CFN 1 on 1 With Rob Hickley On Funding Failure Against City of Cornwall & Mayor Bob Kilger – VIDEO

rob hickley nov 2013Cornwall Ontario – Former Cornwall Ontario Deputy Fire Chief Rob Hickley sat down one on one with CFN and talked about losing his appeal for funding for his Whistle Blowing case against the City of Cornwall & Mayor Bob Kilger over the hiring of the Mayor’s son as a City Fireman.

It took months for Justice J.M.Johnston to relay his decision which many thought odd.  Some even suggested that this was being politicized from above; but at the end of the day it seems that the verdict was clear from day one.   There is something juicy for conspiracy theorists for the timing of the release of this decision; so close after Mr. Hickley’s own funding issues regarding his long term disability request.

Here are images of the Judge’s decision.

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It should be noted that during hearings Mayor Kilger’s lawyer; Mr. Cameron threw Mr. Fitzpatrick “Under the bus.”

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So the argument here is that in a case like this; that could cost nearly $500,000 on each side!   That the City should pay even if it wins.

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So this all came down to strategy and argument.  In this case Toronto Super Lawyer Will McDowell used the law to block a true investigation into conflict of interest allegations.

Super Lawyer Will McDowell

In #33 the Justice clearly suggested that this incident is in the public interest of the people of Cornwall Ontario.   The Mayor and City were not cleared. In this decision simply the option of funding was not granted by Justice Johnston.

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 What this case really exposes is the fragility of Justice at the Municipal level in Ontario.   Cornwall is not unique as a Toronto Sun story pointed out this weekend  LINK where this very case was mentioned by writer Maddie DuMuccio, herself a councilor in Newmarket.

For example, we have laws on the books that require council meetings to be held in the open. Secret meetings are only supposed to occur for very specific reasons.

Yet far too often, we see municipalities ordering closed meetings simply to avoid legitimate public and media scrutiny.

Don’t believe me? Read the public reports from the Ontario Ombudsman’s office that outline the worrisome lack of oversight as municipalities abuse the process.

Implementing true accountability — including fines for individual council members when rules are violated — would be a start.

And what about access to information?

As a city councillor, I regularly use Freedom Of Information requests to gather material I need as matters of public interest come before me.

But each municipality, via their council, as was explained to me by the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario, decides their own rules for FOI requests.

CFN has had extreme difficulty getting basic information from the City of Cornwall.    Should it take a million dollars in litigation to prove that Mayor Bob Kilger and Paul Fitzpatrick conspired to gain an $80K position for the Mayor’s son, former NHL player Chad Kilger?   No, it shouldn’t.

Should 27 year veterans of the Fire Department have their lives nearly destroyed and have their names abused in the manner that Whistle Blowers have in Cornwall Ontario?  No, that’s a sin.  It’s a crime all unto itself that compounds what some legitimately expose.

Where does this leave Rob Hickley and his family?    At the Abyss.    Mr. Hickley is mulling over a crowd funding attempt to raise money to continue his case which CFN has offered to assist with.   He also may find a legal firm to take this case on Pro Bono; but again at the end of the day when elected officials can use tax dollars to defend themselves even if proven guilty there is no justice in Ontario.

And until the Municipal Act is changed to reflect that tax payers will continue to be abused; lives smashed, and criminal acts continue.

Do you think Cornwall Ontario Mayor Bob Kilger & The City Of Cornwall Are Guilty of Conflict of Interest in the Hiring of Chad Kilger to its Fire Department?

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We’ll end this piece with Mr Hickley’s statement released this morning.

I am indeed disappointed by the Judge’s decision. I do however understand that he is bound to precedents of Law and to protect taxpayer’s money. On the one hand (paragraph 32 and following), the Court did find that the substantive matters I have raised (Mayor Kilger being in undeclared conflict of interest, interference with hiring practices, failure to conduct a proper investigation) are serious issues and of importance to the Citizens of Cornwall. Unfortunately, the criteria did not allow me to access funding to pursue the matter.



According to the criteria by which the Judge made his decision, I must first exhaust all other sources of funding, as well as continue to contribute. The Court is the supervisor of Municipal Councils, not me. I am the messenger. I have done my duty as a public servant to deliver a serious legal issue to the Court. I have spent my own money and have impacted my health. I don’t see it as my responsibility to fund enforcement of the Corporations Whistleblower policy.


I had duties to report violations of the law and/ or corporate policy. I presented evidence that showed Council had paid with taxpayer dollars, the legal fees of Mr. Fitzpatrick, even thought there are no terms to that effect in the Whistleblower policy. The legal fees of the defendants in the conviction for illegal retaliation against Diane Shay were also taken from taxpayer’s money.



A second criteria, that his Honour was required to consider was the public good.

Unfortunately Cornwall is too small a focus. Public good needed to be broader in that it should benefit at Provincial or Federal levels. Little Cornwall is not important enough.


The pressure and stress of this situation has had a negative impact on my condition. My Doctor recommends that I not return to work if I wish to restore my health; representing myself in litigation against lawyers like those representing other Federal and Municipal politicians we see in the news recently, would also worsen my health.


It is now the duty of the Citizens of Cornwall to ensure our Municipal Council does the right thing and votes to refer what the Court has found to be serious issues, back to the Court to investigate. Our Council has that legal option under the Municipal Act. Demand your rights. Ask that the lawyers for the City of Cornwall outline the legal options available to Council and that these legal opinions be made public. Make sure these matters are considered in open Council. Demand accountability. The Court if referred this issue by Council, is funded by the Public.

I am willing to be a witness. Any municipal employees called to testify will be protected by the Court. A completely separate and independent Prosecutor will be appointed.


I feel that I have fulfilled my duties to the citizens of our City. However I have taken this as far as I can. It’s now time for someone else to step up. Otherwise, we can look forward more of the same behaviour we see in other parts of our great country.




Municipal Act: Judicial Investigation


274. (1) If a municipality so requests by resolution, a judge of the Superior Court of Justice shall,


(a) investigate any supposed breach of trust or other misconduct of a member of council, an employee of the municipality or a person having a contract with the municipality in relation to the duties or obligations of that person to the municipality;


(b) inquire into any matter connected with the good government of the municipality; or


(c) inquire into the conduct of any part of the public business of the municipality, including business conducted by a commission appointed by the council or elected by the electors. 2001, c. 25, s. 274 (1).


Application of Public Inquiries Act, 2009


(2) Section 33 of the Public Inquiries Act, 2009 applies to the investigation or inquiry by the judge. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 6, s. 72 (5).




(3) The judge shall report the results of the investigation or inquiry to the council as soon as practicable. 2001, c. 25, s. 274 (3).




(4) The council may hire counsel to represent the municipality and pay fees for witnesses who are summoned to give evidence at the investigation or inquiry. 2001, c. 25, s. 274 (4).


Representation by counsel


(5) Any person whose conduct is called into question in the investigation or inquiry may be represented by counsel. 2001, c. 25, s. 274 (5).


Costs (6) The judge may engage counsel and other persons to assist in the investigation or inquiry and the costs of engaging those persons and any incidental expenses shall be paid by the municipality. 2001, c. 25, s. 274 (6).

What do you think CFN viewers?  You can post your comments below.

via medica


  1. Unbelievable how a man can devote his life as a Deputy Fire Chief and then have his employers turn on him because he spoke up for trying to bring a wrongdoing to light. Something is definitely wrong with that picture. The hiring procedure in this case and perhaps in many others certainly comes across as being very fishy indeed.

    This fiasco and the outcome is truly disturbing. The message is clear, shut up or put up. If one chooses to shut up, nothing changes and the injustices go on………..unchallenged. If one chooses to challenge injustices………you will damn well pay.

  2. Author

    Stella it’s only because people won’t stand up to the bullies and criminals. I can tell you there have been about six people that if they had the courage to step up incidentally, that they would have forced some of the bad guys to have to resign or be charged.

    Because these people stayed silent other and worse things have been done by these people even more brazenly.

  3. Well I for one, am anxious to see who will run for council in the next election. Amazing how not one member of city council attended the court hearing. This corrupt council had recently pleaded guilty (Diane Shay case) of wrong doing, and yet, showed no interest in seeing or dealing with Rob Hickleys concerns…SEE NOTHING…..HEAR NOTHING……DO NOTHING….they should all be ashamed to sit on city council…And then to add insult to injury….let’s hire Toronto lawyers. What? no Cornwall lawyers?? lets spend city tax dollars out of town….ya right…shop local they say!!,,,what a crock..Sure hope Rob’s health allows him to carry on in his fight, and that the citizens of Cornwall finally stand up and support him…Let the truth be told

  4. Jamie, it is certainly disturbing to know that anyone who has a claim to injustices has no way of bringing these injustices to the forefront because in the end, they pay big time, Having said that, how are the injustices corrected. I guess it is safe to say… never does.

    In a country where freedom of speech is one of our democratic rights, Mr. Hickley should not be penalized for speaking up. Mr. Hickley was concerned about a wrongdoing and declared there was a conflict of interest. It is mindboggling that a judge would rule the way he did. In all fairness to Mr Hickley,the judge should have heard the case first then rule on the financial aspect accordingly.

    This situation would make anyone who has a legitimate complaints cringe.

  5. So very proud of you Rob…..Great interview, very well spoken and eloquent…..
    Remember what goes around comes around…..

  6. Here we go again Standard Free has open comment section under this story
    Let’s start the countdown before it disappears
    Then their headline and comments inside the story seem to imply motives to Mr Hickley
    SF quote”Hickley claims to have spent about $30,000 in legal fees and expenses (although most of the actual costs of about $110,000 have been covered pro bono”
    On a very sad note Brian the FAMILY GUY dog “died” after being hit by a drunk driver
    No comment from Fox News ..yet…on whether it was Mayor Rob Ford and supporter Stellabyestarlight in the SUV

  7. Somebody should do a screen capture of freeholder site first to show there were
    comments..and also to point out that stellabyestarlight seems to be posting on both sites using different spelling of her name

    Stellabyestarlight Right WingNUTT
    • 9 minutes ago

    Mr Hickley comes across very well in the cfn video
    So nice to see Cornwall scandals making it into Toronto Sun
    What great news for the seaway city
    the REAL stellabystarlight

  8. Hey sd/s……………Grow up!!!!

    Seconds after a comment strongly supporting Rob the Freeholder comment section disappears
    like magic
    This is becoming so like clockwork its sad and sicknin
    If they can’t stick to their policy of no comment on trial sections
    at Least 10 comments vanish

  10. Stella the Fella,

    Breaking News,

    The Freeholder’s story of Rob’s court case, was just removed at 7:13 P.M. lol It lasted about 9 minutes, 9 whole minutes ! lol

  11. Well posted a comment on free Loader…waited to get moderated…poof…all comments gone….what a rag

  12. Remember who makes the laws. Self serving perhaps?

    Until citizens unite and demand that the process (whistleblowing) is made fair to all then it is doomed to a destiny of futility. Investigation of an incident should be conducted by an unbiased body and secondly should the investigation conclude merit in proceeding to the next phrase then the whistleblower should have access to legal representation paid through an established fund for that purpose solely.

    The system implemented by the City of Cornwall is, like the current administration, a joke ! Appearance without substance !

    Another item that needs to be rectified by this community.

  13. The Freeholder seems to have shut down all commenting.

  14. For my Friend Rob Hickley…It breaks my heart to see what the last couple of years have done to my friend. I have known this man for well over 40 yrs. I have entrusted him with my life (literally), my secrets and my spirit and he has never let me down. We have lived our professional lives in worlds totally apart in nature and talents but his friendship and advice has always been invaluable. A model citizen and well respected professional he was also a fabulously caring husband to his beautiful wife Sue through her fight with cancer, sadly a lost battle, while raising two wonderful and. successful daughters. His now wife Joanne has been a blessing to this man to have such a fiercely loyal, intelligent and loving partner in his corner through these times. To see how this mans’ very soul, the fire in his belly, his lust for life itself, his passion for music and his cuttingly wicked sarcastic sense of humour have all been almost all but been extinguished tears at my heart and leaves me shaking my head. How can a man that has done so much good, tried so hard to do the right thing be left so battered and bruised for his efforts. Rob Hickley will survive this time in his life and will move on to other endeavors with the class, honesty, commitment and style as he always have. He has been there for many of us in dark days to show us the sunrise the next morning. We are all here to support you now old friend….”in the key of steve”…Thanks…Steve Boileau, Cornwall Ont.

  15. @STEVE BOILEAU … I was genuinely moved by your words. I do not know Rob personally but you honour your friend. Our community could do well with more “Hickleys” and each of us would be richer to have a friend such as yourself. My day will be better for having read your tribute, thank you Steve.


    David Oldham

  16. If the lawyer Mr. Hickley was working with finds an injustice has occurred, isn’t her due diligence to proceed even though money is not flowing?
    Or has our judicial system fallen into our political practices and health care…with a few bucks you can buy what you need

  17. The entire justice system is as corrupt as can be when a lawyer who sees that his/her client has a good case and declines to represent him/her then something smells really rotten for sure like someone is being silenced. I can say that I have always known that Cornwall was a mighty corrupt place to live and do business and would never return at all under any circumstance. The province of Ontario knows very well about the corruption and does nothing because it is all run by certain people that is mighty dangerous and I won’t go into it here Jamie. Cornwall is a very neglected town because of that. Rob Ford did very well as a mayor of Toronto and has done everything he could to try and keep taxes down whereas the taxes in Fossoli is a complete and utter disgrace for a town as small as a farm. People who know what is going on do not stay in Cornwall at all. The toilet paper of record is a complete farce and their presstitutes do as they are told and are bought off by the powers that be. There is no truth given in the toilet paper of record and that is all it is is toilet paper.

    I don’t have to know Mr. Hickley personally to see that this is a very good man and to see the suffering that he is going through. Mrs. Shay is going through this as well. All this goes to show you that Cornwall is no place to live at all whatsoever. I just wish that people would wake up and I said it before that with the time people will not be able to afford to live in Fossoli and I mean that fully. That dirty town is only geared for a very certain few and not for anybody else.

  18. Rob Hickley :
    It’s very rare in life for anyone to come across a person like you with principles strong enough to Blow a Whistle on what you clearly saw as wrong doing ( Kilger & Fitz ) and it’s even more rare to hear a man say he’d do it again, you Sir are a gentleman and you have guts . It’s most unfortunate that a decision for funding came down against you . I can understand your not wanting to continue from your own pocket book , that factor
    is exactly what these wrong doers and Council have figured out , and likely would have happened to Diane Shay except that the Nurses Association stepped in with financial help for her.However that Lady is out of pocket and has to sue for those expenses even after winning . This whole matter as I see it is a terrible injustice forced upon both of you . My thanks to you Rob and Diane for standing Tall the way you both did

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