Freeholder Editor Hugo Rodrigues Weighs into Chem Tank Debate – Refuses to Ask the Question

Freeholder Editor  Hugo Rodrigues Weighs into Chem Tank Debate – Refuses to Ask the Question

jg2CORNWALL Ontario – The Free Holder has a new Editor; one Hugo Rodrigues.   He recently wrote about the Chem Tanks.    It’s always interesting reading another perspective; but any perspective has to be clearly based on the facts.

Has Mr. Rodrigues, as the Editor of the TC Media owned Seaway News Todd Lihou been giving Mayor Kilger, Council, and City Management, a free pass?

I would have to ask why?  Is it fear of being financially punished as CFN has been by City Hall and their allies?

The City spends nearly $300K per year on advertising; most likely about half between those two media outlets.   That’s a lot of money to risk losing in a market like Cornwall.

But at what cost?   If you don’t really cover the news are you a newspaper any longer?  And if you do cover the news truthfully and are financially, politically, and personally attacked as I am at the moment what does that say about our community or the true viability of any news outlet as we know them?


They will undoubtedly be poorly received in the council chambers, given most members of Cornwall city council characterized the call by Mark MacDonald to have MP Guy Lauzon resign over this issue as ridiculous. Lauzon’s actions or lack thereof on this file – one where it’s debatable how much influence any individual MP might have had in any instance – aren’t worth the call for his head.

Well Mr. Rodrigues, you do get a bit of a pass as you are new to this rodeo, but this is a riding where according to legend, one Edward Chester Lumley stood up to a Prime Minister defending the interests of his riding.

Of course this isn’t really an issue that Mr. Lauzon needs to stand up for the riding because most likely he was telling the truth; that he didn’t know what was going on.   It certainly wouldn’t be the first time “Super Guy” was off on a cloud somewhere like the time he suggested that Canada Customs could use the old US customs building; except that building had been demolished months before.

bob sleepyNo, what’s clear is that Mayor Kilger issued a press release stating quite clearly that Economic Development knew about the Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc. lease in June 2013.   Those are the mayor’s words.   They are not council as the Mayor elected to release that statement on his own.   Surely any chance to stopping the tanks would have had their best odds before construction had begun, no?

Also, Mayor Kilger was talking Divestiture in 2012 so why the mock surprise in December 2013?


Perhaps it’s time to admit the battle has been lost on the chemical storage tanks without forgetting the longer campaign is about the future of all the federal lands on the waterfront. Not to mention all the privately held lands not currently sitting at their highest and best use.

How will their future be determined and will those landowners respect the planning and vision adopted for the future of the city’s entire waterfront corridor?

If no one’s willing to stand up and speak out for that, then years of planning and visioning for one of this city’s defining feature have truly been wasted.

Well that’s the point Hugo.  There are only 3 people working in ED here in Cornwall.   Mark Boileau, Bob Peters, and Kevin Lajoie.  One of them or all knew about the lease of the Trillium site.

What we editors do I was taught was take positions in our editorials.  What is your position if you close your eyes or refuse to ask the money shot?    What happened in June 2013?   Was this gross incompetence?  If so someone should be canned as this is brutal for the future of our Waterfront?

Or is this something more sinister; a cover up?    My money is on that there was communication between ED and either our CAO Norm Levac and/or Mayor Kilger.   I think a few of the councilors may have known too; in particular Glen Grant and Denis Thibault.

Councilor Grant certainly doesn’t seem outraged by the tanks being present on our waterfront now does he?

Would you like to share a FOI on some targets?    The future of our waterfront and city are in jeopardy.  Surely a council in the last year of its mandate that has been under fire for scandals and whistle blowing cases isn’t on the moral ground to be having secret negotiations with the Federal government at this point?


glen grant baseball

Certainly Councilor Grant remembers the night when the Legion Little Leaguer’s came out to defend their ball diamond.  So now they have Chem tanks and trucks right next to it?  Can you imagine if you or I have a headline in our papers about a tragedy of a child being hit by a truck hauling this muck?

Can you imagine the leverage the Feds have over a desperate Kilger who wants to cut deals?   Why?   What the heck is going on that a city is laying down while these negotiations are going on, especially after council gave the mayor the ability to sign off on divestiture deals?

Are you willing to ask the tough questions that we in the Fifth Estate are supposed to do?

Or will you simply just help plaster over the dark spots hoping to retain as much ad dollars that the city doles out?

Are we journalists any longer when we refuse to ask the tough questions and betray the truth?

Your call Hugo.  You know how to reach me if you want to share those targeted FOI requests.

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