Is Burning Money Better Than Facing the Truth by Jamie Gilcig – Elaine MacDonald Heart of the Family

Jamie Gilcig

jg2CFN – So you have a crisis occur in your organization.    Most times you can never avoid taking a elaineBUDGEhit of some sort; but as they say;  “The Difference between Winners and Losers is how you deal with adversity.”

Elaine MacDonald radio quote.

Now this quote if you listen really carefully you just might here Councilor MacDonald’s nose growing as she spouts off the most incredulous pile of hamster poo ever uttered by a politician.

Honey chile here’s how you do it.  You find out there’s an issue not only at Glen Stor Dun Lodge, but that there may be an issue between the very manager and your CAO.

You take a timeout.  Get some info, maybe bring in an independent investigator.   Maybe ask both Donna and Fitzy to take some paid leave; make a public announcement that gets ahead of the crisis as embarrassing at was and also gives city staff and those with info the ability to step forward in a timely manner.

That’s good governing.  That’s being accountable and transparent.   That’s putting the PUBLIC’s interest first which is exactly what you signed in your oath of office.

Retired CAO  & Clerk Paul Fitzpatrick & Denise Labelle Gelinas with Mayor Kilger on Election night.
Retired CAO & Clerk Paul Fitzpatrick & Denise Labelle Gelinas with Mayor Kilger on Election night.

Sadly that wasn’t done.  In fact the exact opposite was done.  And once you start covering up dirt you dig your own grave.   And what Ms MacDonald and her team have done is exactly what she claims they aren’t doing which is throwing millions of tax dollars hoping to cover up one scandal upon the next all because the Kilger regime not only failed the taxpayers and didn’t do the right thing; but did the wrong and is too far in to admit it.

wandaMoving to The Heart of the Family daycare scandal it’s boggling what to think.   The Ministry shuts down the school for a litany of  alleged  violations going to the length to state that director Christina Stephenson can’t be on the property while children are present.

The school stays mum.  No statements, nada.  There are police, CAS, and Ministry investigations; allegations that all it is are complaints from disgruntled former staff.

How is the public to know tails from mouths in a school that charges up to $200 per week for care, much of which is subsidized by public dollars including a sizable contribution from the city for their start up?

Don’t the public have some rights and interests to be protected especially by authorities?

The list of conditions to be met for opening posted was extensive yet the Daycare was open in less than two weeks.

When CFN asked the police for info we were stonewalled with a media cop telling us that the investigation was still ongoing.   However current employees stated to CFN that lists of staff provided to police were incomplete and that some staff were minding children privately while the school was closed.   Again, surely the police should have an honus to work with media to some degree?

CAS?  When we queried them they sent an email response which they fed to all media at the same time.

The Children’s Aid Society of SDG completed an investigation of the allegations against the Heart of the Family day care. We provided our report to the concerned parties including the Ministry of Education. The Children’s Aid Society does not make the decision to suspend or reopen a day care centre. Under the Day Nurseries Act, the Ministry of Education can suspend a child care centre’s licence if there is a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the children, until the daycare addresses those concerns.  It is the decision of the Ministry of Education to re-open a child care centre when it determines that its concerns have been addressed.  The Children’s Aid Society of SDG remains committed to supporting and strengthening the well-being of the children and families of our community.

Rachel Daigneault
Executive Director

Um, that’s kind of a non answer and tossing the buck to the Ministry so we went there next.

Hi Jamie, as discussed, you’re looking for information about the Heart of the Family daycare. I can tell you that the suspension has been lifted. The daycare can let people know when they will be accepting children again.  


The ministry suspended the daycare licence of the Heart of the Family Childcare Centre on May 31, as concerns were raised about the health and safety of the children at the daycare. Under the Day Nurseries Act, the ministry can suspend a child care centre’s licence if there is a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the children, until the daycare addresses those concerns.


The ministry has been working with the centre to resolve the concerns. Actions have included training for all staff by qualified professionals, and revisions to the centre’s policies and practices. The ministry removed the suspension of the Heart of the Family Child Care Centre license on the evening of June 12th. The ministry will conduct ongoing monitoring.




Gary Wheeler

Ministry of Education

I responded with some very basic questions;

Hi Gary,

Is Chris Stephenson still the director?  According to the notice on the door she was not to be there while children were present?
Has the Ministry finished its investigation?  Have there been any penalties?   Is your investigation closed?
Are any HOTF staff that were working there prior to May 31 not returning based on Ministry standards or requirements?
Has HOTF been fined or penalized?
Does HOTF have to abide by any special license or conditions at the moment.  IE were the cleared of all issues?  
Were any issues noted on the door on May 31st substantiated and if so which?
These are questions that clearly serve the public interest and the ones we are asked daily.

Hi Jamie, the ministry’s responses to your questions are below.


Q: Are any HOTF staff that were working there prior to May 31 not returning based on Ministry standards or requirements?

Q: Is Chris Stephenson still the director?  According to the notice on the door she was not to be there while children were present?

Staffing inquiries should be referred to the employer, the Heart of the Family.


Q: Has the Ministry finished its investigation? Have there been any penalties? Is your investigation closed?

The ministry continues to monitor compliance with licensing requirements at the Heart of the Family. 


Q: Has HOTF been fined or penalized?

No. The ministry’s objective is to bring about compliance with legislative and policy requirements.


Q: Does HOTF have to abide by any special license or conditions at the moment.  IE were the cleared of all issues?  

Were any issues noted on the door on May 31st substantiated and if so which?

The directions included in the Notice posted on the door, which address the safety and welfare of the children were complied with by the Heart of the Family. This included training for all staff by qualified professionals, and revisions to the centre’s policies and practices. The ministry removed the suspension of the Heart of the Family Child Care Centre licence on the evening of June 12th.






Again these are tax paid services that are there to protect….the public.      There are a metric ton of questions that have not been answered.

For example.

Was Heart of the Family shut down on May 31 over unsubstantiated claims and an innocent victim?  Were they wronged by a few disgruntled employees like the mysterious Chelsea Raso who refused to return calls to CFN?

If that was the case was that why the school was reopened so quickly with a few quick CPR type courses and a paint job?

Why have an undercover drug cop in charge of an investigation?   Why not?   Why would the facility be able to reopen before a police investigation was done?    Why not bring in the OPP or other outside agency to investigate as they are connections between individuals at the Cornwall Police force and the school and affiliated church?

If Heart of the Family has been wronged they should be fully vindicated. If they’ve done something wrong they should be equally convicted.

The odd decision is the “Cone of Silence” around the whole environment and the strange and odd behavior of many staff and supporters of the school.     The profanity filled circling of the wagons in relation to media inquiries surely only trigger more questions and suspicions by professional media?  IE, those not just whitewashing with press releases and actually asking questions?

There does seem to be a cultural lack of understanding in how to deal with contentious community issues going back to Project Truth that surely have taught the community that handling things properly is far less expensive than simply burning money?

Or maybe the lesson was that burning money is far better to facing the truth.

Are these the lessons we want to teach our children?

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

(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.)


James Moak



  1. Why is there even a Day Nurseries Act? Should we have a Night Parent Act? Why should government control and regulate all people’s thinking and actions? That’s right, we are ruled by the Nanny State. The Nanny State is responsible for its nurseries.

  2. Elaine talks like it is a team building exercise. It’s not her money so what does she care. Oops, we were wrong, no big deal.

  3. rights, you want rights, you don’t have no stinking rights

  4. No money here to support the Coalition in buying the Cornwall General for the benefit of the seniors and the community but lots of money for misdeeds of the Mayor and former CAO. Shame!!

  5. Gary Samler it is like giving up the ship when the people do not want to change and work hard for change then nothing will ever happen. Someone quoted that in the blogs and that is so mighty true indeed. Some councellors – one I can say – is André Rivette and the other one was Leslie O’Shaughnessey who said to himself the hell with that and left – nobody in their right frame of mind will take such garbage and dish it out to the public when they have a conscience. The people are brain dead to put up with all the garbage being dished out to them. If there was a real people nothing like this would have ever happened in the beginning. When people do not stand up and rally around each other and throw the bums out and improve Cornwall for what it should be and have people educated instead of being dumb then nothing will ever change and I mean nothing. You might as well be talking to zombies.

  6. Don’t you know Admin, it is now guilty until you come up with enough money to prove your innocence! That’s the new law of the land. See how it works well in Cornwall.

    Isa 59:14-15 “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment”.

  7. Jules- In Oct 2010, I ran for Council as an unknown candidate in the last election. I was even the first endorsement of CFN. Alone I stood in front of the Chamber of Commerce on Cogeco Tv asking the voters for change to improve Cornwall and what could happen if the same Mayor and council were reelected. Unfortunately, election night came and passed and nobody here voted other than Kilger’s sunshine clique friends and the rest is history/misery. I still believe that there is a strong hope for Cornwall and that’s why I stand up against the corrupt villians here protesting for the people at Signgate, Bobble head gate, Fitzy gate, corrupt gate and any other garbage gate coming out of 360 Pitt Street. In 499 days I will be running again but this time I hope that the zombies in Cornwall wake up to vote for progressive, honest and accountable change and give a BIG FLUSH to this Mayor and Council.

  8. Pastor Newton you are absolutely right in the quote from the Bible. The Bible is the absolute truth from God Himself. I salute you for your quotes which I love. Thank you for them. Yes that is also mighty true indeed and there is a great deal that people do not know and when it happens they will be in terrible shock and won’t know where to turn. Thank you again.

  9. Where on earth does one start. Councillor MacDonald, money well spent to protect the City’s reputation as a good manager–you’re kidding, right? Everyone’s good reputation is contingent on being respected. Do you and the rest of Council truly believe that your actions and reactions to the multiple events that have taken place, and the known treatment of the people involved warrants our respect. Shake your head. I was speaking to a good friend today who referenced Forrest Gump and I thought, OMG, how fitting. Stupid is as stupid does. You don’t believe that these monies are exorbitant and yet with all the reporting going on and the law firms referenced you would have to know full well that they are so incomplete and misleading to the public and yet you tell us we should be relieved. Relieved that you aren’t telling us the full amount? Relieved that all of Council went along with Ms. Adams to tweak the amounts? Who on earth is Nelligan O’Brien, Payne? Did you happen to sneak in this $22,000+ for Fitzpatrick’s lawyer? It’s really scary to think that my City and this Council make Forrest Gump look like a genius.

  10. Mr. Samler there is a word that describes the people of Cornwall and elsewhere very well and it is called: “Stockholm Syndrome” look it up. It is about people who cling to their captors. Read about it on the net. It will explain things to you and to Jamie and everyone. I have heard of this term used quite often.

  11. There it is again Jules. The “Conspiracy Theorist” believer that you are!

  12. The tax money well spent from Councillor MacDonald perspective is to prototect Council Reputation and for no other reason. It is they who have damaged this beautiful Cities reputation and they appear to be willing to continue doing so. At this point they have gotten in so deep defending a man they clearly understood had illegal harassed a nurse for doing her job, but chose to unanamously accept the Judith Allen report they knew was inaccurateand incomplete to say the least.

  13. Does anyone know who was let go from the staff upon reopening this daycare? How many kids returned? Anyone have any real info to share? Can’t believe how shady this whole situation is.

  14. The whole things smells of a cover up. I say this because HOTF has had complaints from staff since it opened. What they do is fire the staff members if they are within their 3month probation period and then threaten to sue them to ensure the ex-employee will not tell anyone. It’s that or the ECE teacher quits out of frustration and disgust. I know because it happened to me. I spoke up and they fired me and threatened to sue me. I complained to the ministry and nothing happened. It took the ministry almost a whole week to even return my call. It’s dirty all the way around. And Dick D’Alesso who I think still sits on the board he’s not exactly squeaky clean. They use fear and intimidation to control staff. When I went back to get my things from HOTF after I had been fired they had changed the passcode on the door so I couldn’t get in. What are they afraid of if they have done nothing wrong. Why threaten to sue me if you have done nothing to hide? When I applied for EI they had to investigate about why I was fired. I told them everything. HOTF wouldn’t not respond to their calls. Curious…or again do you have something to hide? Ask to see the complaints that the ministry must have on file since 2009, when HOTF opened until today. No daycare has ever had that many complaints against them. I worked there, Poor or no supervision, unsanitary conditions, children being lost, no programming for children, no toys, they didn’t follow the menu and children underfed at snack times, unhappy children, biting and hitting from one child to another…This went on all the time. These children have no voice in this. Where is the public outrage? HOTF staff on Facebook look like their having a party not training. It’s disgusting, They should be hanging their heads in shame. Children have been neglected and hurt in their care. Bottom line! Christina Stephenson is not supposed to be there according to the Ministry…but there she is. I spoke with here several times she has no idea what she is doing and if I understand correctly she is still not a full certified ECE. This is an outrage…the City and the Ministry have let down our parents and children…disaster will ensue…this has been going on for years…once things blow over you have to know it will be business as usual at HOTF and I’m afraid to think what that even means. Those poor children. 🙁

  15. Elaine Mac Donald =
    Your comments stating the City is a good Manager and a Responsible Agent .
    Elaine your Lying to us and to yourself /an attempt to cover up .
    You go on to say Costs aren’t exorbitant and money well spent to
    Protect the City’s Reputation . What Reputation ? Might I remind you it’s this council that have been Hell Bent on ruining our City’s Reputation with no end in sight . You and the rest of City Council
    including Mayor Kilger don’t deserve to be elected to another term

  16. Right on Karen!

    I hope the city counsellors are paying attention to comments like this. There have been many valid points brought up on this website since this story broke from former staff and parents. Hopefully this will not fall on deaf ears. And in reality this is an easy fix for the city compared to their other problems. All that needs to happen is for the Stephenson’s and their board of directors to be removed.

    I am assuming with the $200,000 start up money that the HOTF received from the city, the city must have say about the property and who runs the facility.

    {MODERATAED} church while this investigation is ongoing?

  17. I cannot believe a word that comes out of that woman’s mouth. Every time she says something, she means the opposite, I guess. She is totally undependable and unreliable. If you need her to back you, she never follows through. Now, this is a true cousellor. Who is she there for, if not the people that elected her?
    What a disappointment.

  18. I feel the dust settling, people are starting to forget a bit, they are thinking maybe it all wasn’t such a big deal. Don’t let them forget. If you know the DNA and you are experienced in the childcare field and you were at HOTF, you should know how bad things have been. If you know something that can help keep these children safe you have a duty to report it. I know many are afraid of the Admin and Board of HOTF because of the intimidation and threats of legal action but this is where you have to dig down deep. These children are depending on the truth. Nothing will change for the better until the truth is out there. Don’t give up on these children. There are childcare providers in this city that are 1000 times more professional, ethical and loving than HOTF and these childcare providers work hard and follow the DNA every day because the wellbeing of the children in their care comes first. And to the staff of HOTF, I’m not sure whether your just stupid or don’t care about the DNA and the children but you need to face what you have done. It’s time for you to make amends for hurting and neglecting these children and putting parents out of pocket for lost childcare. Hang your heads in shame and step aside and let the real certified professionals take over.

  19. If any of you have been to the Civic Complex lately there is a sign on the back door as you go out where the economic development and the washrooms and former restaurant are located (above the doors) is a big sign reading “you don’t have to be rich to live in Cornwall” and I laughed so much to read that sign. With the high taxes on the go, Fitzy and others depleting the tiny town and the high priced lawyers of Bare Ass OMG what a joke. They think that everyone is that stupid to believe everything that they come out with. If you are not rich in Cornwall then you are kicked around like a piece of garbage and if you are not part of the click the same thing happens.

    The only way that Cornwall is going to change is through education and vision. As long as people are not educated and let others lead them around then nothing will work at all. One has to be innovative for work, etc. Find out what works. When Cornwall does not offer any opportunities for you to make business then it is not a place to live. It is Boss Hogg all the way until people wake up and get rid of that horrible backward system. If people are not going to wake up and want to change for the better then Cornwall will always be backwards and nothing more than what you see it right now with mighty crooked and corrupt politicians. Everyone that I knew from school days and that was a long time ago have left and never came back and the young people today are going to do the same thing.

  20. Sad that people still take their kids here. Biggest losers of all!

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