Cornwall Refusing Transparency With Public While Demanding it of Feds over Waterfront Chem Tanks by Jamie Gilcig

Cornwall SPRING 2012Cornwall Ontario –   There’s a rally Saturday January 18, 2014 at 2 PM.   It’s to repeat the message to those that make the decisions that we the people of Cornwall want NO TANKS on the former Kaneb Oil Tank property.

But this is more than that.   This is about the future of our city and it’s become one that clearly is in the hands of the public.

If this experience has shown anything it’s that we can’t always trust those we elect and pay to protect and serve our city.

photo: facebook
photo: facebook

What we do know is that in early December out of the blue chemical tanks appeared.   With no public consultation or apparently any consultation at City Hall the Federal Government via Transport Canada leased the former Kaneb Oil tank property to a newly formed shell company; Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc.

Our MP Guy Lauzon claimed that he knew nothing of the transaction which is an indictment unto itself.

Our Mayor Bob Kilger’s first comment was that the tanks would not stick out of the ground much.  To date he has not made a statement that he himself is against the tanks while at the same time appearing in meetings on behalf of council that has clearly stated NO TANKS.    Council itself has stated that they were totally unaware.

Mayor Kilger was outed about lying about his knowledge as he shared at a November 21 meeting of the Waterfront committee on the tanks with former members of the committee after the scheduled meeting.   Council Grant, also on that committee lied on camera stating the conversation never occurred.  That lie was shot down by another committee member that observed it.

Transport Canada revealed the timeline of communications with the City.

The tenant provided detailed information regarding proposed activities for this commercial operation at this port facility to the City of Cornwall.  Specifically, Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc. advised Transport Canada that they first contacted the City of Cornwall in February 2013, and that, among other discussions with the City, Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc. also provided details of the project plan to the City of Cornwall in June 2013.

That led to the Mayor Kilger issuing his own statement.  Again, this was from the Mayor via Kevin Lajoie of Economic Development; not council as a whole.

Mr. Kevin Pollard contacted the City’s Economic Development office in February 2013 to determine possible opportunities for securing existing storage tanks, or potentially building his own. Water access was not stated as being essential.  At that time he was provided information on a variety of site options, including the Cornwall Business Park, a former industrial site in the west end of the City, and a wharf in the Morrisburg area. He was alerted to the sensitivity of the Harbour Area given the neighbouring residential and recreational uses, the lack of rail, and the lack of adequate trucking routes to Highway 401. Mr. Pollard did not extend dialogue with City officials following this preliminary and exploratory contact. 

No further contact was received until June 2013 when Mr. Pollard contacted City officials on a single occasion to inform them that Transport Canada had agreed to enter into a lease. No further discussion or confirmation of the lease was ever received from Trillium or Transport Canada. No specific details, sketch or site plan was provided. The City recommended a meeting to discuss concerns regarding planning and land use issues. City officials did not provide any approval, verbal or otherwise, at any time. Mr. Pollard did not pursue further dialogue with City officials. Notwithstanding this request, the City has never met anyone from Trillium Distribution. 


Gerry Samson above states around the 1:20 mark that an investigation of ED shows that they did not know. But that certainly goes against what the Mayor issued in his press release which clearly states that ED knew of the lease.

Why did Economic Development not put that in its monthly report to council?   There are three people in that department, Mark Boileau, Kevin Lajoie, and Bob Peters.   Why won’t the city answer which of the three communicated with Trillium?

Why isn’t council demanding to know why this critical information was not in the monthly reports?

And who else outside of ED knew?  Was it shared with CAO Norm Levac and the Mayor whose first response was that the tanks would not stick much out of the ground.   How would he know that if he wasn’t aware of the project?

The biggest indictment and evidence of a cover up at City Hall is CAO Norm Levac’s answers, or I should say non answer.   It’s classic suck and blow and sadly this gentleman who added thousands to his salary to cover up council’s shenanigans and up his pension seems to have completely lost any integrity he may have once had.

Even Chuck Charlebois states that the people of Cornwall will most likely have to pay to remove the tanks.   Does that make any sense?

There were big headlines in other media about Chuck being allowed what was thought to be a meeting of all the parties that ended being two meetings with Mr. Charlebois only speaking at the preliminary that didn’t include Trillium.

As former councilor Leslie O’Shaughnessy stated,

Without accountability you can’t have transparency.

Construction has stopped now until the next meetings occur, but these meetings are of bigger issues.    With land claims in play it means that the MCA has to “allow” or partner in a deal for those lands.    Or the Feds can lease the land to the city; but according to Mayor Kilger and the CAO the meetings and discussions involve all of the harbor lands which can be an expensive anchor to local taxpayers.

Chief Brian David of the MCA shares how the MCA learned about the tanks from the Media and were not consulted as is Federal law.

Councilor Grant argues to see the lease between TC and Trillium, but there is only one clear issue.

The city for some reason did not share the info of this development with Council and the public leaving them caught at the last minute to deal with not only the issue of possible tanks on that property; but forced to deal with them with the tanks already in place.

How can you even blame the Feds or Trillium in this situation?

And that ladies and gentlemen is the colossal cluster puck that our Mayor, CAO, and Economic Development have put the taxpayers of Cornwall Ontario.  Council by not holding them responsible clearly are clouding the issue and instead of being honest with the public are dragging this out and potentially negotiating deals that at this time morally they should not be doing as they do not have a mandate from the voters.

The bottom line is that we the people of Cornwall should have been consulted.   We still should be consulted, and so far have clearly stated we do not want these tanks.

That’s the only issue and if the city of Cornwall; ie, you and I, are forced to pay for this mess people at City Hall need to be exposed and held accountable.

The Rally starts Saturday at MP Guy Lauzon’s office on Pitt Street at 2PM and goes to City Hall.

The message is a single and simple one.   NO TANKS!


Will you be at the Rally Saturday?

You can post your comments below.

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  1. The Feds may have imposed the same gag order on City Council as they did on the Federal civil service.

  2. Sarnia 2010..Trillium Project
    “What’s left is basically distilled water,” said St. Clair Township CAO John Rodey. “That’s our understanding.”

    I think your readers might like reading a cathy dobson article from 2010 about Trillium buiding a plant near Sarnia…The Head City Official statement “this is our understanding” about the plant runoff going into the river…is scary…scary that a city would operate this way

    Once the calcium chloride is removed, the water is sent to the storm water management pond where it “settles.”

    Also the owner Pollard said the Port would get busier once the plant got up to speed
    Is this Cornwalls future.

    He is also quoted as saying the EMPTY TANKS could be used To STORE NATURAL GAS
    Is this in Cornwalls future???

    I don’t pretend to understand the issue fully..but it seems Sarnia was willing to do anything for jobs
    This whole project in Cornwall needs a “full time Mayor” looking into the issue…not just dropping by
    once in a while. If his press secretary Claude McIntosh is to be believed..this Mayor is gonna run again in 2014…sigh!!!!!

    Pollard said the location near Courtright is ideal because of its close proximity to feedstock, which is difficult to find elsewhere.
    Once the brine-filled caverns are emptied, they can be used to store natural gas, he said.
    The site is also handy for trucking, rail and marine transportation. A docking facility is already used to move brine but will become far busier once the calcium chloride plant is operational, Pollard said.

  3. Now this is a HOOT

    City Officials from all over Ontario giving testimonials to Dustmaster 20 a Pollard Highway Product

    Sweet baby jesus…is this not a conflict of interest????
    I am sure that these comments are from “the heart” right????

    “I had initial reservations but found the product worked very well!”
    Gary Crandal, Twsp of Blandford-Blenheim

    “I administer a bulk tender in excess of 3,000 flake tons. I was very
    satisfied with the results this year. You should name this product Endust.”
    Ron Smith, Township of Norwich

  4. Author

    that’s not a very good website they have – there are much more professional templates available.

  5. Jamie
    The huge point to me…was…Were these guys given free trips or other gifts to recommend product
    Seems every politician in this area “is afraid’ to really take a strong stand especially against the Mayor
    Lawyers be damned if anybody at City Hall has a spine…they should be creating huge headlines getting out in front of this mess.
    My former Dentist used to be able to take his whole staff on vacations to far off places
    Doctors are being told not to take “freebie trips” from big drug companies
    Politicians…Well just fill in the blanks…lol
    Finally…sad to see watering hole scribbler devoting a whole column to attacking you

  6. taxes? we would and are paying taxes on a normally empty lot, which i understand is higher than the developed lot would be. i hadn’t realised till lately that the city can charge higher taxes on undeveloped property. but they can! leave the tanks for the city to develope into something usefull if it costs too much to remove them, bury them if need be, but we cannot allow the storage of caustic chemicals within city limits, especially that close to our fresh water. there are a miriad of other places along the 401 hwy with access and crown owned. move your tanks there feds

  7. Author

    aw shucks; it was only half of Mac’s Musings 😉 So when he ends up at the Seeker Chicks will he write about his great relationship with both Peter Padbury and Rick Shaver blah blah blah

  8. i’d like to see the copy of the lease, to find out who signed it. thats why a copy has not been forwarded, i submit payoff is the culprit, follow the money !!!

  9. Author

    Why John? Is the lease even really relevant?

  10. I just want to share this. Years ago we had a ward system i remember those days. Everyone in council had to be accountable to the PEOPLES THAT VOTED THEM IN

  11. Jamie what Mr. Rothwell said about the lease is relevant – follow the money and that is exactly what I said before. It is very important who is backing this up and who it is benefiting. In my opinion that I have at the present time is that this isn’t going to do the people of Cornwall not one iota and this is for the pocketing of money of someone influential and their friends but not to benefit the people of Cornwall at all.

    One other thing is that when you have a vacant piece of land you pay less taxes on that land than if you have a shed or a house or a building on it. This is mighty strange and backward the way it is done now.

  12. What happened today with tank n meetings, or is that only being release for Saturdays massaged Freeholder news?

    I am surprised the Sun News isn’t poking in on this one…or even CTV. Heaven forbid the CBC would even care.

  13. Jamie before I leave this nightmare of these chem tanks for the night I wish to say again that the lease is vitally important. Would I go and sign a lease (a blank lease) not knowing what is entailed in this apartment what it looks like, what my responsibilities are, what my rights are, what I can or cannot have ex. pets, etc., what utilities I have to pay for or is it all combined into the rent, etc. That would be mighty stupid of me to sign a blank lease not knowing what is on the lease. Well that is exactly what it sounds like about the dingalings in Cornwall’s city hall. From what planet did these duficis fall from – planet poptart. Someone or some people must have been dipping their beaks into something mighty strong like very strong moonshine and singing “Oh Danny Boy” to fool the public like what “Lying Brian Mulroney” did to the Canadian public. This is way too much and sounds like something out of “Dumb and Dumber”. None of this makes any sense at all. Follow the money trail and you will find the culprits stealing the money from the kiddy and leaving the public in even greater debt.

  14. Are we really being told the truth or is it a cover up line they want us to swallow to avoid the truth getting out ?
    Re the Trillium Lease: Was it even asked for ? What was the date it was signed on ? We need to know the wording in that Lease ,to ascertain how we can get out of it and at what cost ? Also the wording in that Lease is the 1st step in getting to the bottom line here which is the truth .
    Hearing statements that negotiations must be a WIN / WIN / Win situation for all parties is as see it a no Brainer . Some party will be hurt over this mess the only question is who will it be?
    Any talk of a partnership with the Mohawk Council won’t happen nor should it while Chief Brian David is a very
    nice man his version of history differs greatly from that written by Elinor Kyte Senior in her book on History

    of Cornwall 1784-1984 that claims a deal was struck at that time (Pointe Maligne 1784 ). If the Mohawk Council believes they have any chance of winning the land claim why not just get going in the Court ?

  15. Jamie where is the news on yesterday’s walk and meeting? So much silence that I smell a rat or should I say many rats. This is all a big cover up of some sort. First we hear about some of those rats jumping ship out of Cornwall to live in South Stormont and then we hear about those tanks. Something is mighty wrong in this picture and I have been sensing something for some time but I have quite a bad feeling about all of this – everything is hidden from the public and when something is hidden it spells trouble.

  16. I have something else here to show that you cannot trust the government about leaks in tanks. I will give you something to read and it is about a leak in a tank of the US Navy in Hawaii.

    Leak in Navy Fuel Tank Raises Concerns about Water Contamination

    This is a very strange year for leaks and I have been following a lot of strange things going on in the US for a long time now and I am very suspicious and so are many people. I thought that I would give this to everyone to read and see the dangers of leaks in tanks and I don’t care what it holds there is usually a problem that arises and people’s health and safety are at risk.

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