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.

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