Strange Thoughts About the History & Future of CFN After the Cold Meds Wore Off by Jamie Gilcig

two fisted Jamie
Having fun at Lola’s – my former fave spot in Cornwall.

Cornwall Ontario – It’s been an odd week.   Cold meds, Cornwall, a ton of introspection and thoughts about life during my 49th year.   A day when every single insecurity and neurosis I have exploded.

It also included being so very grateful for my friends and family.  My critters, the incredibly large amount of viewers that CFN has.

When I was in 12 Step there was this saying that God only gives us what we can handle.

During the past two years I’ve endured a lot.   I’ve learned a lot too.    This was the two years break up Jamie & Leaperiod after the end of my marriage to my delightful ex-wife Lea Anne.

Lea was a BC girl.   She hated Cornwall.   Hated PJ’s being worn at Wal-Mart.  Hated the culture of this city.   She mostly hated what traps I kept falling into, and how we were treated.

My first job in Cornwall was as Marketing Director for the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.  It being a charity meant that my position was heavily weighted for bonus based on my success.   Two months before our wedding; and just after my first successful quarter we had an emergency meeting as we were about to be audited by Habitat Canada.

At that point Habitat had not built a home in nearly six years, had missing trust fund monies, and was a train wreck.  I worked double time rejigging it.   At that meeting I suggested we sell the building in Bonville, move into rented facilities in Cornwall and take those proceeds and build a home and fix the bottom line.

I was suspended the next day and terminated after one week.   It turned out that during the week our current MP and his cronies and wife took over the charity.

Can you imagine having to go home and explain that to your wife?  It nearly delayed or cancelled the wedding which was back in her lovely home of Vancouver, BC.

I actually went to visit one of my mentors, and at the time Deputy Minister for Issue management who advised me as a friend that my days in Cornwall were over and to leave.    My monster film lawyer refused to allow me to issue suit as he said straight up that I’d not get a fair trial in that region considering who was involved.   He didn’t even bill me for that one.  Sander is the best 🙂

The local Federal Conservatives have refused to grant interviews to CFN journalists including myself.  We are also cut off from accessing services or information via Mr. Lauzon’s offices as he has forbidden us under threat of even appearing.

My decision was to eventually create this newspaper.    It’s been a near five year adventure.   It included my flirtation with politics.   I was asked to run for the Greens in the last Federal election against Mr. Lauzon.   The first thing that happened was the coming to the forefront of the ugly rumor spread that my termination from Habitat was based on theft.   “That something had to be done.”

There was theft there; which I exposed.    One of the board members, Judy David, sent an email to the board that she was taking goods and funds in exchange for her time spent at the facility.   The irony is that you can still see Judy occasionally at the affiliate.

It took the former chair of the board to publicly state that I had not misused or taken anything from Habitat during my time there.   If you click the video above you will see our MP threaten me with the Minister of Justice at the time for a non-governmental issue.

Starting CFN in 2009 was a huge learning curve.   I had to face very tough competition, and I also had to face the lies that had been spread about me as thief from a charity!    When we started we sold 100 banners, like the one at the bottom of the page.     We charged $25 for 100 banners.  You’d be amazed how many businesses refused us in the day.

But a lot didn’t.   CFN made a lot of head way in our first two years.  We had some of the biggest local businesses sign up early and stay; Leon Sabourin and his delightful wife Kim who own Laura’s, Cornwall Lighting, Laurier Electric, and Schnitzels.

As a matter of fact Leon gave us our first testimonial.

It was actually three times the traffic; but Mr.Sabourin wanted to keep it modest.    His former monkey Joey Gault, who wrote on facebook that advertising didn’t work actually phoned me one day asking what we did to cause a spike in their web traffic for about a week and I had to explain to the diminutive  Mr. Gault that there was this BIG FIRE that caused huge traffic for CFN and that because Schnitzels had high exposure they befitted from it.   Mr. Gault at the time was working with a firm that would tell clients that advertising wasn’t great, but that they should pay the firm he was with to use free social media instead.   Of course paying them in some cases would cost more than good value advertising.   Mr. Gault is very special.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we still bring them the most web traffic from old archived ads.  That’s how powerful CFN is.  In 2012 for example we sent the City of Cornwall more web traffic from old archived stories while they were and are boycotting us than those that were spending $271,000 of taxpayer monies on.  In 2011 they spent $4,800 with us.  Now that’s value for the dollar.

The Aultsville Theatre refuses to advertise with CFN yet a recent promoter cut a deal with us which led to his own testimonial after a rare sell out at the near 700 seat theatre.  Even though we have a great record of promoting events certain local venues support the city boycott.  For example Shantero Productions has never even returned our emails or phone calls in five years.

A big thank you to the Cornwall Free News for supporting the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Benefit Show The Legends of Rock and Country Music on Saturday November 9th at Aultsville theatre.

The show was a complete sell out due in part to the generous advertisng of our show from the Cornwall Free News. Once again thank you to the Cornwall Free News and the Citizens of Cornwall for supporting the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services.

Steve Ciesielski
Celsk Benefit Promotions

After the election we became a Canadian anomaly and something that the entire community should have been proud of; which is we became number one in our market.   A little Indie, near one man show, beating out the Sun owned daily Standard Freeholder, the Trans Con weekly Seaway News, and Corus owned  local radio stations.

We scored as low as 1,971 on the Canadian rankings and that was without manipulating the system or using call centres in India to play with traffic.

First there was the Chris Savard scandal and treachery.    He had been our tech guy but was waiting in the wings to eventually release Our Home Town which was supposed to take CFN down because of the Conservatives via the Lauzon mess hating CFN.

That didn’t quite work as Mr. Savard’s issues with the Kinsmen sponsored Lift Off hit the fan.  2010 Lift Off, which CFN sponsored was their greatest year yet.   For some reason Mr. Savard left the event that he founded and the board had to beg council for an unsecured emergency load of $30K.

To this date the cover up has not been fully investigated and Mr. Savard fled Cornwall with his new wife and family in tow leaving behind his old family.   Rumors suggest that the Lift Off situation were some how connected to the break up of Mr. Savard (who lost for the PC’s against former Liberal MPP Jim Brownell)

Cornwall being a town where over $50M of taxpayer money was spent to cover up a pedophile ring; a cover up that some of suggested was tasked to former MP Bob Kilger by the McGuinty government at the time meant that things had to not be in the press.

The Freeholder, whom had a key member of their team during those dark days recently convicted of child molestation, laid down on this as they have recently with the Swastikas in CCVS story and others.

The City of Cornwall under Mayor Kilger via Paul Fitzpatrick and Bob Peters had never been supportive of CFN.   At first they didn’t know how to react.  Gentle pressure led to some ads.  For example we had to threaten to get a note from the Minister at Queen Park to get the City Bulletin (Mr. Peters refused to consider us a newspaper; Mayor Kilger still refers to CFN as a blog) which we charged less than 1/12th of what they were giving the Free Holder.

After the City cut off all advertising from CFN and spreading the word for connected agencies to do likewise( The library, musuem, art gallery, business development office, Seaway Tourism all boycott CFN) some of the behind the scenes drama started to come out into the open.    Certain elements at City Hall could not do everything in the dark.


 That led to that strange and dark moment in Cornwall’s history when the mayor abused his power, broke the law, and embarrassed our local law enforcement by hitting the panic button for a situation where someone he knew, who clearly had no criminal record and was seated in a chair simply stood up for his charter rights to wear whatever t shirt he wished.     As anyone can see above there is nothing on that t shirt remotely offensive to a reasonable person.

The irony is that I have returned to council wearing that shirt with no issue.

When I ran for the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce I was thanked after and told I did not win.    I asked for a vote count and was told that they don’t give out that information.   I know.  Insanity.   Two members of the board however died that term and the Chamber was forced to add me to the roster for the remainder of that term.

Steps were made to ensure that it could not happen again and I resigned from the Chamber and Team Cornwall until those groups cleaned house and made things right.  To date they are the same messed up organizations.

I have to admit there are days when I’ve had enough of this city.   In some ways it really is hopeless.   Then I realize that there’s a concerted effort by a small clique to make me feel that way exactly.

CFN has struggled but made it to this point.  We really could not have without the public’s support; especially our subscribers and advertisers some of whom have endured immense pressure to drop us.

It’s sad that people like Paul Lefebvre of the Best Western here in Cornwall would not step up and tell the truth when they had the chance.   Mr. Lefebvre dropped his ad with us after being threatened to lose the Kinsmen meetings and banquet meetings.   It was sad the day we spoke.    If he had simply told the truth most of this community negativity would have ended that day.

Likewise a local restaurant that had to pull its ads with us down to ensure that it got its patio license.

This is not how you build a community.   I get the fear that Paul and others have had.  They are not alone.

Yet with all this cult of nasty and petty ignorance CFN has survived and built up an incredible audience.  In many ways CFN has achieved far more than I’d ever hoped for and again for that I’m grateful.

In life we can dwell on the negative or embrace the positive.   The glass should always be half full and not half negative.

But I’m also about to turn 50 in July.     CFN turns 5 on February 9, 2014.

In the past 18 months I have had two offers to edit newspapers in the West and I’m not really on the Market!   The thought of not working nearly 24/7 is enticing.   The thought of not having to be running a business without enough help or resources is totally sexy.

CFN has also had four requests for meetings to discuss it being purchased; from one of our competitors that would take it from last to first in this market to a group that is fearful that Cornwall will lose its truly only local independent voice as was clearly shown by our coverage of the swastikas at CCVS  this past month while the other media lay down.

One of the consultants we work with said that the problem is that CFN has a very wide market.  Cornwall is only about 35% of our traffic, Ottawa is number two, Montreal three, and Toronto four.   Yet the Cornwall brand scares off out of town advertisers.

Yet we have the boycott locally.   It’s why Cornwall doesn’t have a local online TV station as we hadto put on ice plans to bring Seaway TV online.

The boycott has cost not only CFN; but it’s cost the community as most of our dollars are recycled back into the region and used to help some very talented people make a living.

I do know that there will be a change coming up for 2014.   We may sell CFN to a group that will work with us to help grow.  We may sell outright.  We simply change the name of our newspaper to Northern Beacon or Seaway Today?

Life is far too short to live in the negative or dwell in darkness.     And time is far too precious to waste on petty evil people.   Like naughty children the best thing that can be done is take away their toys.

There are far more people that support CFN locally than don’t.    If you look at the clique here that’s caused so much damage to our local economy it’s not rocket science.    The only question is if the community at large is ready to step up and force change.

I and CFN will be here in some form.   The degree of that involvement is up to the area.    It really is.   It’s time for the community to stop thinking that supporting CFN is a dirty secret.  It’s time more people wore our pins to show support and stopped being afraid of the bad guys.

I am not the villain.   And if I sold CFN tomorrow the stories and issues  that we have reported; over 7,500 by the time February rolls around, will still be there.    They may not be reported on; but isn’t that a key reason why Cornwall has not grown its population in nearly half a century?   If you don’t fix a problem it will still be there.

For the record CFN has never been sued.  We had one threatening letter from the City of Cornwall which we published.   We have had to issue 6 lawsuits which have resulted in four victories with two before the courts right now.

It’s time for people to work together and really show the world the potential and promise that people like me see in it.

Thank you for your time if you’re still reading this  and thank you for clicking on CFN ; your number one source for News, Views, and Reviews 24/7 from Cornwall Ontario


(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.)


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  1. Jamie, you are the messenger and people like to shoot the messenger here in Cornwall. Ignorance is bliss and after that Project Truth debacle many people would rather not hear any more truths. Let’s just pretend that everything is all right and we can sleep better at night. We’ll complain about high taxes but we won’t do anything about it.

    By the way, what kind of cold medication were you on? I’ll try to avoid that stuff.

  2. Jamie you have been through a lot since you were in Cornwall and I feel the same way and more so maybe like your wife. If you came to me and said here is a million dollars or more and move to Cornwall I would say to you “no thank you Jamie I have had my fill of that town to last me a lifetime” that is how much I feel about it and more. Life isn’t always about money but how happy you feel and how comfortable that you feel and there isn’t any of that at all in Cornwall unless you belong to that dirty clique. I am telling you that from my heart and soul.

    The vast majority of the people that my so went to school with as well as older people in my age group who are business people sold their places in Cornwall and are now in Ottawa and other cities. The people that he went to school with have left Cornwall as well. It was just yesterday that we were speaking around the table here how everything in Cornwall died from the Voyageur to the Train Station as well as everything else. Now you came up with the story of how you started out in Cornwall and you made a successful paper that really outdoes the toilet paper of record SF but the problem like everything else is that dirty, filthy clique that stands in your way of success. It isn’t just you that this clique stand in the way and other businesses as well in Cornwall are harmed by all of this and many others will be leaving as well. I thank God that I am gone and will never return at all whatsoever. I always wish you the best and I mean that Jamie. Whatever you do I wish you the very best.

  3. I am infiltrating the clique through minor sports Obi-wan-ka-Jamie. They have no idea. What a bunch a wife-swapping fools!

  4. I should have saved this comment for the proper column. But it kind of fits anywhere?
    “Jules is right that Cornwall will go bankrupt. But it can be stopped if the excessive police state presence behind the east end Food Basics and Fahrenheit 451 Hockey Brigade stay. Do these people do anything besides stalk notorious re-offenders of minor crimes for Police Blotter fame and bale pot in drunken Long Sault every fall, and answer false alarms at subsidized developments or light the Cotton Mills on fire? Not unless they respond to another Freshco accident. BTW, is it true that the new No Frills and Freshco saved the economy of Cornwall…..No. Tell Kilger and the clowns that.”
    And we have the nicest curbs and sewers in Canada thanks to the local PAC donations. Fat fireman. Little Hitler Youth cops. We need a Rob Ford. Jules couldn’t be more wrong about Harper though. Best economy ever

  5. Yesterday I played that same video of the mayor with his grubby paws on the button getting his groundhogs up out of nowhere to take you out of the chamber of lies. Jamie I laughed so much looking at the faces of the Barney Fife PD. These cops looked stunned and at the same time were laughing because they all know deep down that the entire thing was a farse.

    When we lived in Cornwall one man alone owned all of the franchises of one particular kind and there was no competition. I know because my daughter was employed in one of them and hopped around to the many branches. The entire system in Cornwall is completely corrupted and I cannot ever live in such a place ever again as long as I live. If I die I will not be buried there at all I guarantee it.

  6. 420 I feel sorry for Rob Ford and kind of like the man. I may sound weird but it is true. Ford has done a lot for Toronto to keep the taxes down. The part that went wrong with Ford is that he screwed up badly and the media is to blame for putting this news world wide.

    About Harper there are no jobs at all. All our jobs were exported to China and elsewhere and it was “lying Brian Mulroney and the Bush Sr’s” who started to send our jobs abroad. It was US presidential candidate Ross Perot who said over the air waves: “the giant sucking sound” because all the jobs were being sent abroad and there would be nothing left in the US and Canada. Even the high tech jobs are being done in India and such places. Soon Canada and the US will look more like a third world country. Ross Perot and his family were threatened and he had to back off from continuing to run as president and which shows how mighty corrupted politics is.

    420 you are sure right in your description about the youth cops and all in Cornwall. There is much more to this than you and I are letting on to the readers and if many knew the truth they would not sleep at night. I am conservative in my own home but as far as political sides go none of them are any good at all. The entire world system of politics is one big corrupted scam. I have absolutely no faith in any of it. All I can say is that we are all going down with the ship and that ship is the NWO. One cannot print money out of debt like what the US is doing – it only devalues the dollar. It was economist Peter Schiff who said that Wal Mart will soon look like Neiman Marcos with the devaluation of the dollar and the high price tags at Wal Mart. I think that I saved that video.

  7. I hear you, but don’t despair… their comeuppance is just around the corner.

  8. Jamie…..interesting indeed. It takes a special person to publicly declare he sought counselling.

    As for being the founder, editor and administrator of CFN it has to be a very stressful job which I am sure many could not handle nor would want to. Bravo on your 5 years of publishing.

    Keep in mind that money means nothing if you haven’t got good health.

  9. Jamie
    I don’t want to seem unfair but it does seem wrong to put in a mention of a child molester being from Standard Freeholder.
    I never liked the way the former scribbler was always attacking you for his political masters but
    the way you have left it hanging out there you are being unfair to many fine people who worked for the paper of record

  10. Author

    How so BM? By law I can’t name the person. It’s disgusting though. Anyone that attacks a child in my book deserves…..

  11. Author

    Simon I am not despairing. Thanks as you’ve always been a rock of support for CFN. We have far more supporters than detractors. And yes there is a huge comeuppance for a certain group….

  12. Sometimes people have to make a sacrifice to pursue what they believe to be the truth.
    I thank you for making that sacrifice and providing this forum for others to express their feelings and beliefs.
    I enjoy the discussions. They remind me of a great song title from the intellectually-deep country music star, Rodney Crowell – “Life Is Messy”.

  13. Jamie :
    You have been a tower of strength here in Cornwall with your News Paper reporting the news and asking the tough questions and reporting them to us , you are both loved & hated here in our Town , perhaps I should
    have said liked and appreciated instead of loved as without your paper CFN & your opinion the people here just wouldn’t have any idea of what has and is happening here and this next year leading up to an election
    we need you and your Paper to get the Truth out to the public . We can’t rely nor trust the SF to do that for us , I pity those that speak ill of you as they are a fearful lot , truly afraid of the truth getting out and as you very well know they with their connections have tried to shut you both down and up . Those persons involved
    in such actions are hypocrites and while they see themselves as leaders they are in the eyes of many trash.
    Please hang in there Jamie and keep up your good work . .

  14. Jamie what Believe Me and others told you is the absolute truth and that “toilet paper of record known as SF” does not tell any truth whatsoever and not worth being known as a paper. Your CFN brought out the real truth about what is going on in Cornwall and without your CFN Cornwall would be back in the dark with people not really knowing what is going on around them. You are the best and I said that since the very beginning and that is the truth. The “so called leaders” of Cornwall are all mighty jealous and afraid of you and they know that they cannot control you the way that they control the “toilet paper of record SF” and other businesses. Many very good people left and believe me many more good people will leave since they will not put up with all the BS going around down there. When I said to you before that you are the best I mean those words fully. Take good care of yourself Jamie and congrats on your five years in Cornwall and keep up the good work. You are surpassing the toilet paper of record and they know that. They are all afraid of the truth and if the truth came out a long time ago they would all be in jail. Cornwall is way too small – the size of a farm and that is the real problem down there. All the very best to you and your staff.

  15. {MODERATED because Mr. Herrington probably should stop being an attention ho and get a life.}

  16. admin November 19, 2013 at 2:21 am

    How so BM? By law I can’t name the person

    Well it seems to me that your not being able to print names and lacking any other info/ Anybody that worked for the newspaper looks guilty in the eyes of the public
    It’s like Wikileaks doing a document dump without redacting names of innocents that might get killed as a result
    This statement won’t get anybody killed but does put a black mark beside the names of many INNOCENT SF employees “The Freeholder, whom had a key member of their team during those dark days recently convicted of child molestation, “

  17. Big Mac Jamie can say what is going on in Cornwall or wherever it may be but cannot name a name for fear of reprisal. I know so much of what went on in past years involving many professional people and I dare not mention any names or what went on. All these people at the top have things to hide and everyone of them are held in secrecy to one another because of the clubs that they belong to (blood oaths) where they and their families can be blackmailed and killed. There is so much that people do not know about and if you all knew you would be screaming at the top of your lungs.

  18. Omfg! Blood oaths?? Get out of town! Really? In Cornwall?? GMAFB!


  19. A few years ago the Standard Freeholder dispensed some of their patented hillbilly justice on a member of my family. A person that was profoundly mentally ill. Do I feel any sympathy for the diddler that worked for that publication?
    I want to know who the diddler is and know that they have felt at least a small measure of the pain that my family felt due to the Freeholder’s arrogance and indiscretion.

  20. Mr Clifton
    I feel your pain
    But your letter just highlights my concern that everybody is under a cloud if Jamie can’t release
    name…then leave that line of his story OUT
    Pretty sure in a small town like Cornwall a whole lot of people know who CFN is reporting on but for those outside the area it seems this pain your family felt is being shared by (many good SF people)who’s friends and neighbors may think they are the guilty party.
    Canadian Press editors used to say “When in doubt leave it OUT” sadly that doesn’t happen nowadays
    As for Jules and the blood oath…as PM Harper says NO COMMENT cept its against the law for Jamie to report the name because it would re-victimize the victim..not a fear of gads

  21. @Big Mac
    Thank you for your response.
    This person is being protected by the system. I don’t think that’s right.
    Jamie’s article addresses a number of disturbing topics. The fact that we don’t know who this person is might be the most disturbing for me.
    I would never wish to help provoke the reliving of the victim’s pain. If that’s the price of this (in many ways) unfair law – so be it.

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