Standard Free Holder Double Attack on CFN While Mayor and City Panic – Fear Stinks by Jamie Gilcig

Standard Free Holder Double Attack on CFN While Mayor and City Panic – Fear Stinks by Jamie Gilcig

cheryl brinkCFN – Cheryl Brink is a young journalist caught in an old fashioned newspaper war or a hack depending on your perspective.

In 2011 CFN started to pull business away from the City of Cornwall; one of  the largest advertisers in the city.

For example the Freeholder was getting over $1,000 per month just to post the City Bulletin while CFN was charging $1,000 for the entire year.

With our rising viewership and the Freeholder chopping staff and seeing subscription and ad dollars withering,  pressure on Mr. Padbury and Editor of the day Brian Dryden seems to have tilted subtly in a certain direction.

For example when was the last time you saw a Letter to the Editor in the Free Holder related to the Shenanigans of the Kilger council?  How many city stories or hack jobs have comments off online or are comments wiped out?


While the near weekly name calling session from Claude McIntosh has been grist for the giggle crowd Ms Brink and the Free Holder decided four days after we served Mayor Kilger and the City at the council meeting with our legal suit to do some coverage.

Suffice to say there were quotes from the Mayor and clerk; but oddly enough Ms Brink neglected to contact myself so that there might be some balance to the story.

In fact for some reason she decided to print this sentence.

“The head of council or other presiding officer may expel any person for improper conduct at a meeting,” states the Municipal Act.

Of course the inference is that somehow I’d acted improperly.  Anyone that’s watched the video of the event, and it’s been viewed over 6,000 times now, can clearly see that all I did was respond to the mayor.   No disturbance was issued.  I was in fact seated for the entire event including when the police physically laid hands on me distressing the crowd including the eight year old son of one of the protesters.  I was not charged that night nor after.  In fact some have suggested I was illegally stopped from doing my job by not being allowed to reenter by police while the Mayor and CAO frantically searched through the municipal act for some reason to not allow me back that night.

Why write that quote from the Municipal Act?

Ms Brink sent an apology email the night her story went live.  According to her apology email she had sent me an email at 12:28, lunch time, giving me until 3 PM to respond; however her story was published at 1 PM.  Essentially she gave me 20 minutes during lunch hour; when many people do this thing in business called lunch.

Now in journalism one of the things that you have to learn is how to source people.    CFN has a contact us page like most media outlets.

So maybe we give Ms Brink the benefit of the doubt or maybe she’s just a poor excuse for a journalist; but Friday morning, the day her story was on the front page of the Free Holder I had a chat with Editor Dryden.  It was more listening to him scream and make a pig of himself.

When he calmed down I stated succinctly that when someone apologizes as Ms Brink had it usually means they did a no no and usually the victim can suggest a remedy.  In this case I requested a printed apology or to print my own Letter to the Editor.   Mr. Dryden agreed, but decided not to print my note as he said it was just me asking for an apology again.

So here is my letter as sent to Mr. Dryden.  A few typos were corrected; but no sentences or phrases have been rewritten or dropped.

Dear Editor Dryden,


I object to Cheryl Brink’s coverage and handling of her piece about CFN’s lawsuit against the City of Cornwall and Mayor Kilger.  Firstly it was news the night it happened as it’s rare for a mayor to be served in his own council.  Her story appeared four days later in print.


Two, CFN is an online newspaper.  It’s not a debate point.  The Free Holder and Mayor Kilger will have to accept this reality.


Thirdly Ms Brink did not contact me for the story.   She sent an email apology above AFTER publication, but in her apology for sending her request to the wrong email address you’ll notice that she did not ask for the same info as in her original email.   If she could wait three days to publish the story why not wait until she could contact CFN as our info is clearly on our contact us page and you yourself have contacted me as well via my correct email address?


As noted in the screen cap of the Freeholder Online that I sent you, the time between her email and 1 PM publication was about 20 minutes even though she’d asked me to reply before 3 PM.  Why the rush, especially 3 days later?   


In the article itself ,


“The head of council or other presiding officer may expel any person for improper conduct at a meeting,” states the Municipal Act.


Surely this quote is being used to suggest somehow that I acted improperly which I did not.  I was not charged that night, nor at any time after.   The Municipal Act, as toothless as it is; is to govern the conduct of council, not the public.


As I wrote in my own article on CFN I do believe that Ms Brink and the Freeholder owe an apology to myself, CFN, and the viewers of both of our fine newspapers.


That decision is hers and yours to make; but I would surely hope that the Standard Freeholder supports and stands for fair coverage of any story that is not an opinion piece.


Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News.

 The relationship between Mayor Kilger, the Free Holder, and Claude McIntosh goes way back, past even Project Truth when the Free Holder were bashing Perry Dunlop and many of the victims while the Mayor and his lawyer friends spent over $50M in tax dollars for one of the biggest cover ups in Canadian history.    {There’s a dark sinister tale to that period which a court prevents us from publishing which sadly would not surprise some while shock others connected to the Free Holder}.
Like clock work Claude McIntosh launched his Friday tirade at myself and CFN.

The Blogger lumbered out on the limb this week, claiming that the mayor would soon tender his resignation and threw out the question of who would be best suited to fill the vacant mayor’s chair.

“There won’t be any vacancy (mayor’s chair),” said Kilger. “It’s (resignation story) pure fiction.”

It’s not the first time The Blogger has announced the mayor’s departure.

He is oops-for-three.

Mr. McIntosh and the mayor call me a blogger as though to slur me showing how out of touch they are with reality and with the industry that has paid Mr. McIntosh’s rent for an awfully long time; unless speechwriting for Mayor Kilger pays well?

Is Huffington Post a blog?  Is the Globe and Mail or the Free Holder’s own online site?    Most people laugh and shake their heads when Claude and the Mayor take their little shots.   Frankly they can keep calling me that all they want; but surely the reason why the Free Holder has started and is sustaining this war is simply because they are behind us and trying to catch some of our traffic.  Frankly I don’t care what we’re called as long as people read CFN.

It’s a compliment of course.   And it’s old school.   Sadly though to be effective punches have to land.  I learned that from my grand-father who was a pro boxer.    And in journalism for a punch to land it has to be accurate.

The only truth we know is that Mr. McIntosh has had two stories apologized for in less than 18 months.  There is at least one or two more but lawsuits weren’t filed on those and the Sun’s legal beagle Tycho Manson essentially likes to push people to sue as it costs lots of money and takes lots of time to resolve; just ask Etienne St. Aubin; the attorney in Cornwall who Claude called a “Jerk” for saying something that he in fact did not say.

What we’re you saying Claude about me?   There is no oops for three or frankly one.  I could give a list of Mr. McIntosh’s misses, but frankly is it really worth it?    The numbers tell the tale and that numbers are not in the Freeholder or Mr. McIntosh’s favor.

Again, I was taught in journalism you don’t print porkies.  I guess Sun Media does things differently or perhaps just at the Free Holder? I can’t imagine this sort of journalism being practiced while Andrew Carroll was editor…

Of course Claude writing about the Mayor emailing the councilors (or was it Diane Brown emailing the councilors?) shows a very insecure and panicky old man who can’t rely on his arrogance, ignorance, and protection to get by at the moment.   Why is the mayor revealing inside City Hall documents to any media writer?   That email was just sent to councilors when most likely it was multiple councilors that were CFN’s source.    As a matter of fact I even made a wager of lunch about this mess with one councilor recently.

CFN Panic Button 2013-05-13

And at the end of the day isn’t what all this noise is?   The city panicking about the scandals, that some have estimated costing local taxpayers over $3 MILLION DOLLARS and counting?   A city council and management that simply do not have the ability to navigate their way through troubled waters without the help of $1000 per hour lawyers like Will McDowell.

kilger slump

And a mayor panicking about May 24 when Rob Hickley’s request for city funding for his Conflict of Interest case hits the courtroom  especially now that attorney Fay Brunning will be representing the Deputy Fire Chief on Friday?    The public will be able to attend that event and it should be interesting to see what evidence the city and mayor will be presenting.

Kilger said he has no idea under which rock the author dug up the resignation story. He said it has never been discussed, in private or with council.

Isn’t it scary when a writer just repeats a line like that which simply shows a very frightened old man who is afraid of the shadows and simply doesn’t know who are the sources,  and how close they are to him?    Surely if he thinks we’re lying or defaming him he and the city would be happy to wastefully burn through more tax dollars to pursue a defamation suit?

But as one politico once put it to me;   “Have you ever noticed the only thing the city ever challenged you on was the Bob Peters thing because they think there’s no evidence to prove anything?”

Of course we printed the legal assault letter and funny enough never heard from Mr. David Sherriff Scott over that issue again.   Wonder how much that stunt cost the taxpayer’s of Cornwall Ontario?  After all the City of Cornwall has spent more on legal fees monitoring CFN in 2012 than they spent in ad dollars in 2011.  Insanity?

And speaking of fear, maybe, just maybe, the Free Holder are afraid that if the Kilger regime goes down and the city boycott , and all of its tentacles against CFN ends, that they will have to compete for ad dollars from the largest advertiser in this city instead of selling their souls collectively?

Fear stinks.

It’s time for the leadership of Cornwall to step up.  It’s time for those that make business decisions out of fear to step forward.     And it’s time for people to start working together and supporting each other.    This city deserves better.   CFN has been put in a very difficult position over this past year from myself being blackballed from service clubs to a business afraid to have a profile done for fear of retaliation from the City Hall clique.

What I’m so proud of has been being able to stay on the high road through this mess and the incredible amount of support we’ve had from the viewers of CFN.  From being stopped in the street to people giving me a thumbs up while they drive by when I’m on Pitt Street.     The phone calls, emails, and facebook message give myself and the CFN team the will to keep struggling on when as I’ve been repeatedly told others would have sold off ….or out.
Cornwall deserves better; but we all have to be the change.
Will you be the change?

What do you think dear viewers, especially the over 1/3 of the city of Cornwall who clicked at least once on CFN during the month of April think?

You can post your comments below.

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