CFN Celebrates our 4th Anniversary In Spite of City of Cornwall Boycott – February 9, 2013

4thCFN – Wow!  We made it!  CFN turned four today.   It’s a real test for small business to survive.    There are so many people I’d like to thank.   Our viewers are always number one.   Our sponsors without whose support CFN could not survive.

My minority share holder Reg Coffey and his wife Kathy who have both stood through this adventure and helped in so many ways.  Don Smith who has contributed immensely and more importantly has suffered as he’s tried to sell ads while this boycott is going on.

Friends, family, even some really good people that aren’t fans of CFN, but understand how important what it stands for is for any community, and how we stand up for those that would not normally get any support.

This year has been the biggest test and most difficult year of our short history as the City of Cornwall has boycotted CFN and spread it’s corrupt tentacles to the point where at one point we lost 80% of our revenue, and staff, contractors, and clients have been intimidated and bullied.

It puts a lot of good people in sticky positions.  Heck I don’t even like being involved in this mess.    Only Mayor Kilger & Council can answer for this.   I feel most sorry for some of the city staff as they are caught having to follow through on policies they clearly don’t support.

Where did this all start?   It goes back chiefly to two events.  One our asking why Lift Off had to borrow $30K from the city in 2011 after a record year in 2010 and the second believe it not a sad pathetic incident at former MPP Jim Brownell’s retirement announcement.

CFN arrived 45 minutes early to set up and try and snag some interviews.    Mr. Gilles Latour arrived late with a cameraman in tow.   I was forced to stand with another journalist after the Brownell family gobbled up our seats whichwas fine.

Sadly Mr. Latour decided to LOUDLY voice his issue with the size of my posterior complaining that my rump ruined shooting for his camera guy with over 20 people in the room.  I kid you not.

Normally this could result in dental work, but being Mr. Cornwall who lives in Long Sault, it simply was resolved by some text and emails going back and forth and the educationally handicapped Mr. Latour grovelling out an apology.

After that it became a whisper campaign that resulted in a report to council over Online Anonymity at first, but quickly showing what it really was, a Witch Hunt against CFN.     Why?  I can’t answer that other than Mr. Latour & some of his friends like Mr. Peters have some media friends that our upstart newspaper were hurting in the sense that the public was responding and we were taking ad dollars out of their pockets as Councilor Thibault once phrased it.

“A review of local news websites show that only two allow anonymous posts: the Standard-Freeholderand the Cornwall Free News. Both sites have some moderation of comments, but a review of activity over the past several months have led staff to concur with the generalized assessment of the practice by the American Journalism Review: “Comment sections are often packed with profanity, and vicious personal attacks.”

Could you imagine seeing that in your inbox?  Anyone that’s ever read CFN knows that there is little to no profanity.    And we pre-moderate each and every comment and always have as Mr. Peters, the author of this report knew clearly.

When contacted before it was released Mr. Peters refused to modify it.  One of our readers pointed out that the American Journalism Review never posted such a comment to quote from.    Mayor Kilger and the City have now been asked SEVEN times including twice by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to allow us to appear before Council to rebut the lies, but we have been refused; in the mean time having to read this exact excerpt on other sites such as the CBC.

Now we’re not looking for sympathy; maybe empathy, especially from some of the other businesses that have been ravaged by City Hall.  There’s a reason why Cornwall finishes in the toilet in the CFIB Communities in Boom reports and why nearby Brockville has four times the membership in the CFIB with us having double the population.  It’s not even about money.  It’s about how media are treated by municipalities and government who are trying to excerpt pressure to control what we write.  That’s just wrong.  Freedom of the press should be sacrosanct.

What our options as a small business in Cornwall?     We could sell CFN.   I could fold CFN.  I don’t think either of those things will happen.    I was shocked Friday when after three weeks of bs and drama Mr. Norm Levac, the new CAO,  decided that Cornwall could not support a three month letter campaign  where the public would write in about how amazing Cornwall is.    It even refused to put the entry request info on the city’s facebook wall, city bulletin, or websites.

Now I ask you, the public, what really is profane and which a vicious personal attack?  Mr. Levac while stating that the city could not support the campaign because of the policy which he stated CFN violates(without offering up proof or there ever being a single direct complaint to CFN) yet said he was prepared to offer us some shirts and swag to give away.

Mighty White of you Norm!  Was there a reason why it took three weeks to invoke that position?  Could you say “Let’s sabotage an even that could actually help our city’s brand?”

Councilor Rivette spoke about the 100 Letter campaign this past week.

I and an awful lot of people just shake our heads at this behavior.  It’s a sad end to Mayor Kilger’s career and legacy as I personally hold him responsible for this boycott and the drama that has ensued.   It’s as though he has the Rob Ford handbook of Mayoralty in his back pocket for daily reference?   It’s almost as embarrassing to the city as Project Truth or when the Mayor was in trouble while working at St. Hubert BBQ.

So the struggle continues.  Luckily there is light.  There is hope,and there are the 41,000 Unique Visitors per month not counting Social Media who visit CFN each month.   It’s almost like each sleazy corrupt dirty trick galvanizes us as much as when we get some of the feedback we do each day.

After all, the community should always come first and that’s what CFN is here for.  From our Vision & Mission statements.

In these days of spoon fed values and massive societal conformity for people to think about issues and not just follow the pack.   Whether it be questioning why decisions are made or confronting people and holding them accountable; CFN’s vision is to help empower people while educating and entertaining.

The news can be a living thing.   And one newspaper can be very different than others.   We also want to create a haven to attract the most talented people in the Universe where they can excel and gain from their talents, voices, and artistry with less restrictions, not more.

It’s sad that that vision scares so many and in particular people like Bob Kilger, Bob Peters, Mark Boileau, Norm Levac, Elaine MacDonald, Denis Thibault, Syd Gardiner, Denis Carr, and those that take their lead like management at EOHU, CCH, CAS, Seaway Tourism, CRAG, The Woodhouse Museum, The Chamber of Commerce, Team Cornwall (Gilles Latour), Candy Pollard, the Kinsmen, the Lift Off Committee, the Winterfest Committee,  the other local media that have allowed one of their own to be victim for over a year and tread fearfully about losing their own ad dollars, and the businesses that have allowed themselves to be intimidated by them or cooperate like the Benson Organization.  One car dealership loved that campaign and asked if I could get one of the other media to run it!

You can’t run a city of 46,000 with a tiny clique holding such sway and control.  Not successfully.     In spite of all these cancers on our city good things still happen and that’s where CFN is focusing this year as we prep for Seaway TV.

I invite anyone that really cares about Cornwall and wants to see it grow to really look at CFN and realize what we’ve all built.    I’m hoping that next year, for our fifth anniversary we have a lot to celebrate.    I welcome our growing list of new sponsors and viewers, and of course some of the many new writers and contributors to CFN, your INTENSELY LOCAL Newspaper!

And as our birth day gift to the small business community of the region for the month of February we have some very special offers.   Call 613 361 1755 for more info!

Again, thanks to everyone in this great city and let’s all work to make it greater!

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – CFN


  1. A very sincere congrats on CFNs 4th anniversary!

    Stay at it long enough, Jamie, and traditional newspapers will be out of business.

    As far back as 2011, data show that TV and online news surpassed print newspapers and radio, which are being choked slowly to death.

    And while TV is still in the lead, it too is declining. The only medium to see growth was online news.

    Freeholder’s getting pretty skinny and Seaway News doesn’t really report news at all.

  2. Happy Birthday and many more!
    You are my favorite news source,and I apreciate the Honesty that you put in to better inform the public of the real issues that are in our city .It is too bad that the thruth hurts some but It needs to be heard my word.
    Thank you for looking out for us.

  3. Happy Birthday CFN !!

    Your Top 100 letters campaign on “Why Cornwall Ontario is so Amazing” is a great way to get a positive message to All visitors to the CFN site on the good things Cornwall has to offer. It makes one reading these letters feel good about Cornwall.

    The 41,530 Unique Visitors to CFN site in January, speaks volumes. I believe the city should purchase a sponsorship which would send a positive message to other local businesses. The City of Cornwall should encourage these kinds of initiatives to promote Cornwall as a GREAT place to live, work and play or just visit !!

    Councillor Andre Rivette

  4. Thanks & congrats CFN for ALL your hard work & dedication for our great city;Cornwall….

  5. Thank you Jamie and CFN for allowing us to air and share our views in a well moderated environment , and while we can agree to disagree on many items, grass roots folk who read CFN come up with great ideas that council should take note of.
    I hope you stand the pressures of this year, as the broom that sweeps city hall next election will remove many of the obstacles that have ensured that Cornwall has not moved forward in the positive way that it could and should.

    All we need are more good citizens to run for council along with the likes of councillor Rivette

    Congratulations and thanks for telling us what is REALLY happening


  6. Word, Son. $%#% Gilles Latour and the window sales job he rode in on. Keep on truckin’ brother.

  7. Congratulations CFN. I am so glad I found this site. I look forward to checking it out daily.

  8. Well done Jamie! Your innovative entrepreneurial leadership, your community collaborative spirit and your persevering tenacity has challenged the Statist quo. Your enterprise is operating in the new information distribution environment that is not for the timid.

    It takes courage and patients to achieve desirable community benefits by mutually consented understandings. Political freedom is very fragile and easily lost to potential corrupted political power who censor freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

    Honest investigative journalism is becoming rarer in this time of absolute governing powers. Tyrannical suppression of informational knowledge leads to confusion, distortion and extortion. However, you Jamie and your 4 year old Cornwall Freenews are beacons of light and hope for a community suffering of poverty, misery and despair.

    You are providing our community our means of governing our governments at all levels. We don’t always agree on each others expressions but we will work together to keep our community’s liberty and our own individual freedom of expression. We require our freedom of the press to maintain and defend our political and economic freedoms.

    Jamie, you are a community hero and we wish you many more years of success with us in our intensely local communities. I personally appreciate your efforts; Thank you kindly.

  9. Congrats CFN! Reporting the truth and exposing Bob Kilger and his corrupt council(minus a couple) is certainly no easy task as one can well imagine! The only way to make progess is to speak up, communicate with each other and then plan/work toward a better Cornwall. It is a shame that Kilger and crew has caused so much crap in this city and bullied business to not advertise with you.

    …But I see a better future!

    We are now giving the citizens of Cornwall notice and the information needed to get out and vote. Change is a MUST! Once new blood is voted in next election, things will be so much better. CFN will hopefully be able to praise the decision and work that coucil will be doing to better our city and that will be because THEY HAVE EARNED IT. They will most likely live in Cornwall and they will care more about the community rather than leaving a legacy for themselves.

    I see you have 100 letters of positive thought about Cornwall. Council should have been supporting this, it sells our city. SHAME ON THEM!!!!

    Thank goodness for CFN in this city. Eyebrows have been raised, questions have been asked and the momentum is starting to roll for a better Cornwall. People, please continue to speak up, vote and businesses please advertise with CFN to help support your local community “Truth” news. It is a win-win situation all around.


  10. Happy Anniversary CFN!

    It has been great spending time with you every day first thing in the morning and before bed.

    Thank you so much for your coverage on language issues and making the community aware of LFA, Language Fairness for ALL. It is great that we have a local group that anyone can go to for job discrimination based on language.


  11. Many happy returns of the day! Jamie, you embody the concept of what the results of patience and perseverance can achieve, keep up the fight for the community to be heard! I for one remember the current Mayors St. Hubert BBQ’s incident and the reality that Cornwall is held back by a general absence of class. Fortunately this too will pass and I feel confident that Cornwall will emerge from the current constraints and leap forward to embrace the future. Good luck CFN on being part of the solution !

  12. Author

    Thanks David. I’m hoping for some community house cleaning too!

  13. All the very best Jamie, on your Anniversary ! “CFN” has to be applauded for it’s no nonsense approach. We Cornwallites are not used to that type, style of reporting.
    As a long time supporter, of our beautiful Lamoureux Park, in my humble opinion, without the exposure & coverage that “CFN”
    provided to our group, I’m quite certain that heavy duty construction, would be under way, in those disputed areas in the Park !
    Once again, thank-you !

  14. Very well done Cornwall free news.Keep up the good work.I really believe its helping the people of Cornwall to wake up and smell the roses(skunks).Happy birthday

  15. Author

    Well we’ve certainly noticed a whole lot less hate emails luckyred. Thank you for the wishes!

  16. Congratulations to you Jamie & CFN on your 4th anniversary .
    I fully agree with what W R Parisien stated & we certainly do
    owe you for what you have done . Keep up the good work Jamie . Thanks Again .

  17. All the best to you and congratulations Jamie on four excellent years. Thank you for keeping us abreast of Cornwall’s news coverage! Excellent coverage and the truth be known. Perhaps you have awaken our citizens and the next election will prove you right.

  18. Time to really get a proof reader!! Spelling mistakes very pathetic!

  19. Congratulations to CFN on their Fourth Anniversary! Perhaps, in the next election, we can just keep Mr.Rivette and get rid of all the others, replacing them with new blood that this city so desperately needs! Remember Council, what goes around comes around!

  20. Stan you might want to consider Councillor Dupelle. Maurice has established himself as an independent thinker.

  21. Cornwall at 46,000 people and think about how many in Cornwall are young and who will stay. The answer is not many and the vast majority will leave and always have. I am a 62 year old woman and that is exactly what happened to the young people of my day, before my day and after. The majority of Cornwall’s population are seniors and one day these people will die off and then who is going to replace these people. These are things that the future leaders have to think about – how to attract new people and new ideas to Cornwall. Kilger is finished folks both physically and mentally. Serious diseases does affect the mind like cancer, heart, etc. Kilger should have been put out to pasture a long time ago. This idiot is risking people’s lives not bringing the Dun Stor Lodge up to date. It is like a few people in Cornwall are like what I have always quoted as “the Boss Hogg” and everybody else is garbage to them. If the people of Cornwall don’t stand up and change things around then nothing will ever happen. People do not want to move to a corrupt place but instead they leave. The former General Hospital should be turned into a place for seniors like the Lodge – those who cannot look after themselves anymore and I said that so many times before even before André came out with those words. Cornwall does not need anymore hockey rinks and what is the good of hockey rinks when people will move out and elderly seniors cannot even stand up on a pair of skates to begin with and so many people cannot keep up with the high cost of taxes and all the lawsuits. I think it is about time that the people come out of LA LA Land and think about reality. A hockey rink that one cannot even afford and the city is wondering how to pay for it and it was built with stollen money from the investors in the US and worldwide. You all better open your minds to what has happened and how you are going to pay for it. Nobody is going to go to Cornwall to play professional hockey. Come and take a good look at our streets here in Ottawa just now with pot holes all over the place on every street here in the city and it is ashamed but it is a big city and very big taxes and people are selling their homes because they cannot keep it all up. Just think about what can happen to Cornwall if this “nonsense” keeps on going with this kind of insane administration and corruption to the hilt.

    Jamie you are a breath of fresh air in Cornwall and I wish that there were more people like you there to expose what is going on. People need to wake up and if they don’t then Cornwall will literally die for sure.

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