CORNWALL 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.