exist today for the sole purpose of providing services to public sector institutions . . . during an earlier time, either the bureaucrats had to do the work themselves, or the private sector did it.

    The world economic situation demands that governments reduce expenditures and downsize . . . there have been public sector layoffs in Ottawa. Even spendthrift Dalton McGuinty has to curtail his government’s expenditures. Cornwall needs to trim over $600,000 from city expenses . . . this means that the private sector or the volunteer sector will have “to step up to the plate” to provide for a segment of Cornwall’s citizens, many of whom have come to depend on the low-cost items sold by the Salvation Army and by Agape.

    Businesses that depend on public sector clients will have to revise their business plans and seek to offer services and good to the private sector or to the consumer market, perhaps via retail outlets, supermarkets and department stores. A segment of Cornwall’s business community is going to have to deal with a changing market . . . . they may already be aware that they may be losing some profitable public sector business opportunities.

    Some of Jamie’s published criticism of Cornwall’s public sector may have been a little too much for comfort.

  47. Harry why does Cornwall need 10 councellors when they are a very small town. Long Sault, Ingleside and all the other communities outside the town have their own reeves, etc. It would have been another thing if you were amalgamated but Cornwall is way too small and are draining the pockets of people especially those who can least afford it. Like I said in many posts you all have to get rid of them all (YES ALL) and start from scratch and not the same bozos in there at all. This is when trouble starts.

    Kaneb was bad enough but in no way were things as ever as bad as what things are today. Kilger and company is the very worst I have seen yet. Between Martelle and Kilger they put Cornwall on the map for corruption to the fullest. Who needs Chicago when there is little Chicago just to the south of me and very embarrassing.

    Cornwall has some very good people indeed but it is those who think that they own the town and put the good people down. Business does not go to Cornwall at all and there are small towns that prosper and believe me have had read plenty and still do how small towns prosper because they don’t have a “Boss Hogg” mentality.

  48. Yes there are plenty of layoffs here in Ottawa and many houses up for sale and for rent. Many know that the market is mighty slow and will eventually die off. I have read the other day that home ownership can be a thing of the past. I saw this same thing again today.

    We see less cars on the road than before since many have been let go of their jobs.

  49. The big spender Dalton McGuinty is now seeing that he can no longer keep Ontario afloat unless he cuts the fat. Teachers are now on the chopping block and a great deal of these people are not needed at all. I remember as a child in a French school where one teacher taught two grades in one classroom. Ask a teacher to do that today and you would see the fir fly. These people are the lazyest bunch besides the politicians.

    Doctors have to cut their salaries as well and it isn’t going to hurt them since they earn big money. They do have to make their own pensions since they are highly paid. One doctor on this paper complained and didn’t want himself compared to people who do the cleaning and other lower end jobs well I have news for him “he isn’t God” and everyone has to take a cut in order to survive. I also know from both my doctor as well as here on CFN that doctors today want everything set up for them where they just have to put the key in the door and walk in. There is nothing like the doctors of years gone by where they even made house calls. Today you say house calls and they look at you wondering from which planet you came from.

    Nurses are in mighty high demand as well as doctors and the majority of nurses today are working as temps or part time. This is in order to cut the fat. I have sympathy for Chris Cameron but he has to realize that he has a job between Ottawa’s Civic Hospital and Cornwall’s Hospital even though both are not permanent full time. Most jobs today are just that and many are contract jobs. No job is guaranteed today. Back in the 80’s my supervisor knew what was going to happen and she said: “wait till the 90’s come” and sure enough when Chrétien became PM he chopped at leas 40K jobs. A lot of these people had 25 and more years seniority. High tech absorbed some of these people but today high tech is on the rocks. Stores are suffering from this as well so it goes down the line. Real estate is no longer what it used to be and is only going to get a great deal worse as time goes on. What you read in the paper is realtors giving you the run around and not telling you the truth. Soon those realtors will be emptying out houses like what is happening in the US instead of selling them. In Cornwall they are swatting flies.

    There is so much going on in Cornwall where the “so called elites” “Boss Hogg dictators” are stomping on the people and don’t give a hoot whatsoever about them. It is about time that people wake up and know what is going on and get rid of every single one of them. I warned people since a long time ago and all they are after is tax money at the expense of the little people. Cornwall is in big deficit and winter is coming on soon and how do they expect to clear the roads of snow – maybe make everyone use their shovels and blowers and go out and shovel it for them. Believe me this can happen if things keep going the way they are. The big salaries are a thing of the past and people will have to take what they can in order to survive. I am now hearing about not enough food to feed the people of the world including here in Canada and the US – the breadbasket of the world. People you all better wake up because we are in those times and what is in the Bible is all very true indeed.

  50. Ontario teachers are paying for Dalton McGuinty’s fiscal escapades in the energy sector. Within a few miles of Cornwall, there are solar electric installations earning about 10-times the market rate for electric power. If Eastern Ontario really needed additional electric power (we don’t), Queen’s Park could have allowed municipalities along the Ottawa River to buy electric power directly from Hydro Quebec . . . except they won’t allow for that.

    One area councillor advised me that Dalton McGuinty’s government has stripped municipal governments of some of their power and handed it over to provincial bureaucrats. Its a system that literally invites crony behaviour and favouritism. In some areas, municipal councils are literally been required to “rubber stamp” decisions of provincial bureaucrats and cow-tow along with them in other areas.

    In all municipalities, there are a few people who learn how to “work the system” to their advantage . . . and we have a few people who are quite adept at that skill here in Cornwall. Some of them may own a business or may work as a bureaucrat . . . and we wonder as to why some non-elected government employees seem to wield more power that elected officials.

    The only way to reduce the extent of a crony system is for federal, provincial and even municipal governments to divest themselves of power that can be returned directly to private citizens. The Harper government has begun to reduce staff and lay-off personnel . . . except it will remain to be seen as to how far the staff cut-backs will go. When given the chance, organized groups of peaceful citizens can achieve remarkable results.

    Instead, we have laws on the books that require us to pay tax on a cake that we bake ourselves and donate to a church fund-raising event.

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