If it Walks Like a Duck & Talks Like a Duck – Bob Kilger ” I didn’t Officially Know…”

Domtar DuckCORNWALL Ontario – Mayor Bob Kilger has become nearly invisible as he devotes that last gasps of his term in office to secret meetings with the Federal Government and Akwesasne over proposed waterfront divestiture discussions.

Over a decade ago such conversations took place, but rightly so Cornwall officials ducked it because of the potential clean up costs for tax payers.  This is a city that had to spend nearly $1 million dollars after a Heart of the City grant to fix up a back parking lot found oil tanks.   The Waterfront Committee refused a proposal to put a beach near the Air Force wing as there concerns of sediment being disturbed.  If the River Institute was that concerned why on earth would Cornwall tax payers want to own those lands?

The Federal government, itself chasing Shekels as their own election is coming up and they want to balance their books, has a special program for divesting itself of potential black holes financially.

chem tanks ball park april 2014

With the Chem tanks now in place and operational talks have turned to other crown properties.  Recent media reports state that the city somehow is involved in securing a new lease for the RCAF Wing which has seen its $1,000 per month lease expire with talk of the Feds selling/leasing the land that it has sat on for generations.

Something that the Waterfront Committee that Mayor Kilger is on and one of the few committee’s that he actually shows up to, has talked about frequently.   This same committee wanted a condo in the parking lot and is chaired by EMS Chief Myles Cassidy’s mom Lee.  Mr. Cassidy just got a big promotion after EMS split from the Fire Department where allegations that the Mayor himself was involved with the hiring of his son over other qualified candidates.

Most perplexing is the mayor’s feigned surprise over the Tanks construction and the time frame?    He claimed to have been surprised like most of the rest of the community in December 2013 even though he mentioned it to former WFC members Bill Parisien and Bill Beattie in November 2013.

His own press release stated that Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc. contacted Economic Development in February 2013 and then informed ED of the lease in June 2013.

No answer from City Hall on why none of the three members of ED informed council in their monthly reports although something of this gravity should have been reported immediately.

 CAO Norm Levac Refusing to Answer the Question.

“There has been no approval for this project.”

But that wasn’t the question, was it.

“We didn’t know before construction.”

That statement would mean that Mr. Levac is lying or the Mayor is lying because in his press release sent out via Economic Development the mayor clearly stated that city reps knew as early as FEBRUARY 2013!

“The press release are correct.”

Well either the press release was correct or Norm’s correct.  It has to be one or the other, right?

We are saying now we have not given any approval to these tanks.

Again, the money question is simply who knew in February 2013?  Was it Bob Peters, Mark Boileau, and Kevin Lajoie?  And whom did they speak to about it at City Hall?  Did they talk to Norm?  Did they talk to Mayor Kilger?  We know they sure as heck didn’t talk to council.

Eric Spence got the mayor to spout some porkies in this interview from December. (at the 4:22 mark)

“I did not find out through any official capacity.”

That would imply to a reasonable person that there was some knowledge in some capacity, no?

“I don’t know if it was the Wed. or Thur. before, but I, certainly wasn’t months in advance.”

Yet we know, having confirmed it with two witnesses, that Mayor Kilger spoke of these tanks after a meeting of the WFC in NOVEMBER 2013 which was certainly weeks before.

The mayor also spoke about the divestiture program in Fall 2012 which was only a few months before the February 2013 notification to ED of the Trillium project.

Dot Connect Dot Connect DOT.

And who was presenting at that meeting of Divestiture?  Who was talking about “Hush Hush” talks with the Federal government?

Chuck “NO TANKS” Charlebois.

“They’re a perfect partner to have (Akwesasne)…the land use will have to come through the Federal Government”

See, all you have to do is sift through the chatter….

“The RCAF Wing is another one that’s on Seaway Land.”

Sound familiar?

“It’s all money.”

That it is Chuck.   Councilor Grant on grabbing waterfront land.

Denis Thibault is heading up one (land acquisition committee)

At the 6:20 section it gets spooky.

“One thing you’ve got is your committee’s going…  You’ve got Guy that Supports it.  You’ve got Bob that supports it.”

Mayor Kilger starts to speak at the 7:15 mark.

He mentions the conditions, that  it would have be in agreement  between the city of Cornwall and Akwsasne .

The Mayor actually lays out the deal and how it will work.

Finally it should be noted that the Mayor only gave out his press release after Transport Canada sent an exclusive email statement to CFN with essentially the same information; that the City was informed in February 2013 with the lease notification in June of that same here.

Why wasn’t council informed?   Why the secrecy?  Why won’t CAO Levac answer the basic question?   Why the surprise drama?  Why did the mayor even send out the press release and then refuse to back it up?

Andy why has not one single member of council; all who have taken an Declaration of Office asked the money question in open council?

What has been said in closed meetings?  What has been hidden from the public.    And why?

These are the questions that all rate payers should be asking in Cornwall.   And this why any deal done in secret by the Mayor and his team should have to voted upon as a ballot question in the upcoming election or a referendum taken earlier; because at the end of the day it’s “our” money and “our” future; not the Mayor’s.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

Comment policy reminder 

CFN suggests you post comments using your real name. If you wish to post with a pseudonym you can register that user id by emailing info@cornwallfreenews.com with your name, address, phone number and user id you wish to register. 


  1. Good reporting Jamie, nothing surprising involving all the secrecy and closed door talks. Cornwall actually survives on this mentality. We all wonder why neighboring cities flourish with new business, yet Cornwall remains stagnant or years behind.

  2. While a referendum would be nice, that’s not how the federal gov’t works. Nothing will be revealed until a deal has been agreed to by both sides.

  3. Author

    Hugger whatever deal Bobby makes should have to be ratified by the public. It is after all an election year for both Cornwall and either this year or 2015 for the Feds.

  4. I agree 100%. However that is not how the federal gov’t operates. The federal gov’t does not negotiate in the public. If they allowed cities, etc to vote on any potential deal negotiations would bog down and things would take a lot longer.

  5. Author

    Hugger the Feds are not doing anything wrong; from Lauzon to Harper. It’s clearly and transparently in their mandate to divest. It’s how our Mayor and his government are handling things that are the issue. None of them ran on a mandate to divest. None of this was brought up in open council. Where are the reports and debate before entering into any negotiations? It’s funky.

  6. I agree 100%. But was divestiture an issue in the last municipal election? And if it’s typical federal gov’t there is probably a non-disclosure clause in the negotiations, meaning nothing can be disclosed in open council or to the taxpayers until an agreement is reached.


  8. Author

    Well Dave what are Cornwall residents ready to do to make sure that happens? What will you do? We know they did just about nothing when it came to the Chem tanks.

  9. However that is not how the federal gov’t operates. The federal gov’t does not negotiate in the public. If they allowed cities, etc to vote on any potential deal nothing would ever get finished.

Leave a Reply