More Corporate Welfare in Cornwall Ontario as Dominion Place Nabs $1.27M from Taxpayers by Jamie Gilcig

CarrBUDGECORNWALL Ontario –  The problem with the Municipal Act is that the conflict of interest rules clearly have no teeth nor proper clarity.   As a matter of fact only the person in conflict can call conflict which is akin to asking shoplifters to turn themselves in.

Councilor Denis Carr pulls down approximately $30K per year for running Heart of the City which was created with defacto dollars ear marked for City Hall.

The goal of the organization is awesome.  Some of the work it does is terrific too.  The problem however is that a long time sitting councilor, in this case Mr. Carr, collects a paycheque to run it while voting on decisions related to HOC while on Council and on the budget committee.

Dominion Place has been a long troubled condo project at the corner of Pitt and Second in Cornwall.  Now that a land sale was done with the city with alleged connections to the owners of this project are the condos moving ahead, but not without tax payers kicking in $1.27M in corporate welfare.

In the Free Holder Councilor Carr was quoted.

“It’s an important project,” said Coun. Denis Carr, head of the Heart of the City funding organization.

Which hat does Mr. Carr wear when making decisions?  Is he spending our money while taking a salary for HOC?    For contrast the workers at City Hall that clean the place cannot be on council and earn a city salary; so why aren’t the same rules employed for city connected agencies?

“There is no question, without it, it would be very difficult to bring this thing to fruition,” Chenier said.

If those dollars are the deal maker, frankly the project looks terribly shaky, and not a great investment for taxpayers.  As it is the city paid for the fence covering the lot after numerous complaints.

Personally I’m against corporate welfare.  I’m even more against back room deals like this.   Frankly this deal should have to have been debated in open council so that elected officials could be held responsible for supporting it.

I don’t begrudge Ron Chenier or is partners building a condo; however asking myself and every citizen of Cornwall to kick in $30 a pop seems a bit unreasonable.

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



  1. This decision is as questionable as the judgement of long long time freeholder commenter (Itinerant/wexford) suggesting the Tim Hortons clerk might have been part of that robbery
    What a joke..
    You have to so messed up to suggest this..
    Robbing Timmys in daylight with a gun with hopefully a very identifiable jacket means your on drugs or suffering from mental problems..or both
    Hope they get this nut off the streets real quick…

  2. My 1st thought to possibly this building getting a re start up is GREAT NEWS. However .
    Is it really going to happen and if so when ? A land sale of City owned property ? Could
    that possibly be the old Water St Arena site that Chenier and his partner were dickering
    on a while back and were refused by the City for two reasons $$ and 2nd & Pitt problem ?
    1.27 M tax relief over 10 yrs isn’t that $ 127,000 per year in Tax Relief not to shabby eh ?
    Currently the Taxes / Pitt & 2nd are billed at $$ ? Q / Will they remain at that $$ amount,
    for now or ? When will the $ 127,000 tax relief start ? What can the City expect in taxes
    when if ever this project gets finished ? Good luck on your bldg Dick & Ron .

  3. jamie at least its a local firm better than out of town firm

  4. I do not often agree with Mr. Gilcig but this is one instant where I do. No city money should be involved as if the City of Cornwall can not be in the hockey business it should not be in the condo business. Mr. Chenier and partners should come up with the money themselves or don’t build. If we give money to Mr. Chenier and partners for his condo, when is the condo at 2nd and Sydney going to come calling.

  5. i give up dont give money to the local ……its ok for the out of townners wallmart…………

  6. I think he means the land cheniers brother sold to the city. Ron doesn’t have money to buy or sell land. Confidence man only . And ugly. He’s so ugly the other monkeys picked on him at the zoo.

  7. Conflict of interest, where have we heard that before? The rules regarding conflict of interest really need to be redefined by the province as it seems to be a habit amongst some city councilors and not only here in Cornwall. First we had Elaine MacDonald voting on Agape Centre matters before city council while sitting as a board member of the Agape Centre. Now Denis Carr heading up Heart of the City and voting on issues put before council regarding HoC. And there are probably more that aren’t in the taxpayers eyes now. What part of conflict of interest don’t councilors understand?

    As for corporate welfare it happens all around us, not just here. If they don’t get what they want they’ll take their projects elsewhere and the city will lose potential tax dollars. It’s not right that corporate welfare happens but it does. Cities / provinces thinking of this has to change. Until the change happens expect corporate welfare to continue. I agree with Jamie that this deal should have to have been debated in open council so that elected officials could be held accountable for supporting it.

    Believe Me 1…I believe the property in question may be the upper part (First St.) of the Water St. arena site. There was something in the agenda of city council meetings a while back, but I never followed to see what happened.

    Dave….The project at 2nd and Sydney has already called upon the HoC and was approved. I’m not sure what they received.

  8. It’s about time the City starts investing in “LOCAL” firms, business, contractors, sports, arts, etc… I only hope the City continues on these type of investments.

  9. A sound business decision/plan does not depend on the already distressed taxpayers of Cornwall reaching even further into empty pockets. A deferral plan I might have considered. Interesting details would be the conditions placed on this hand out. Desperation and lack of vision, the blind leading the blind.

  10. Author

    or more partisan political favours…

  11. I must say that this past week’s newspaper comment sections on all Cornwall sites seem to indicate people are either have cabin fever or are out of hibernation and looking for a hardy meal of vengeance.

    What does your comment have to do with this story? I read what was posted in the freeholder and I see nothing more than an alternative theory to what happened. I wasn’t there were you? We all know what happens in the reporting the news. This is taught at Ottawa U in journalism, only write at grade 4 levels and never interject a personal bias. With that it should leave the topic open for discussion not insults. After all, we only know money was taken not the facts behind the occurrence. And yes I sympathize with the person behind the counter! I use to sling coffee on Brookdale and had to deal with many unique individuals especially on the night shift. You people need to stop bashing people because they have a broader sense of vision then you do. You sound as bad as Kilger and associates.

    As for the Story at hand
    When building condos, commercial spaces or industrial they typically need to rent spaces prior to building. I am not sure what this up front revenue is hoping to support. If council would invoke development fees this would not be an issue.

    The taxes for Pitt and Second, there is no services and no building so the tax base must be bordering on twopence.

    No need for a tax relief unless council is blocking growth for Mr Chenier and he is asking them to compensate for potential losses

  12. Hailey Brown you and my daughter sure see lots of dillies serving behind the counter. She was called in this morning to work starting at 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and you get a good learning experience about all kinds of people. She works in a supermarket and is busier than a herd of ants at a picnic and all the different kinds of people that you would never dream about and how they act.

    Bare Ass and his gang know how to dip their grubby hands in the till and they don’t give one iota about the people. Wait until the taxes hit even higher as well as utilities going up 40% and I read yesterday on an alternative site that mortgage rates in the US are on the rise of 4% more on 30 and 15 year mortgages and it will soon hit here in Canada like everything else. There will be plenty of vacant homes in the not too distant future – houses are going to crash and nobody will even touch them. The taxes and everything else will be out of reach to the vast majority of people. The people of Cornwall just go along with it and don’t even protest. Bare Ass is giving it good to them all.

  13. MY GOD .. What Arrogance ! With Treatment like that by Mr. Carr .. Kind of gives you the feeling some people are just to comfortable in positions they have long outgrown

  14. Conflict of intrest ? … obstruction of justice ? … isn’t that kind of like .. being an MP and using Your influence to protect criminals from prosecution … I havnt forgotten … the answer is as plain as the noses on your faces !!!!

  15. If anyone thinks utilities will be going up 40% they are dreaming in technicolour. Utilities (electricity, natural gas) in Ontario are regulated. The OEB would never approve price increases that enormous. Enbridge, et al are probably really looking for 20% and will probably have to settle for 10% until they can build their reserves up. It’s like contract negotiations…..ask for double what you really want. As for mortgage rates they aren’t regulated. But if there was a threat of rates skyrocketing as suggested by Jules the Bank of Canada has mechanisms that can be put in place to soften the blow.

  16. Hugger you are dreaming just like the rest of them. You must be on planet #9 somewhere thinking that all is coming up roses. I follow what is going on all the time. I bet that you didn’t know that Harpoon Harpo bailed out the Canadian banks. No I bet you didn’t know that and that he also owes the US federal reserve as well – oh I bet that you didn’t know that either. We are in as much of a mess as the US and the rest of the world but no he won’t tell you that either. Just wait and hold onto your shorts and you will find out plenty sooner than you think. If you are looking for a political party to make miracles for you forget it because they are all bought and paid for. The leader is you so look in the mirror and see what you can do to make things better and if you can you would be the wizard.

  17. In the past 25 years are we at a 100 million yet spent on glorious Pitt St, with the rest of the city going down the tubes.I guess his book on how to be a millionaire didn’t pan out, but sucking money out of the taxpayers of Cornwall did, funny what Dennis is allowed to does for his buddies.

  18. Not dreaming. I just prefer to look at the good things in life, not the negatives. Sure bad things happen, but you deal with them as they come up. Live one day at a time. I don’t dwell on the past and rarely look beyond the current day. You can’t do anything about the past, so why dwell on it? And the future holds too many good possibilities to even start thinking about “what if?”

  19. One thing about Denis, he is quite good at what he does. But is quite arrogant and I too believe someone needs to slap it off of his face.
    However my ex has a more colorful description. If asked he will confirm as an egotistical holier than thou ********. He has had run in’s with him in sport with the Gaels and in pubs when Mr. Carr was too drunk to even stand.
    I have seen them in by chance meetings and even with his dislike for Denis then hubby use to pay his rightful respect and Denis was still Denis arrogant, oh and yes he LOVES an audience as you can see in the clip. With fans he is much more arrogant. I guess that makes him a bit of a bully too in the technical sense

  20. Needless to say that everyone has their own opinions on various members of the current city council. Come the time of the election with the number of candidates already registered and more to come I think the election and the results are going to be very interesting and eye-opening for Cornwall.

  21. Hailey Brown who is more arrogant Denis Carr or Piers Morgan? LOL LOL. ROLF! Did you see the rant with Piers Morgan and Alex Jones? If you haven’t go on and look at it – it is a riot. LOL LOL. Two big mouths who are mighty arrogant together. Everyone has to see that – I heard that it was the first time that Piers Morgan had hits on his show. Denis Carr is a nobody at all and has an ego beyond anything and yes he sure does love an audience. Kind of like Mayor Rob Ford who loves an audience but is a funny character but an embarrassment to TO even though he does a good job for the city.

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