Will You Sign our Petition to Have CFN Rebut City Slur Against US at Council? PETITION

A review of local news websites show that only two allow anonymous posts: the Standard-Freeholder and the Cornwall Free News. Both sites have some moderation of comments, but a review of activity over the past several months have led staff to concur with the generalized assessment of the practice by the American Journalism Review: “Comment sections are often packed with profanity, and vicious personal attacks.”

jg2CFN – That dear viewers of CFN is what the City of Cornwall issued as a report and was endorsed by City Council and the Mayor.

Normally CFN is advocating for citizens or causes.   Today we’re advocating to fight a lie against us written in a city report that they have refused to allow us to rebut.  We’re asking our viewers to support us back by signing our online petition below.

Can you imagine as a local company reading something purposely presented to the public that was clearly a bold lie?

Anyone of the over 53,000 Unique visitors per month that visit CFN can tell you about the quality of our content, especially our viewer comments.

In today’s world CBC has f  bombs on its radio show.

But that is exactly what the city of Cornwall has done to CFN as they used this policy to institute a boycott that is not only from the City; but has extended to agencies connected to the city; some of which depend on the city for monies such as our Library, Hospital, Museum, Art Gallery, and Tourism agency all of which refuse to advertise on the largest media outlet in their city.  In fact many of these agencies refuse to even have sit down meetings.

We have now asked the city to allow CFN to appear before council to challenge their statement above seven times.   The CFIB asked the mayor and city twice; all times we have been refused to repudiate the statement by the city in the same spot that they smeared us.

CFN has always had fully pre-moderated comments.   We have always had a process where people can post their complaint if so or ask for moderation.

Oddly enough the City of Cornwall not a single time wrote in asking for any correction or removal of a comment and that’s with over 35,000 comments on CFN in four years.

Nor has CFN ever had to print a retraction.

Irony?  The quote used has to date not been found in the American Journalism Review.  

Mayor Kilger wrote released the following about his policy;

Dear Editor, 

I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify City Council’s recent decision regarding the establishment of an advertising policy. 

There have been some misguided suggestions that this is an attempt to censor public discussion. This is simply not the case. The City of Cornwall enjoys a positive working relationship with the media, and it is one that we value and respect. Members of City Council and City Administration always make themselves available to the media and the public. 

The City is also open and receptive to feedback and constructive criticism from members of the public. We welcome public input because it helps us to better understand residents’ concerns and priorities surrounding municipal matters. 

The motion debated and passed by Council dealt solely with advertising and was strictly about the City of Cornwall’s right to choose where to advertise. City staff believe that advertising on web sites or publications with offensive content undermines the positive values of the City of Cornwall brand. This includes websites or publications outside of Cornwall. These guidelines have always been followed as an ‘unwritten rule’ – the Council report simply examined the issue in an open and transparent manner. 

The City has not asked the media to do anything. In fact, local journalists already follow their own professional guidelines regarding what is acceptable commentary, and local media organizations already enact varying policies to remove what is perceived to be offensive commentary. The City of Cornwall’s advertising guidelines simply mirror the same generally accepted guidelines in place in most media organizations.


Mayor Bob Kilger

Here is the chart that the City released for 2011.  In spite of being low man on the totem poll of major media we sent the city the most web traffic for 2011 of any listed below.   We also sent them the most in 2012 from old archived ads even though we’re being boycotted!   The city has refused to issue a similar chart for 2012 in spite of repeated requests.

So we’ve decided to ask you, our amazing viewers to come to our aid and sign our online petition asking the city to grant CFN the same amount of time to rebut the slur made against CFN and our community.

The Freeholder responded to this policy by limiting comments on their site (they only moderate post comment as they have key word filters for pre comments) and in fact in many stories simply do not allow any public comments.

We need more accountability and transparency in this world; especially by our paid elected officials and staff.

The City of Cornwall can choose to advertise where it wishes; but they do not have the right to slur any business nor to impact other businesses choice of where to advertise; nor allegedly threaten businesses that do.

[emailpetition id=”5″]
[signaturelist id=”5″]

The nature of the Mayor and City’s actions have hampered CFN’s growth and potentially its survival.    It hurts economic and cultural development of our community.   But mostly it reinforces the message that Cornwall Ontario is not a good place to start a small business and that’s not what this City is about.

Local businesses should not be afraid to advertise on the largest media outlet in the city for fear of financial retaliation by City Officials elected or not.

Thank you,

Jamie Gilcig – Editor –  The Cornwall Free News

You can also support CFN by becoming a subscriber.

Click the banner below for more info.

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  1. Admin: Seven cops showed up when the Mayor took offense to your milk t-shirt. How many cops will be on standby should you say something he takes offense to when or if these asshats give you chance to share your side of this issue at council?

  2. Author

    Actually Gary we have councilor Gardiner who used profanity at the Advertising Policy debate and of course tried to rip up the signs. I think he’s more a treat than I am 😉

  3. 🙂

  4. Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are our natural self-granted rights but governing agencies from the local municipalities to provincial and federal level keep encroaching upon our rights. Individuals, associations and organizations are free to protect their hearing / seeing from our speaking and writings but they don’t have the right to cut our tongues out or steal our pencils. Politically correct censorship is violent aggression against our personal liberties (Rights & Freedoms).

    Our self-granted self-defense right includes our public right to demand that our accusers of harm present proof of their claims. False accusations creates victims who may seek restitution in the courts of public opinion.

  5. What I find offensive is censorship without merit. If only opinions and comments that did not offend anyone were to be shared there likely would be nothing of much substance to be read. I FIND THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION OFFENSIVE. OOPS can I say that or will the new morality squad show up at my door. Please give me a break !

    Do not give an inch on this issue of nonsense.

  6. Did anyone happen to see this?:


    Seems like we need Russel Brand to come to Canada as well and perhaps shake up some media sites and perhaps even our city council… I would love to see his opinion on what is going on in the city here. I’m sure if he were to stay for even a month or 2, possibly even less, that he’d have a whole lot to say about here..

  7. Author

    Great clip Anon!

  8. A 10-th grade dropout cannot write something like this….
    I cancelled SF and they charged me $20 termination fee! Hum…hum….

  9. You’re a hypocrite Jamie

  10. I second that I do find the present administration not only offensive but extremely offensive and I too wish that Russell Brand were here as well. I have seen him before but I don’t watch TV only my family does but I have seen him on the net.

    I agree with one of my very favorite people Gerald Celente about the press being called “presstitutes” and that is exactly what “SF – the toilet paper of record” is and has nothing there to read except pure garbage.

    Jamie I wish you all the very best and you know that and keep up the great work.

  11. Sounds to me like you better put Mr Moak on a retainer .
    BTW . are use 5 for 5 or 4 -1 Thanks Jamie .

  12. Author

    George the problem with issuing suit against the city is that my goal isn’t to take their money as it’s from the taxpayer, but to hold people accountable and get them to testify under oath on the stand.

  13. Jamie, I’m all for seeing your company’s right (or any company’s right) to thrive in Cornwall. And it’s clear yours has been given significant barriers to succeed….Sad, because a good deal of the issues CFN has tackled would never be covered (without PR spin) elsewhere.

    I’ve been brutally honest with you about the things I like about CFN and the things I don’t like…as I have been and will continue to be with other local and national media.

    So let’s say you have your 4 minutes with the city, and it says: Thanks but we’re not changing our position.

    What then?

    And in the meantime, even if people sign your petition. Will it improve your chances of having your say?

    I don’t get it.

  14. Author

    Mary Anne this is about transparency and accountability. Council and City Hall belong to all of Cornwall and that includes the taxpayers and business people that make us what we are.

    For the City to stand up and read a decree of this nature is insane. Any person or individual slurred in this manner should be able to stand up in open council and defend itself or at least offer it’s position.

    I never expected this to be a trial. CFN should be able to say what you wrote in your report is inaccurate. What you said was hurtful to the people of Cornwall and small business in your city.

    It’s time that decisions and discussions stop going on behind closed doors “in camera” and come out in open council. I can’t tell you how many times individual councilors have complained about this and about situations where they are given a city report on a Thursday before a Monday meeting without time to research and follow up so that the decisions made are well thought out and well researched.

    We elect 10 councilors and a mayor to “lead” our city; not depend on outside consultants and most of the time they burn money on these reports and don’t follow the advice as they appear to be doing on the multi-res trash credit.

    If council is going to debate and decide on any issue it should be fully informed; something that in private they have said they haven’t always been, and that includes our mayor.

    It’s time to inform them clearly why exactly that statement was wrong and in open council where they stated their false statement which was picked up by CBC and other media again damaging CFN and our city.

    They may not change their minds collectively as is their right; but at least it would be in the open and not some behind the scenes conspiracy.

  15. Dear Mayor Kilger:

    You are No longer speaker of the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Any Journalist worthy of the name would laugh when reading your statement about comment sections. Welcome to the real “NEW” media where people can complain about your clear abuse of the system without facing the huge legal and political power you control…

  16. Reason #1 why I read CFN…Even a PUSS like crarsh gets to speak his mind..no matter how small it is.

  17. Jamie (admin) if it were not for you the people of Cornwall would still be asleep and being kicked around and robbed of their money. People don’t realize how long that all this has been going on and it is about time that people stand up for themselves and do something to make changes for the better. There is not enough thank you’s to give to you and all I can say is a big thank you for all what you do.

  18. Author

    From a phone call I had this aft it sounds like the city is rebuffing this latest request to speak…again.

    Here is what I emailed Mr. Norm Levac, CAO.

    Hi Norm,

    Per our conversation here is how my request qualifies.

    13.3.2 Presentations – time limit
    Council shall hear any presentation for information purposes only, and presentations shall be limited to a maximum of ten (10) minutes.

    (b) Spokesperson – presentation and/or delegation
    An organized body wishing to address Council as a presentation and/or delegation, regardless of the number of spokespersons shall be limited to a maximum of ten (10) minutes.

    There is nothing inappropriate about CFN wishing to rebut the slur in your report. We are not asking for any remedy or apology. We simply want to rebut the information in the same forum that it was released by council.

    There are over 60 signatures on our online petition now as well.



  19. Oh well $40,000 sounds like a good start . Of our money that won’t fall from the sky.. Odds are you gotta win one .You have not dropped that one have you?
    Not gonna answer the 5 for 5 or 4 to 1 .Second request !! you put it up, let us know how it went ? How many days now?
    Thanks anxiously waiting to hear .

  20. Author

    Hmmm George, I don’t see you complaining about the near $3M our city has burned through Fitzygate?

  21. Hi Jamie,

    I am all for freedom of the press and media. As Lowel green often says to the numbskulls who call to insult and critisize his program,
    “If you don’t like me or what I say, flip the off switch”.

    Personally I don’t like when subscribers resort to profanities, particulalry F bombs, it says something about the persons character. However I know that you do caution such persons and indeed if the profanities persist and continue, you do not allow them to post.

    Keep up the good work, always respecting peoples freedom of expression as long as they don’t overdo it.

    CFN is one news media that lets people say it the way it is.

    Compare that with CBC, heavily biased and totally distorts what is really going on.


  22. Oh,

    P.S. I gave up Standard Freeholder years ago and any confidence in Mr. Kilger when he was an M.P. I’ll say no more even though we do have the freedom here.


  23. Author

    Thanks Ken. We try. We’re human and you can’t always make everyone happy; but we do have a goal to be a difference and make a difference and that can only happen with the support and partnership with the public.

  24. CBC and other journalistic stations are corporations and they all go by the same policy where they “sanitize” the news before you get it. Nothing is real – you get what they want you to hear and that goes for all of them who are corporate owned. If a journalist knows the real truth and tells the people the real truth then they lose their job as well as their licence. In order to get the truth or part of it then you have to go to alternative means but you also have to back up what you say so as not to get sued. Journalists who work for these corporations are known as “presstitutes”. Gee I love that man Gerald Celente he tells it like it is. LOL LOL.

  25. No problem I can complain about the city eating up our 3 million. I just rather for your troubles that you should get some of it .You work for it and deserve it . BTW don’t change the subject, if you were wrong on the 5 for 5 say or so is it 4 to 1 now or not .
    It may not matter to you much ,but to me and other readers it shows through on your other reports on the complacency of your articles that create for your great following on CFN. We don’t follow you because you go with the status flow ? Thanks for sharing .

  26. Jaime,. I admit I am not in touch with the local Cornwall issues. But I will support you, and anyone, to have freedom of expression, long denied and suppressed by the racist francophones in my home province. Voted, liked, shared.
    “Presstitutes”!!! PRICELESS!!!

  27. What offensive content is he talking about? Maybe you should call him Bad Butt Bob.. Not Bad A** Bob. Man, that letter reaks of favoritism toward newspapers that report them in a good light all the time. So Jamey we all shall not type offensive content in the future (all say it after me….) and by that promise the city should take some of my tax money that I have to pay to the taxman and give it to CFN for some advertising that will get some readership!!!!! Good luck with that one CFN but my prayers are with you!

  28. Jamie you are the only one that tells it like it is about what is really going on in Cornwall. Many people are reading you but do not speak up and I wish that they all would speak up instead of just those of us who do. I would love to hear from others who left Cornwall and never to come back because of their experiences living there.

    I haven’t seen Lou come on very often and I wish that he would. Welcome Lou. Presstitute is a good word to describe the journalists who work for the mainstream “lamestream” news. They get the news from the very same source and they have to write things up in their own words and that is the only difference. Presstitutes indeed. LOL LOL. That is credited to one of my very favorite people to listen to Gerald Celente from Kingston, New York.

  29. Just read the blue part of the article. Jaime you do moderate and you do a good job. Maybe one slanderous will get through but they are rare.

  30. This petition is one week old now and I was hoping that in a town of 46,000 people enough people would have the gonads to show support or at least have 500 in the first few days and a 1000 sign in the first week. Only 125 CFN supporters standing up for freedom and democracy to me is disgusting and SAD.This just shows me that people here do not really give a crap in what really goes on here and the asshats at 360 Pitt along with the influence of their rich clique friends can do whatever they want. So very sad. Change although as bad as needed will never happen here as long as the majority 60 % who dont vote give Bob and the band of bozos more time to continue their rein of terror. : (

  31. Gary W. Samler July 3, 2013 at 11:13 am
    It is my experience that in this community many of it’s citizens
    are rattled by any type of controversy especially when asked to
    take a stand.

    It has nothing to do with having “the gonads to show support.”
    Let me give you an example. CFN asked for names in order to
    emphasize it’s position on a policy that is discriminatory in nature. I agree with CFN’ s position. But fear is sometimes a greater motivator than democratic rights.

    This request for support comes on the heels of article that informed it’s readers of reprisal of association with CFN.

    CFN June 6, 2013

    “The days of fear have to come to an end or frankly they will get worse. We have people that provide us with services for example who ask that we not share that they do for fear of getting fired or losing other work.
    It’s time to push back and push back hard.
    We have a list of agencies in this city that refuse to advertise on CFN for clearly non business reasons connected to the boycott as well.
    After all, why would you want to pay more to advertise on venues with much less traffic? Does that make sense?”

    In my view CFN would gain more supporters
    in it’s effort, if the names did not appear on the public
    domain. If names could be posted anonymously
    on the public domain with only CFN having the
    complete Petition with names.

    Knowing that there are allot of Trolls out there,
    even some from City Hall….
    It could have a different outcome?
    To further make my point let’s use the Candidates Votes
    that was posted on June 28th 2013 (Friday)
    “What about BOB ”
    already 253 anonymous votes. Double….

    In closing Gary sometimes good people will
    come forward when they feel reassured.

  32. I will sign your petition, Jamie. I don’t think it will improve your chances of being heard but I do believe your paper deserves its chance to thrive without unfair interference. Besides, you’re an honest and courageous person with good values.

  33. I sat down for a while today and thought about how Cornwall aka Fossoli was like in past years. With all our neighbors telling us that if you want to make a business in Cornwall it is mighty hard to do and almost next to impossible because the “clique” has to approve.

    Jamie a person who has the newspaper has the power of the pen and they are scared to death of you and those words are powerful of “scared to death” because you can bring them all down like a house of cards if there was truly a real people in town and across the country. Nobody in their right frame of mind would ever tolerate such a gang if they had any brains in their heads. I know of a few businesses who had to kiss many behinds in order to make a business in Fossoli, others left town and others didn’t make any at all knowing the mentality that they would not tolerate and made their businesses elsewhere. Fossoli has lost a great deal over the years and I think that they will continue to do so.

  34. Jamie,

    Make a formal Access to Information request for the 2012 media contracting figures. It costs $5. They are required to provide this information to you by legislation. Make sure you request a softcopy or they might bill you for paper (only city of cornwall does this – if they don’t like you). Put a reminder in your calendar to send a new request each new fiscal year.


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