Should Cornwall Ontario Change Its Name to Change Its Image? POLL 2013 Lift Off Ribfest

Cornwall City skylineCFN – Does Cornwall Ontario need to change its name?  This winter a comedian on CBC called Cornwall the “Crotch of Canada.”

A city councilor suggested expanding our borders to raise the population of the city because it has been stagnant or shrinking for decades.

Cornwall has been reasonably good at attracting seniors, but has failed in attracting younger people,especially families.  In fact it’s gone to the lengths of targeting (pardon the pun) French Quebecers as they silently have been turning the city into a “bilingual” one or facsimile of with such measures as heightened French staffing requirements and the mayor and one councilor sitting on a committee that just jacked the city for thousands for a feasibility report on what many are expecting to be a French or Bilingual uni with the hopes of attracting Francophone families.

It’s in interesting strategy.  Not sure about why it has to be so hush hush though?

With reports from Magazines like Moneysense and the CFIB’s scores in their yearly Communities in Boom report painting Cornwall near the bottoms of their scores reinforcing the reality of Pitt Street & Montreal Road’s empty store fronts maybe it is time to recalibrate?

Of course one could also look at some of the root cause which have to do with Cornwall and its residents themselves.   It’s a bit of a chicken and egg paradigm; but some of the worst abuse of the Cornwall “Brand” comes from locals themselves.

How many City managers live in Cornwall and why?   Why does for example Economic Development’s Bob Peter’s wifey prefer shopping in Quebec to Cornwall?  Nothing wrong with that, but surely it’s not going to help develop our Economy locally?   Do we not have some great stores here in Cornwall?

In the art and music scene is it that Cornwallites for example won’t support shows and events or that promoters and venues don’t pull their weight?

Bands like The Trench Town Oddities tour extensively outside of Cornwall; but do they get enough love inside?   I watched one night at Kelsey’s Graham Greer of  Barstool  Prophets fame actually have people leave the patio because he was playing instead of enjoying the huge opportunity of hearing this talented musician.

Our festivals for example have come under fire and with good cause in many instances.   CFN was a sponsor of Lift Off in 2010; it’s greatest year according to the organizations own website when Chris Savard, former President before leaving Cornwall, posted an attendance of 55,000; but corruption and toadying to one particular media outlet led to public disappointment with crowds estimated at under 20,000 for the fest in 2012.

While the board changed some faces it’s pretty much the same old same old.    When they doubled some ticket prices last year in spite of knowing that Ribfest was invading Cornwall it clearly showed a lack of understanding that comes from doing things they way they have and relying on the old excuse of “we’re just a bunch of volunteers” in spite of taking city funding.  One credit is that some of CFN’s stories helped lead the local opening acts finally being paid and if rumors are true there will be an actual Country music band along with old has beens from the 70’s.

Here is Jason Jesmer, head honcho at Lift Off this year pleading with the Police board for a break on security in spite of all the cash and in kind that Lift Off gets from Cornwall.



Last year Cornwallites clearly showed that they preferred an event with Free Admission in Lamoureux Park as Pork to Balloons and enjoyed some of the local tunes compared to old has beens that fit the local Corus radio station format.

Ribfest is a travelling show which made it easier for local promoters although even that group has had it’s issues, trials and tribulations.

Surely at some point someone at City Hall will perhaps whisper into someone’s ear and suggest that excuses are for losers and perhaps some of that slush and cash Lift Off raises should be spent on professional event management instead of coming to the city asking on a break for security costs which really aren’t much more than $10,000 for the entire event?

Of course this is just an example.  The problem is that there are two Cornwall Ontarios.  The one for the insiders or “clique” and the one for the public that usually pay the bills for the misadventures of a system run with far too much cronyism where the bar gets lowered generationally.

This leads to young people moving away; even chunks of the community leaving, and that’s never good.

To attract growth you need to be attractive.  You need to celebrate everything that is good; not just those you like or agree with especially if you’re doing so with tax dollars.

An example is this very newspaper.    CFN started in 2009 to chants of “Your nuts!    Cornwall will never support an online Newspaper; but four years later we are the most read newspaper in this city and with an online presence only.  No trees are cut to put out our product which over 41,000 unique visitors checked out in March and that doesn’t count our Social media foot print which has one of the highest Klout scores in the region.

Cornwall’s city hall typically refused to acknowledge any of our accomplishments or milestones.    They refuse to cover any of our stories on the City’s Choose Cornwall website using writers from the two media outlets that they pay the most money to yearly.   Both of those outlets are of course owned outside of the city.  And ironically CFN provided the Choose Cornwall website with more traffic in 2012 from old banner ads in 2011 than those that they were paying money to that entire year.  Again, does that make business sense?

Some of the Kilger Cabal simply don’t seem to understand that CFN is it’s viewers; not one writer or person.

The city goes as far as to list filmmakers and leave this scribbler off of the list.  It’s childish; but more importantly it’s not productive and bad for business.

One local tourism outfit marvelled that they’ve never been featured in Cornwall Living magazine, but again that goes back to the two solitudes of Cornwall.  If you’re not in; you’re out.   It’s not unique, but the brand and degree of it in Cornwall is quite intense.

Same for RFP and  city contracts with many going to outside providers as though local’s are just not good enough.   Did we really need a Quebec contractor to handle one of the biggest construction gigs in recent history with the Hospital renovation?  Really?

Of course you can’t change a society that quickly.  Sometimes you can never change it.   But the thing is that if you don’t at least try you’re stuck with the status quo.   Are you happy with your status quo?

You can post your comments below and vote in our poll.

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  1. Well no matter how you cover a turd, it still remains a turd

  2. I remember the cornhole term from the 70’s, but usually in the phrase cornhole standard freeloader.

    Business owners need to get together to share ideas, perhaps CFN can host a session looking for positive ideas to get the ball rolling. A format of a few tables with 4 or 5 people each, presented with 2 or 3 brief ideas or questions, then participants mark down notes to 3 questions on each.
    What is working
    What is not working
    What is missing
    There must be a professional marketer than can summarize results, but somebody needs to take a lead.

  3. Author

    Hi Eric, we actually tried the 100 Letter contest to help promote that, but Mayor Kilger thought it was a security issue…

  4. One thing I learned from reading CFN, do not involve the politicians. LOL

  5. It’s not the city that has to change name….it’s the citizens that have to change their mentality.

  6. So, what’s in a name? so, if we change said name, that would ‘ POOF’ solve all the problems? Wonder if this has worked in Dildo, Nfld….or Upper, Middle, or Lower Economy, Nova Scotia…Medicine Hat…..Wawa?….Blind River?…..White River?…..A ‘name’ only carries the meaning, good or bad, assigned to it by those who denigrate or laud. Is Cornwall perfect? Far from it. There’s lots of things that can be done to improve not only the financial aspects of the city, but in all other aspects as well. you can’t force people who think negatively about Cornwall to suddenly become raving optimists. that’s just never going to happen. But, you can help change things, a block at a time…So, I would say, the name shouldn’t change, but perhaps, to paraphrase The Bard….’ The problem, Dear Horatio, lies not within the stars…but ourselves?’..

  7. WOW the rightwing/billo’reilly loving/wateringhole scribbler says he will identify whistle blower next week…We left this comment below his yawn of a column
    “Next week we will disclose who the whistleblower is on city council” says semi_retired scribe

    This will be about six days after we read the same info on CFN
    say ALL of US

  8. Author

    You rock Jim Sharp! You get a free CFN pin which you can pick up at Island Ink Jet next week and if you’re seen wearing your CFN pin you can win some awesome prizes!

  9. Stella do you work directly for Mayor KILLroy???
    Two thousand line up for semi decent jobs as Cornwall begins to cement its image from the town that smells…into the Warehouse capital of Canada

  10. Maybe we should take suggestions for a new name. I would like to put forward the name “Hamlet” for the reversion to a feudal state where the “Lords” of the city hand out menial jobs and collect taxes to keep themselves in a lavish style.

    Or maybe “Omelet” to represent the number of rotten eggs at city hall.

  11. Cornhole will always be Cornhole! I left 32 yrs ago and I have kept in touch with what happens in Cornwall because I still have family there. But the “horse with blinders” mentally remains. Something truly big must happen or a constant approach must occur to mature a very backward city. Keep up the good work Jamie as your website is the “water on the stone” this sorry city so desperately needs.

  12. Ok so I get a free pass for having a week moment…who was the councillor in the discussion on both the freeholder and in “Cornwall stills Smells” post .

    Are they refereing to leslie o’shaughnessy? Or is there another??

  13. Author

    I was confused by that too Hailey…

  14. I can’t see it being Lesllie.

    They already all knew why he quit.

    They also know there would be a public concern in the future. Therefore he technically didn’t blow any whistles in the true sense of the term

  15. I have a suggestion for a new name, Tremblaytown.

  16. Hailey: I believe Claude of the SF is probably referring to his column wherein he printed information on the confidential investigation with his slant on it and individuals who were involved in that farce are demanding to know where he got his information. So now, in an attention-getting way, he is setting up his week. It’s such a shame that he is so wrongly using “whistleblower” in that paragraph. He is making a mockery of the existing whistleblowers–the victims. It would have been more professional if he had used his old “deep throat” reference.

  17. It’s possible Marie, But I think we should wait and see before speculationg.

    Admin of CFN
    Did you cover the 11 points logisitcs job fair.

    It would be nice to hear your take. I think it is a positive occurance for Cornwall, but I have great fears that management will be once again book smart only…

    A year or so back my soon to be ex applied for a maintenance position. He has been doing maintenance work at all levels more than 30 years. Has also done a few years as a manager in an engineering department before deciding working with machines is much easier then, “ Well use your own metaphor” and went back into maintenance and is again serving as a manager… His experience and qualifications far surpassed what they were looking for. They exchanged question over the phone and I could see his frustration at the answers he was receiving for his questions, most of which are technical in nature as well as procedural…His final comment was…You guys are asking the dentist to be the proctologist and vice versa…I would love to see your maintenance costs planning schedules and operating budget, can we schedule a meeting.

  18. Author

    Hailey they had an advertisement on CFN for the positions. Employment is always at the whim of the employers needs, right?

  19. Yes admin that is true. I have had experience myself in my professionwith local industry in Cornwall.

    There is a drastic issue with experience, knowledge and a general understanding of how to actully best use the resources. In most cases it is simply a result of not knowing your business outside of the walls you direct it from.

    One you add the unique outlook of local people in Cornwall you see the problem intensifies exponentially.

    That is not to say Cornwall doesn’t have great people quite the contrary Cornwall has amazing potential. However most of them just want to make it to retirement at this point. Those with more drive and desire do not work in town and I can name a great many of them….

  20. I always thought that Claude MacIntosh was the Cornhole Standard Freeloader!

  21. (Rev. due to miss type and typo’s)

    ‘Quebec City’ of Ontario…THINK OF THE POSSIBILITIES:

    Subject: Cornwall Name Change


    Why is it that so many who make their living on the avails of Cornwall live outside of Cornwall?

    What is in our name that scares people away? Perhaps it is years and years of shame due to the stigma of ‘the smell of money’ and the ‘corn’anitics that are embarrassing for them to have to answer to friends and relatives about. I had that thrown at me years ago when I first came here.

    Perhaps not. Perhaps simple economics, open skies, lower taxation and larger estates/properties than what Cornwall has to offer, is what drews them out of town.

    Cornwall is also seen or known to be a low income town, a welfare city. It is a ‘no-money-town’ would be more fitting.

    Prime examples would be the corner at Pitt East and Second North…how many years now, and counting. Another at Sydney East and Second South….lost church and empty property…………no one see’s any potential enough to put up any money downtown. A third site would be at Second between the Bingo Hall and a Law office……empty for countless years, just South of the Court house and so many more vacated properties .

    No wonder Cornwall has been trying to take advantage of the Quebec situation by adding more French services. Perhaps though it should be the English of Quebec that we should beckon.

    So many name choices. We could go the Quebec route and rebrand ourselves ‘Quebec, Ontario’. Don’t laugh. It would resonate with Quebecor’s who would realize that it is legal to speak the official language of their choice, English also allowed.

    We would have full service in health/hospital/municipal services and many if not all stores would also allow English. No doubt they would even be able to work in English if they so desired.

    Don’t take the idea as a mockery, it really could work. Yes it could. French is an integral part of this fair city, but what would be more inviting than a familiar successful, name sake city for those displaced and disaffected English of la Belle Provence than to bring their charm, ideas character, wit and MONEY to us.

    So many people today work from home with computers and these people could keep their jobs, enjoy the idea of working in ‘Quebec’City of Ontario. They could still communicate with family and friends via social media means.

    They can copy much and many of the flair of Old but rich Quebec City tourism right here. Perhaps some would INVEST in a boardwalk or copy some of the Old City by taking over some of our ‘blank’ downtown spots and more.

    The duplication of city and town names is universal. Personally I see no reason why we can not adopt ‘Quebec’ as OUR NEW NAME. The very idea I am sure, may be SHOCKING to some but shock and awe is part and parcel with Mdm. Pauline Marois, so no need to be concerned here.

    Just imagine the ‘world wide’ attention and acclaim we would favourably (and not) gain. Famous overnight I would say.

    Dave Windsor

  22. Perhaps ‘New Quebec’?

  23. Shame this site is not as ‘free’ as it claims to be. I keep getting my posts tossed aside.

  24. silentfrancoamerican, that would be in poor taste, too say the least!

    village of Fossoli had an internment camp for British prisoners of war,but please share your thinking on the connection.

  25. Marie was right, Hailey. Claude was just attention getting for the week and most definitely “abused” and is making a mockery of the whistleblowers. There is no humour in the term as they are always the victims and his attempt at humour at their expense is pathetic.

  26. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL ROLF! ROLF! Le petit village Fossoli qui pu à pleine siaux. I just came on to read all the comments and not one gets knocked down by the sheeple except myself. How many have commented on Bare Ass Kilger’s “paramours” and his many kids that he has made at the ages of his grandchildren and never got kicked for it. Like I said it is a witch hunt against yours truly. The name Cornhole is still too good for such a town but the name Fossoli is the better name for Canada’s crotch smell town. All I see is making fun of the French people on this paper and such mighty retarded people is to go and knock down the French people. For many years that is all I have been hearing and long before there was this problem with Québec separation and French language issues. This is racism is to knock down the French people on a daily reading. I think that people need to take a good look at themselves for what they do to others and Cornwall will never be any better than what you see it now. A mighty backward watering hole of racism and who wants to go there and pay mighty high taxes to support the rich with their noses in the air and look down on the rest. Well you all deserve what you get. Fossoli rings the bell really well for a new name. Thank you to the person who posted that – it gave me a really good laugh for the day.

  27. Cornwallneeds to drop the buddy and favorites, a name is just a name,My breotrher ,son and many others worked hard to create ribfest and allthough i=t was one of the biggest events and people i even met in mexico spoke of it , The city and persons resposible made sure to take all his hard work and hand it off to a devious bunch,getting that event offf the ground was a miracleut 2 years in and cornwall coruption has moved in and taken over , want to ask questions , know the real ansers email me, This city dies not need a new name it needs a change off attitude , embrace people who work hard to get things done , let people have faun and keep the politics , ribfest has already been corupted to bad we finally had peopleinincking in the park,and our watch tower friends know the whole story and are not impressed

  28. Author

    Kenneth we had people contact us about issues with Ribfest, but if they won’t stand up and show proof we cannot run a story.

  29. New name eh?

    “Sanctuary ” Ontario -For those Quebecer’s that want to escape Fascism and its agenda of pure laine .

    Sanctuary “where fascism ends and harmony begins”-
    nice motto eh?

    Sadly the same politics will and has been imported here from Fascismland
    -French only clinics right here in Cornwall -why does my taxpaying money support health services that are for one group only?

    Then would anyone object to :
    Black only clinics
    white only clinics
    English only clinics-Oh by the way they are not allowed to refuse patients due to language.

    We must keep out Quebec politics in “Sanctuary”,sadly it already plays a large part in our community .

    “Sanctuary” should have an agenda that permits all languages to be spoken and not have any language legislated in whereby all are treated equal .

    “Sanctuary ” would provide services “where warranted”in respect of languages and cultures .

    “Sanctuary ” would define in principle objectives that would be opposite to Our eastern neighbors fascist policies.

    “Sanctuary” would be open and transparent and encourage input from community members that would be to the benefit of all its citizens.

    “Sanctuary”-Bring your huddled oppressed masses ,but not your Quebec politics!

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