Todd Lihou of the Seaway News Celebrates Anti-Bullying Week in Cornwall Ontario – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig

jg2CFN – What an odd mix of circumstances this week has become.    It’s one thing to get yanked out of a council chamber and prevented from doing my job over the most innocent of t shirts while a councilor is allowed to remain and still has not been charged for ripping up protest signs; but quite another to see some of  my learned (ok, maybe some not so learned) colleagues chastising myself and CFN over the Mayor’s reluctance to delcare his conflict of interest; something he isn’t forced to do, but most likely is costing taxpayers thousands in legal fees and counting.

It’s a sticky wicket for the police.  If they don’t charge Councilor Gardiner it looks like they are treating a politician kinder than say….a kid with a joint.  If you can get charged and arrested for that in Cornwall surely this gross and purely clear act of mischief and damage under $5K should count too.

I get it though that the police have discretion.  I have no issue with that too as it costs tax dollars tying cases up in court, but Councilor Gardiner did not come out Tuesday morning and sing Mea Culpa.   He did not apologize to those whose signs he destroyed and simply spout that his love for Mayor Kilger drove him to a fit of rage that led him to destroy the signs.    Or some such story.   No, it’s been three days now with nary a word from the good councilor.

Of course even if the police do tender a charge the Crown has to agree to press the charge; but at least if the police charge Mr. Gardiner  they can be clean in this mess.     There are many people whose names end up on the police blotter who already would be charged for a small offence and surely we need to send a message that the police don’t play political favorites in our city and that nobody is above the law?

And then there are the other media.    I’m getting used to being tarred and feathered by the media that chase us from behind.    We probably have had more traffic in the last two days than the Seaway News gets in a month.   Today, after already humiliating his paper by referring to the editor of the most read newspaper in this region; either print or digital, as “a man”  “a man who runs a website”, etc in is coverage of my being yanked by police out of council over my t shirt, wrote an editorial or opinion piece.

A man (I refuse to publish his name for a couple of reasons: one, you already know who he is and two, I’m not about to give him any more publicity than he can conjure on his own) who operates a website was wearing what Mayor Bob Kilger deemed an offensive t-shirt.

Hmm… there’s that “a man” thing.   Of course Todd Lihou does get credit.  Corus radio thinks men can lactate so the Freeholder’s scribbler gets a bonus point.

I encountered the website operator Monday night, and used language I’m not particularly proud of –  but still stand by – in letting him know what I thought about the unwarranted criticism we received. It was probably just as unprofessional as the t-shirt, maybe more, but in the heat of the moment I felt justified in standing up to him.

How does engaging me in f bombs count as standing up to me?  I don’t get that, but then Todd has drank a lot of Cornwall water…the criticism he’s talking about I imagine was Seaway News getting shot again with the copy cat name.  When Le Journal went from French only to a Bilingual paper; the Seaway News responded by going….bilingual.   When CFN had a 100 Letter campaign about why Cornwall was amazing with over $5,000 in prizes to be given out  they came out with something akingly similar that is going to give out 8 $25 restaurant vouchers.

Journalism graduates, and those who have been in this business long enough, know that you try to avoid reporting on yourself.

It’s not a problem specific to Cornwall. Some people, like me, think it falls into the “infotainment” category, where readers eagerly ask: “I wonder what they’ll say next?”

Now Todd knows I practice Gonzo Journalism.

Gonzo Journalism is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative. The word “gonzo” is believed to be first used in 1970 to describe an article by Hunter S. Thompson, who later popularized the style. The term has since been applied to other subjective artistic endeavors.

Gonzo journalism involves an approach to accuracy through the reporting of personal experiences and emotions, as compared to traditional journalism, which favors a detached style and relies on facts or quotations that can be verified by third parties. Gonzo journalism disregards the strictly edited product favored by newspaper media and strives for a more personal approach; the personality of a piece is equally as important as the event the piece is on. Use of sarcasmhumor, exaggeration, and profanity is common.


As does his boss Rick Shaver who courted me to sell CFN to Trans Con and be his editor before hiring Mr. Lihou.    I rejected that offer and Mr. Lihou has um…well, when was the last time you read Seaway News?   Their Canadian Alexa ranking online is a cool 32,000 on the nose as of this writing with only 77% of traffic coming from Canada and 63% of that traffic are bounces.

To put that in perspective the barely intelligible Seeker Chicks blow them out of the water.

CFN, which is one of the top 5 Online Independent Newspaper in all of Canada ranks out today at 3,984 with 94% Canadian traffic, a bounce rate of  20.8% and is the 6th OVERALL website in the City of Cornwall.  That’s of all the sites in the world!

It’s why we try to stay out of the limelight while reporting news stories, and save the back-slapping for the opinion pages. When you blur opinion and news, you can create something dangerous, because some people may believe your opinion is a fact.

Many of us have been the target of criticism. When it is justified, we welcome the debate.

I would think that after reading Mr. Lihou’s work of literary fellatio it would be safe to say that he’s failed the principle’s of journalism.  After all this is a man that walked by a group of protesters at City Hall without even asking what the protest was about,  but had the focus to attack me with F Bombs and criticism of CFN and then suggest I was a bully.  Last I thought was you stay away from Bullies.   Maybe that’s why so few people read Seaway News?

Maybe Todd and Rick simply were jealous of the heat, as usual.    And what is it with the Freeholder and Seaway News that typing the words Cornwall Free News or CFN burns their flesh so?  We type their names and we probably had more traffic in the last two days (over 200,000 page views) than Seaway News gets in a month.    I wished Seaway News happy 25th Birthday a few years ago because that was a tribute worthy.   I link to them when I talk about them too or quote them as I’m doing right here so Todd can show Rick that at least a few people read his story and that Trans Con can see that perhaps they were a bit penny wise, pound foolish.  After all I applied to work for them before starting CFN  🙂

We live in an age where mono-browed and mono-syllabic people take themselves and their tiny parts of the world far too seriously.   We can all live together and prosper even if we don’t always agree.   We can work together on things even if we’re competitors.   This culture and attitude that the Free Holder, Corus Radio in Cornwall, and the Seaway News and assorted politicians live by is stone age and backwards.  It’s time to evolve, change, and embrace the good that’s out there instead of living by cronyism and constantly lowering the bar.

All I and CFN have ever tried to do is celebrate the best of this city and when we’ve been allowed to do so we’ve all been pretty successful.  The best year of Lift Off was the year we promoted it.  The best year of the Cornwall Farmer’s Market, the same.    This petty and ugly culture that’s far too pervasive destroys initiative and innovation.  It drives away good people.  It drives away our children.

Maybe the clique, the mayor, and the bad guys will beat CFN into death?  Maybe I’ll be run out of town, or maybe I’ll just realize that I can work an awful lot less and make an awful lot more writing a sitcom about a family of Cannibals, and just give up on the City of Cornwall and the people that live here….of course that would mean turning my back on an awful lot of people who support us and have made us what CFN is and that would be very very wrong.

In the end who really would lose?   During this week of Anti-Bullying isn’t it odd to see a mayor have a sitting down journalist dragged from his chair out of council by seven police officers over a picture of him on a milk carton?

To see journalistic midgets like Todd Lihou & Claude McIntosh rip away at something that’s grown organically, without any resources, and in spite of the cliques and powers that be for their appointed task masters?

I know I’m not the only one that doesn’t think it’s odd….  We all know who the bullies are in Cornwall.   Now is the time to stand up to them and now is the time for them to be pulled down and stripped of their false power.   If you want our amazing city to ever truly grow and thrive it’s the only real option.

At the end of the day dear viewer we must all focus on the real issue and that is of how Mayor Bob Kilger and his Council are flagrantly abusing our tax base to cover up scandal after scandal.  In Camera meetings, passing what we will never know officially, and what seems to be blatant ignoring of the Municipal act except when it can be used to keep the editor of the largest newspaper in this city from doing his job in the council chamber.

You can post your comments below.


(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.)


  1. I knew Hunter S. Thompson, and Todd Lihou is no Hunter S. Thompson. What a whiny, weasly article that was by him in the AdBag paper.
    I think Todd comes from a window selling-family. And Gilles Latour is a window salesman. Now that is a conflict of interest.
    “Literary Fellatio”. Now that is good journalism. But I doubt his boss can get it hard after he drinks breakfast.
    Keep going Admin. I have to go know, my eyeballs are bleeding from thge laughter

  2. Good piece. They should really have an look inward at themselves as to why they are all so angry at what you are reporting. I believe it is because they know you are right. Like a petulant child who has been caught in a lie and continues to lie and gets angrier and angrier when you persist in questioning them.
    If none of it were true surely it wouldn’t bother them?

    Corus Radio, Standard Freeholder and Seaway News are acting like a bunch of brats that are angry that they didn’t think of it first, and now you are getting all the attention and they aren’t. If they really think that not naming you or CFN is making them look good, it’s not.

    Reporting is reporting, good or bad, you can’t (or shouldn’t) select just what you as a radio station or newspaper want to report, otherwise you are just a vessel for advertisements.

  3. Jamie,,,, beautiful article. The Freeholder, just lost another subscription today, “moi” ! I’ve been wanting to do it, for the past 5 years , I guess I’m slow to pull the trigger . lol Their lack of actual reporting is getting worse & I’m just fed up with Mac !
    If, I can find out, how to get of the delivery list for the “Seaway News” their next !
    Regarding Syd, I agree Jamie, he has to be charged, no doubt about it ! Our Chief, is not in a very enviable position ! The politics swirling around 340 Pitt, must be hillarious ? Don’t forget , that Syd’s brother in-law, is the 3rd highest ranked Officer at the PD ! The Chief, will be accused by many, myself included, if he doesn’t at the least, turn the case over to the Crown’s Office, for a decision on whether to prosecute ! This is where, the “old boys club” starts to call in favors & exert pressure ? He (Chief) will no doubt state, that the decision to charge or not to charge, is left to the discretion of his Officer ! To that , I will emphatically state “bull—– ! lol If, no charges are laid, their is a mechanism, to go above CPD, (o-Cops) and launch an investigation & have charges laid for direlection of duty .
    imo, Hopefully, the right action will be taken from the get-go, by the CPD, so that the taxpayer, doesn’t get stuck with another law-suit ?

  4. Jamie don’t expect anything out of Syd Gardner nor Kilger. These people are all connected. As the poster above me Charmin pointed out that Syd has a brother high up in the “Cornwall Barney Fife PD” and Kilger’s brother-in-law is a sergent in the “CBF PD” and you are just wasting your breath. The “smell of corruption” runs mighty deep. There were 26 cops who quit “Cornwall’s Barney Fife PD” over all the BS going around and they left town. I don’t know how long you have been in Cornwall but none of this is new. It is like people are mostly “inbred” and there is always someone related to them.

    We support what you are doing and you are doing a great job but I have to say that the majority of the people are mighty old and are not of this world anymore and there are others who are afraid to come forward and face the truth and just shove their heads in the sand and the rest are too young and don’t give a hoot and just waiting to be free and go off to college and university or jobs elsewhere. That has always been and may always be because that is the only way of life that they know and are afraid to venture and learn new things.

  5. I have to agree with WOW with that laughter. Jamie you are something else – you are very creative indeed. LOL LOL. ROLF. I literally laughed for two days nonstop and I thought that I would have to get myself placed at the Ottawa Royal Hospital’s Psychiatric Hospital. I just couldn’t stop laughing. Your articles are great. Kilger is fuming and could you see the smoke come out of his nostrils. LOL LOL. Pop the magic dragon lives by the sea. LOL LOL. I am crazy and sure don’t need any drugs to make me that way I am just crazy. Love your articles and keep up the good work.

  6. I have known todd since we could walk I don’t think he is the as man you say he is but a man with a job just as yourself. Not everyone agrees with what is said or what has been done but what I do know is that he follows his dreams and has done well for him and his family. As for the tee-shirt and your video I agree the mayor and his collegues should be disapplined for there actions. what I see in the video was not right and not handled in the proper mannor. There is no need for the cornwall force send out all them troups for as little as a shirt. It was a waste of tax money and your are right it is a public place and he would not have the position if the Cornwall people didn’t vote him in. He was out of term and so was the police but thats what you get in politics. Cornwall people will have to think and act smarter in the next election and send these people who think they have the control and power to where they belong and if thats down a long road then be it. My hat goes off to you Jaimie for the stance you held ,but I also have to take my hat off for Todd a man thats out there just as you are and writing the news.

  7. I have said in media’s many times before that City Hall must be moved.

    Whether they all move to the Civic Complex, where there is plenty of room or to completely new digs, like on the NORTH side of the 401, seriously folks something like this NEEDS to happen.

    City Hall is to married to the downtown core, the police department and the fire department to be able to perform its duties objectively for the benefit of all the city.

    Too much collusion is actually INVITED by the current buddy buddy set up. This whole problem has invited quite a number of inappropriate interactions and/or lack of them due to the very nature of their togetherness. I wouldn’t doubt there is a tunnel system underground joining police, fire and city hall.

    Unless and until this specific separation happens, we will get what we’ve always got…total protectionism and self perpetuation. Sarnia did a fabulous job of this. We can and should too.

  8. hillarious!! LOL

  9. I may not be a graduate from a journalism course but I’m pretty sure that they don’t teach journalists to ignore news and collude with city governments. Freedom of the press is the most effective way to keep governments honest.

    Mr. Lihou and the other “traditional” media are in a self destructive spiral. The more they “co-operate” with the city government the less free and objective they become.

  10. I think its pretty sad when the interest has departed from the REAL news and turned into an ego measuring contest between local news papers. Aren’t you supposed to be professionals here? I don’t believe that either you or Todd were “right” in publishing your personal attacks on each other. Whether you did the right thing or not by wearing that t-shirt it was a personal choice to which Todd really had no right to publish about and use the name of “free journalism” or whatever to rant and rave. I also do not believe that it was very adult of you to show up wearing a t-shirt that you had to know before hand would elicit such a reaction from a mayor who already feels he is being “attacked” by the media and due to his lack of cooperation in having local media attend counsel you obviously knew he wasn’t your biggest fan. How about we all just grow up and drop this pathetic attempt at trying to prove who was right and wrong and just get back to the actual important news that you’re supposed to be covering. And to add… I find it ironic that this week our local schools were selling and wearing pink t-shirts in an anti bullying protest. Some example you guys are providing for them.

  11. Author

    Myrtle I think it was pathetic that the largest and most read media was not asked to participate when some of the very sponsors on that shirt are some of the biggest corporate bullies in our city. I find it unprofessional of our mayor and council to waste tax payer dollars in the shadows the way they have.

    I agree, there is a HUGE need for professionalism in this city and it has to start at the top.

  12. The only few things Seaway News has over CFN is more adds with cars or houses for sale, or news thats always a week late. The Free Holder does not even print its paper in the city anymore and if you picked one up, there is not even enough paper to start a fire with. CFN, yes you may get under the skin of people but without you showing the goings on in this city, how many more millions would the tax payers have spent.

    If people would just swallow some pride, work together, even greater things, greater ideas would prosper. Unfortunatley we have a city with a crap load of people who think their crap don’t stink and this is what we end up with.

  13. There is a speach that was made by former US pres. JFK and I want everyone to go there and look at it and listen very carefully to what this good man had to say. He is showing you who killed him and I am well aware of all of this since a long time now.

    Not only that folks he is telling you about freedom of the press and not to stifle the news and that he welcomes opposition – that is what you call freedom.

    I will put down the title for you to research on and here it is:

    Evil. Listen To What JFK Says He Was Killed 10 Days After

    JFK was killed because he told who was going to kill him and I know from the very top down to the bottom who did this. I haven’t stopped crying listening to this dear man nor see the shooting. This man wanted to change things for the better. JFK isn’t showing the top people who did this but I do know and I stifle myself here. Keep the news real and not stifle your news – get rid of the bullies before it is too late. Jamie is doing his very best to help all of you and you must thank this man from the bottom of your heart because he is there to awaken you all. SF is a joke and people who purchase that paper needs their heads examined – there isn’t anything in it. Pull yourselves away from the “boob tube you call a TV” as well and go to your library and read and learn things. That TV is what destroys the mind. Intelligent people do not look at TV at all – that is why they call it “programming” because it programs your bain the way they want you to behave in their dirty ways. Get educated and stop listening to garbage.

  14. Excellent article Jamie. You call a spade a spade and they still call you down. Yes, as you coined in another article, Fear and Loathing, are the biggest issue with the other media.

    The Cornwall Freeholder has been a steady as she goes, don’t rock the boat, hide the down side and at best, try and keep certain names out of the old ‘Scuttlebutt’.

    In the DAY, the Freeholder use to own Pitt St. from 44 up to city hall. All the news came from that stretch. Today it is streamed in from Montreal.

    Seaway news is practically polluted with ‘the Ad Bag’ moniker and thus ends up in the trash as fast as it is dropped off.

    Corus has what, 3 stations, or is that 4? Shows you that with media (TV/Radio), their are more stations than can be watched or listened to at any one time…..the air waves are simply too much and too many to get a regular handle on.

    So when it comes to intelligence, telling it like it is, yes, intimidation, jealousy and fear of losing what little share of the pie they have shudders their very being. WHY, IMAGIINE THE SCREAMING IF THEY START TO LOSE ADVERTISING.

    You see, Jamie, it has always been a political game here. You can cal it ‘don’t rock the boat’ politics. Don’t upset the populace by telling them the truth…we may never get the scope again if we did that.

    We have lost our news hound ‘diggers’ until you and CFN showed up.

    What an excellent insight you have shown this whinny small minded town.

    Thank you for opening our eyes.

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