When Ignorance Rules the Day in Cornwall Ontario – Chamber Blocks Freedom of the Press by Jamie Gilcig

When Ignorance Rules the Day in Cornwall Ontario – Chamber Blocks Freedom of the Press by Jamie Gilcig

jg2CORNWALL Ontario – People like Kevin Hargreaves just don’t get it.  They don’t understand.  That’s fine if you’re an average Joe or Jane, but when you are President of  a Chamber of Commerce it’s quite another thing.

My history with the Chamber has not been a pretty one.  As a new business we weren’t treated very well even though we were a member.

Former President Scott Armstrong claimed that our online radio station was a pirate station and he’d get it shut down.

Mr. Armstrong had to resign after he was dumped by Corus radio; nearly at the same time as a female radio jock was let go.  There were unconfirmed rumors that he and Traci Trottier were having a fling including loud sessions behind closed doors at the station.

Mr. Armstrong is now in Winnipeg which is pretty much punishment enough.

When I ran for the Chamber board the first time I was thanked and told I lost.  When I asked for a vote count they refused saying the Chamber doesn’t do that.  Incredulously enough two board members died and the Chamber was forced to place me on the board.

Rick Shaver, President at the time issued a press release that sounded like the Chamber had caught a contagious disease as he announced my appointment.

After the next election I decided to leave the chamber and Team Cornwall until both groups cleaned house because frankly in my opinion they clearly were not effective and were thoroughly corrupt and nothing more than an excuse to shower favoritism to friends.

In two previous All Candidate Debates my ability to perform as media were impacted.  One when Mike Metcalfe stopped me with two security guards as I entered a Federal debate.   I chose to leave rather than see an incident occur.    During the last Provincial election I was verbally instructed that I could only cover the event from a position that clearly would not allow me to use my video coverage properly.

We have a Charter of Rights and Freedom in Canada that include Freedom of the Press; but current Chamber President Kevin Hargreaves has taken the Chamber to new lows.

On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 4:50 PM, Kelsey’s 7091 <Kelseys7091@cara.com> wrote:

As far as I know Cornwall Free News wasn’t invited.  Only reputable media outlets were.



Kevin Hargreaves-President-K & W Hargreaves Enterprises Inc.

Owner/Operator, Kelsey’s # 7091

18-960 Brookdale Avenue

Cornwall, Ontario

K6J 4P5





From: JG [mailto:canvid@gmail.com
Sent: May 15, 2014 4:02 PM
To: Lezlie Strasser; Kelsey’s 7091
Subject: All Candidates debate




In light of Mr. Hargreaves email recently will we be having any issues when we cover the all candidates debate?  Will the largest media outlet in Cornwall have equal access?




Jamie Gilcig – Editor 

www.CornwallFreeNews.com www.Southstormontnews.com & Seawayradio.com  Telephone 855 444 1133

Now we won’t go to the clear insult of his email, but Mr. Hargreaves is forgetting that his email was clearly an official reply to a media outlet in his capacity as President of the Chamber.    The email was in fact addressed to Executive Director Lezlie Strasser.

He then stayed on the warpath:

On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 5:54 PM, Kelsey’s 7091 <Kelseys7091@cara.com> wrote:

Blog’s aren’t media.


From: JG [mailto:canvid@gmail.com
Sent: May 15, 2014 4:56 PM
To: Kelsey’s 7091
Cc: Lezlie Strasser
Subject: Re: All Candidates debate


I can assure you Mr. Hargreaves we are far more reputable than your presidency has been.


Again, will you be interfering with our media outlet’s coverage of the event?


On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 4:50 PM, Kelsey’s 7091 <Kelseys7091@cara.com> wrote:

As far as I know Cornwall Free News wasn’t invited.  Only reputable media outlets were.



Kevin Hargreaves-President-K & W Hargreaves Enterprises Inc.

Owner/Operator, Kelsey’s # 7091

18-960 Brookdale Avenue

Cornwall, Ontario

K6J 4P5


Frankly it’s shocking; but Freedom of the Press is the only thing that insures true balance and the ability for the public to have some understanding of what happens politically.   It is not about only saying nice things.  Sometimes it’s our job as commentators to  point out less than nice things, and sometimes yes, we do so in nasty manners.  Claude McIntosh for example has been doing that in Cornwall for decades with his “Fiberal” rantings.

On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 10:59 PM, Kelsey’s 7091 <Kelseys7091@cara.com> wrote:

YOU are accusing me of attacking?  That’s the pot calling the kettle black.  You have personally attacked me on your “Wall of Shame” along with “Cornwall’s Most Corrupt”, made remarks about my restaurant and the food I serve as well as have made reference to a local female citizen as a “tranny”.  If I took time to think about it I’m sure I could identify many more of your attacks.  Give it a rest.   On top of that you have attacked the Lift Off organization year after year about being corrupt yet this year you’re a sponsor? What a joke you are.   No points in the Mayoral race for sponsorship Jamie.   If you had half a clue you’d be dangerous.  Any way, I’m done with this conversation.


From: JG [mailto:canvid@gmail.com
Sent: May 15, 2014 9:37 PM
To: Kelsey’s 7091
Subject: Re: All Candidates debate


See Kevin, instead of realizing that you have one of the largest online newspapers in Canada in our city; something to be proud of and help grow; you attack something organic in Cornwall.






On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 7:42 PM, JG <canvid@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Kevin,


The Cornwall Free News is a newspaper.  We have been a Newspaper since 2009.  We are published online which doesn’t not make us a news paper.


We are a registered Canadian Corporation.   We are on Bourque News Watch.  We have been accredited and on podiums with network Television as well as other media at National events.


You might not like us. You might be ignorant of how media works.  You might not be knowledgeable of the changes that the internet has had on Journalism, but the fact that CFN isn’t a newspaper is not disputable.


Again, you stating this is like your predecessor Mr. Armstrong stating our online radio station was a pirate radio station.


Look where he ended up; Winnipeg.


I also am majority owner of The South Stormont News which is also an online newspaper.  It also has a print edition that rolls out next week.


I suggest you go talk to Glen or which ever monkey gave you the idea to state what you have and resolve this issue promptly.

And that ladies and gentlemen is exactly what the real issue is.  Because Mr. Hargreaves and some of his friends are upset about what we’ve written he is essentially stopping  CFN from exercising Freedom of the Press and covering the All Candidates Debate.

Sadly in this last Provincial election two of the current candidates did not support Freedom of the Press stating that media has to be “objective” which isn’t in the Charter nor should it be; especially for pundits who write…opinion pieces.

It’s not up to Mr. Hargreaves or any candidate who should be allowed to cover an election or election debate.   We aren’t Iran, Russia, or China, yet.

Do you believe in Freedom of the Press?

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A Free Press is critical to have any form of Democracy. Democracy isn’t pretty.   We have seen many independent media outlets die for simply speaking the truth and then being punished by government and business financially.  CFN itself is experiencing this with an area boycott that has existed now for over two years.

Traditional media experience this too.  For example Mayor Bob Kilger is rumored to not be speaking to Corus radio since former news guy Eric Spence let him have it in an editorial on his last day at the station.

We need diversity and to hear different voices to truly make informed decisions.

Acts like Mr. Hargreaves and the Chamber of Commerce and  those of their ilk destroy and erode our freedoms and our communities in favor of cronies and those that cower to them.  Is that the Cornwall we want to portray?  Is that how to build a better community?

I don’t think so and I know from hearing already from many they don’t think so either.

The Chamber debate is on the 29th.   Hopefully calmer minds with more integrity will ponder this and “the right thing” will be done.

Our community deserves to see and hear from the candidates.   CFN for example is one of the few places that has video of the last election available and on demand for viewing.   Other media outlets do not have that.  Maybe, that’s one of the reasons that people like Mr. Hargreaves are trying to stop us from covering the election?

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