Cornwall City Council Meeting – March 25, 2013 – Cornwall ON by Amanda Cross

CFN – Like so many people around the world, I am one of those people who don’t really pay attention to political and governmental issues that occur on a weekly basis. This week I decided to go to City Council for the first time and I didn’t know what to expect at all. I had an opinion beforehand that these meetings were long, straight to the point and serious. I have come to realize that I’m not entirely wrong on my first opinion since they are long and straight to the point but it’s not all serious talk, there’s some humor in an among conversations as well which makes it comforting to be there.

It was no doubt a full crowd this week, as people had to stand at the back since all chairs were occupied. Clearly, there are people that care about what goes down in their city.

Mark McDonald This week a lot went down, but first on the list was a presentation given by Mark MacDonald and Chair of Youth Advisory Committee, Josh Welsh. The two gentlemen gave a presentation about the sale of the Cornwall General Hospital. Opening statement given by MacDonald was,

“Only way this will be successful, is if we’re all on board and we have to work together as a plan.”

MacDonald had mentioned several times during the presentation saying, “We’re not asking for the taxpayers’ money, any loans or councilors to guarantee money.”  Clearly there is always a cost that comes with sales, rebuilding and innovating structures. A lot of confusion was stirred up tonight as councilors didn’t fully understand the statements given by MacDonald.

MacDonald said, “It’s too early in the stage to come up with numbers, but we have to move the process along.” This was said after responding to Councillor Gerald Samson’s question, “We’re looking around millions of dollars, do you have a plan?” Councillor David Murphy had piped up saying, “It’s good to see different generations involved” in acknowledgement of Welsh being a high school student and highly involved with the Cornwall General Hospital issue.

The closing statement that MacDonald had for us was that he appreciates the help by saying,

“I have not been along doing this, there are others and we appreciate the support given.”  

When I asked Welsh of his thoughts about the whole General Hospital issue, this is what he had to say,

“It’s a huge step forward and we wanted this from the get-go to have Council’s support but it doesn’t mean we have it yet. They’ve agreed to look into it and report back to our group. It’s very important that the Hospital stays because it can and will affect all the current and future citizens of Cornwall. It’s important that the youth get involved, they will need to be involved for their health care at some point in their life. It will have some sort of impact and the more facilities we have for health care, the better.”

I also asked Welsh about what he thought was going to be the end result of it all and his response was that regardless of what happens, they continue to move forward.

“Only time will tell. If the Council reports back with a positive message, then we will have done a great job and we keep moving forward. If not, we still keep moving forward. I think we won’t stop until we come to some sort of consensus or conclusion for all this.”

In the end, both MacDonald and the Councillors agreed to wait until there is a report of the necessary funds before moving forward.

Another big topic on the agenda was the winter parking restrictions. This topic spoke of amending winter parking restrictions as to prohibit overnight parking on any highway or municipal parking lot between December 15 and March 31 the following year. An additional restriction was set between November 15 and December 14 when overnight winter parking will be permitted unless Environment Canada forecasts 5cm or more of snow.

Councillor Murphy is all in for this trial run and thinks it’ll be an interesting idea.

“It will be interesting to see how it will turn out.”Councillor, David Murphy

On the other hand, Councillor Samson is unsure of how this will work.

“How will this be enforced? If it snows and it wasn’t called for, they’ll be in the way of snowplows and they’ll have to check the weather forecast before they even park.”

I’d have to agree with both Councillors on this one, simply because it would be interesting to see how many Cornwall citizens abide by the trial rule and you can’t rely on a weather forecast. Percentages of precipitation change often and sometimes the meteorologist is wrong.

Regardless, the council were all in favor of the action recommended.

Lastly, the last major topic was the possibility of having a University of Cornwall. Everyone knows that Cornwall is a small city and there are not many jobs out there with all the factories and stores that have closed in the recent years. Examples of three major work sectors that have recently closed in Cornwall are Zellers, Teleperformance and StarTek. So why Cornwall would be thinking of having a University when we should be looking at increasing the amount of job places in Cornwall is beyond me, but that’s my opinion so who knows.

Somehow, Councillor Samson says that if we have a university, the city will see an increase in jobs.

“If we have a university, we will see increase in jobs.”

Wouldn’t it be the opposite way around? If Cornwall had more jobs, wouldn’t that lead to having people come into Cornwall to get an education?

Mayor Bob KilgerSo far it’s looking like there will be a University of Cornwall anyways. Councillor Maurice Dupelle is on board.

“I support the $50,000 to the University project.”

Another topic of the night included nominating a councilor as the elected member to represent the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager for the year 2013. Councillor Elaine MacDonald was nominated by Councillor Dupelle.

Mayor Bob Kilger wishes everyone a great and happy Easter.

The next regular public City Council meeting will take place on Monday, April 8, 2013.


amanda crossAmanda Cross – 17 year old dual credit student studying Journalism at St. Lawrence College while still in high-school at St. Lawrence Secondary School.

At a young age she had fallen in love with photography and has always enjoyed writing. Hoping to get a diploma in Journalism and meet several interesting people along the way.

Also a music junkie and huge sports fan.


  1. Amanda .. You are 100 % right when it comes to your thoughts about a university.
    The college is not filled to capacity.. yet tens of thousands are going to be spent for another study .
    Perhaps council watched “Build it and they will come ” during an in camera meeting ..Well that was fiction. This council seems to not know the difference between fiction and reality .
    Good article .!

  2. “If we have a university, we will see increase in jobs.”
    Sure, but are they short term construction jobs that we see with industrial wind turbines? Are they highly paid administration government jobs that take more tax out of the system?

  3. Amanda Cross Good Article,

    It great to see a young adult like you to be inspired and following your dream.
    A such a young age you have already chosen your path which is to be commended and I wish you well in your future endevours.

    To Quote you :

    “Like so many people around the world, I am one of those people who don’t really pay attention to political and governmental issues that occur on a weekly basis.”

    It is my wish that more people would get involved in their municipal meetings either by keeping informed or observing council meetings.

    The democratic process must be nurtured through citizen involvement and action.
    It is the citizens through community action or involvement of one sort or another that will promote the well being of the community.

    Take Care Amanda

  4. Apparently someone has told Money Sense Magazine that Cornwall already has a University. This one of the reasons why Cornwall reached the lofty level of 162 out of 200 for livability.

    Brockville managed to reach 111 out of 200 without a University.

  5. Our forthcoming French University will mode that of New Brunswick just off the Quebec border.

    Just think, we will be able to accept all those English students vying to leave Quebec to study in their mother tongue, French.

    University, yes, it will create lots of jobs with the U. itself and also spin-offs, apts., boarding houses, businesses etc. Population MAY grow or our Anglo only students will still leave for an Anglo U. AND OR JOBS ELSEWHERE. That may offset the influx from P.Q.

    Good luck though.

  6. I am pretty perplexed how anyone could not understand that universities are major employers. Have you visited one?

    Academic staff 2,436

    academic staff 251

    Academic staff 582
    Admin. staff 922

    Academic Staff: 317
    Admin. staff 2,250

    Admin. staff 922

    None of these include physical and plant services or security. Not to mention spin-offs…
    Lets try to think beyond Zellers and phone banks.

  7. Well I had to laugh at all of this. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s Cornwall had a good college St. Lawrence College that had many courses. Do you know that most students did not stay in Cornwall but left for colleges and universities elsewhere. Later that college died and Brockville and Kingston took over the good courses.

    Here in Ottawa there are no jobs whether at the lowest level or higher. One of the girls that my daughter worked with found a job and was only there for 4 months since the place restructured and she is caught with a house to pay for and no work. Her sister who lives with her is in the same predicament – no work.

    Stop dreaming about stupidity. The entire world is in deep doo doo. It isn’t about language folks it is about economy. I wish that people were normal to talk to instead of people who live on cloud 9 and I wonder what people are smoking or injecting into themselves. The world is in a financial mess and many people with degrees are lucky if they can find a taxi to rent or to go and flip bergers at minimum wage and believe me there are plenty of those including doctors degrees and nothing out there. Get real and stay off those funny cigarettes.

  8. The last time Cornwall had a post secondary institution of stature was the Transport Canada Training Institute.

    And word has it, that it ended up here because…

    -It was built and paid for by the federal government.
    -It was staffed by federal government employees.
    -Almost all of the federal government employees came from outside Cornwall.
    -Federal government employees had their relocation expenses paid for.
    -The institute was had a virtual monopoly position, by being the accredited training establishment for Transport Canada, Coast Guard and CF aerospace control training.
    -Students were recruited by the federal government.
    -Students were paid to attend and supplied with room and board.
    -The Transport Canada Training Institute regularly lost 1million dollars out of its 12 million dollar budget.

    Now they say…

    -Nav Canada runs the show.
    -It leaks.
    -The heating cooling system is ancient.
    -It loses money.
    -It is almost empty.
    -All the high paid, well educated Nav Canada employees are gone.

    And here we are with barely a campus of St. Lawrence College, the weakest link in its chain.

    If we can’t even have a first rate college, then you’re dreaming Smitty.

  9. The world is in “deep doo doo” because the people who remember “the late 60s and early 70s” (who lived during the greatest period of economical growth in history) just took and took with no consideration for the next generations.

    Now that the baby boomers are becoming senior citizens they continue to try to make a mess of things. Future generations of Cornwall citizens? Sorry, we cannot afford a university and all its benefits to the community, because of the state of “the economy.”

    Anyone who thinks a university is about making workers really needs learn something. A university is to spread knowledge and create a citizens who are able to think critically. The type of critical thought that realizes that selling the future generations short is a bad idea.

  10. Smith, Brock has a few hundred employees just on the sunshine list, (over 20 million plus benefits per year) yes Cornwall would not be as big, but that is a big chunk from tax rolls.
    Would the pay back be that good? It all needs to be discussed but I do prefer government making the right conditions for private business to grow.

  11. Smith, the current state of the art to spreading knowledge is MOOCs or Massive Open On-line Courses. The only thing you need is a computer room and maybe one office for someone to keep the computer running. Courses can be bought from existing universities.

    On the other hand if you want to replace St. Lawrence College in Cornwall with an institution with better qualified teachers then why not use the actual St. Lawrence College building. The province just dumped a pile of money into upgrading the facilities.

  12. Love the discussion, forgive me for not defending the state of the college…

    Eric – Funding for higher learning in Ontario is provided in cooperation with the government of Canada and the government of Ontario. The city of St. Catherines’ taxes do not directly support Brock University.
    Is it worth it?
    I remember a study from a decade ago that found Queen’s University boosts Kingston’s economy by one billion dollars a year. Queen’s is Kingston’s second largest employer after the Canadian Forces.

    Reg – MOOCs are great, I will not argue against them, but there is a difference between university classes, and a university. I am not sure what the economical spin off Athabasca University (online) has on Athabasca, but I am sure it pales in comparison to a brick and mortar institution. Likewise for the innovation coming out of them…

  13. Both Smith and Simon are right. A university degree is not to guarantee anybody a job but to give them an education so as they can take the knowledge that they have learned and apply it on a job somewhere. Many people cannot find a job in their area of study. I told you somewhere on this forum of CFN that a girl that worked with my daughter has her Masters Degree in Economics and all she could find was working in Data Entry and that was like a slap on the face. Just about 6 months ago one of the girls that worked with my daughter pulled her into a 6 month job in an insurance company. There isn’t much out there.

    Yes the Transport was a good place for people to learn and work at the same time. Yes Nav Canada took it over. I saw two places of Nav Canada here in Ottawa and one is downtown on either O’Connor St. or Metcalfe – I think O’Connor St. and the other is on Hunt Club West. There may be others but those are the ones that I know about.

    It is too bad that that building is going down hill. There are no jobs anymore and the world’s economy is heading towards another Great Depression.

  14. Sorry everyone, I have to be the devil’s advocate here a little, Marks wording sometimes make it difficult to give him the respect he probably deserves

    You cannot work together as a plan; however you can plan to work together.

    Mark if you wish people to listen you think about what you are saying and make sure it reads well for the audience before you. (I know it’s Cornwall Council, therefore small words and no punctuation)
    Do we have plan? Yes I am confident Mark and his associates have a plan, but and as always it is a huge but.

    Will the plan be understood and does anyone look at this junction or opportunity with an impartial eye? Something needed by both sides
    We can set forth conjecture to sustain our ideas, but do we have any merit and worth in what is said?

    In this case it appears Hospital hierarchy wants to remove the tree because they can no longer feed it, and of course council supports the idea.

    Does the tree pose a concern to safety? If it is removed how will it impact the surrounding area? Can something be done to sustain and develop a way to work around the tree? (This is how we address any new construction and growth courtesy of the environmentalists, must be more important than people)

    Not in today’s society, we cull a heard, we clear cut forests and now we eliminate or minimize much needed health care and no alternative resolution is provided by the hunter or the axe man.

  15. To all of you out there if you had a university it would be bankrupt in the first year or so. Cornwall was affiliated with Ottawa U in past years and could not make a go of it. It just offered the first 2 years just of a useless BA in nothing.

    With the time university is only going to be geared to the very rich and not the middle class nor the poor.

    As for jobs many of the university grads are flipping burgers, driving taxis and cleaning. There are no jobs to go around. Stop dreaming folks and stay off the drugs and clear your minds and get real. You are too much. LOL LOL. ROLF! You are too funny.

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