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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  1. Money speaks volumes. Perhaps the SF and SN are taking direction from above, and I don’t mean God.

  2. LOL LOL. ROLF! Lauzon is a loser for sure. I can’t stop laughing at him. First he sends some family member a letter of condolences over a lost loved one and all the time that lost loved one turned up alive. Now about the former border house on the US side and wanting to use it and it has already been torn down. I would believe anything from this man now after all the crazy antics that he has done. No wonder Canada is in deep financial doo doo which most people are not aware of. LOL LOL. ROLF! God help us all. With such people in charge of the chicken coup no wonder everything is going to hell in a handbasket.

  3. I think you missed the point of Jaime’s article.

  4. Hi let me just say I am not surprised. There are too much stuff like this going on it Cornwall its called closed door meeting. Too much stuff is being done behind the citizens backs and the Cornwall Citizens don’t know the half of it. The only thing I can say is that this fall there is an mayor election. It time everyone comes out to vote. This is your city Cornwall People get out and vote if you truelly want to make a difference. Voting is when we really have our final say so lets get out and vote.

  5. Author

    Mike a question. Do you think you could have posted what you did on any other media in this city in this context? It’s an open question to the public as well. Now maybe some people will see the value of this newspaper to this community and understand that it’s not me or CFN that’s under attack, but our very community.

  6. Hugger I did follow the meaning of Jamie’s article but I had to have a good laugh about Lauzon and you have no idea how much I roared about him yesterday.
    Yes everyone in Cornwall has to get out and vote and if I were living in Cornwall my only vote would go towards Jamie Gilcig. What is mighty unfortunate is that nobody knows about Jamie and some dirtbag put things that were not true at all about Jamie to bring him down in the elections. I agree with Mike that there are plenty of things going on in Cornwall that people don’t know about that is going around behind their backs. I notice this more with Bare Ass than any other mayor in Cornwall’s history. That toilet paper of record is just that toilet paper – SF and nothing else. Line your bird cage, train your puppy and wash windows and for mulch but nothing else. I can grab free papers around here to do that job.

  7. It amazes me that not one of the Water Front Committee members had a single objection to the divestiture program that Councilor Grant was discussing. As I see it that program is nothing more than a land give away to Akwesasne with Cornwall ending up on the loosing end.
    This will be the third assault on our waterfront that Coun.
    Grant has been involved in, the 1st. happened in 2006 when
    he was attempting to get the then Water Front Com, on side
    to agree to have what later came to be called the Benson Center located on water front property. That didn’t work out as that Water Front Committee rejected that proposal with only Chris Savard abstaining. The Legion backed the WFC and that became history.
    Fast forward to 2010 by that time Glen Grant had placed himself on WFC and he then wanted WF Land Dev Committee to
    study as it’s 1st priority the opportunities and obstacles to Condo Development which if I remember correctly included
    the Legion Ball Diamonds. That motion was rejected by three
    Water Front Members Gerry Flaherty, Bill Parisien and my self. Needless to say when the 2011 Water Front Committee was selected ( Glen Grant Chair ) we were no longer there and little wonder.
    The 2011 WFC rejected the previous WFC proposal re Pointe Maligne ( going forward to a public meeting ) and shelved
    the plans. They then came up with a plan to build a Condo ups ( shouldn’t have said that ) on the Asphalt parking lot of the civic center.
    A local Lawyer and others including the Legion Base Ball group Inc Management did a job on them that they will never forget.
    Pointe Maligne Park is back on the Table with a public meeting supposedly for September. The WFC do not wish to face the public in open debate as I feel they should.
    An open public meeting should also be held on the Trillium
    Tank issue certainly before any Partnership arrangement is concluded ( I can see a Bad Deal there )
    If your happy with everything that is going on so be it and
    good luck to you.
    If you have questions and concerns the time to stand up and voice those concerns is now.

  8. Thanks William E Beattie. Is the waterfront committee part of city administration or is it a group of private citizens making recommendations to city council?

  9. “Hugger1”,

    Your above question is a toughie, I believe for an accurate answer you should pose that question to Conc. Grant or Heart of the City (HOTC) Conc. Carr., or perhaps the other Conc’s on the Lay Committee Appointments, could shed some light on the process ?

  10. Who wants to buy condos where those tanks are being constructed and all the traffic and pollution that it will cause. Hugger I laughed about Lauzon because any question that you pose to him he says that he didn’t know. He is sure playing the political part of not knowing anything but he is dumb that I can see. I still can’t stop laughing at his crazy antics. Again who is going to buy condos where it is an industrial area and pollution.

  11. I can’t see building condos on the waterfront and definitely not near the tanks. As for buying condos near industrial / brownfield sites I guess we could ask the people who bought them near the old cotton mills. That area is definitely a brownfield area and it seems to be doing okay. Good planning is needed.

  12. Anybody who thinks Mayor Bob Kilger never seems to led only needs to view a 2006 Documentary about Liberal Leader John Turner. When PM Jean Chretien didn’t want to support our troops, who had been sent into harms way during the first Gulf War, Mr Turner stood in House of Commons and strongly disagreed with his party. In the background MP Bob Kilger is seen with a really stone face not moving an inch in case somebody would mistake this as going against his party boss.
    Its kinda sad to man of principal Turner and a party hack Kilger.The next day Chretien changed his tune and agreed to support our troops

  13. While the subject is about Journalist/Journalism
    please take a few seconds of your day to think about the dedicated News people who risk their lives everyday in bearing witness in war zones/hotspots of the world.
    Just a few weeks after the murder of Associated Press Photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus in Afganistan CNN reports the kidnapping of at least one western Journalist in Ukraine.Vice journalist Simon Ostrovsky has been taken by militia in Eastern Ukraine

  14. As per e-mail replies: The Waterfront Committee is a combination of city councilors, residents (selected through the Lay Appointment process) and city administration (city admin. do not vote). The Waterfront Committee is a committee of Council and makes recommendations to that body

  15. Author

    Hugger those “residents” are chosen by the lay committee which are in fact the mayor and a few councilors.

  16. Hugger1! Would be interesting to Know who sent e-mails you mentioned,as some suggest they don’t follow or read CFN. What was not disclosed was the make up of WFC and the fact that they are mostly all connected one way or another to Heart of the City (HOTC),and as such their main point of being on WFC is in my opinion to look after Business interests first and the Public’s interest a distant second.


    It must be just a coincidence, that most of the “WFC” have connections to Heart of the City ? Maybe, they were the only ones to apply ? By the way Ms. Cassidy, how much money from the Committee’s tight budget will be spent on the EDA-HOTC proposal ?
    Jamie (CFN) thank-you so very much, for covering in great detail the Waterfront Committee meetings. Without CFN’s editorials, reporting & comments, it is my very strong opinion, that we would have condos in the east parking lot, at the Complex !

  18. @William.R. Parisien: EDA Proposal? What is EDA?

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