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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  1. The only thing worse than the food is the servers, and the patrons, in descending order. And when I think back…she did look like a tranny.

  2. “They fear you because they are unable to control you. They don’t advertise with you, therefore they have no leverage. Media control is central to the manipulation of the people. Manipulate the people, and you manipulate their vote. You either control the media by owning it or by doing favours to those who own it.” John Smith-09/2003

    Our leaders are supposed to be our servants, accountable to the people and fulfilling the wishes of the people, making decisions for the greater good of all. The lifeblood of democracies, is the free and undistorted flow of information, and the transparency of society’s workings. John Smith-09/2003

  3. “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.”
    Not that my actions will force a change, but Kelsey’s will not be an option for me ! I was not a regular, by any means, so I won’t be missed ! lol However, this is a very serious, slippery path, that the Cornwall Chamber is riding on ! This is about Freedom of the Press & the right to assemble peacefully . Why is a group like the Chamber allowing this to happen ? What’s next, burning books ?

  4. Some comments on “blogs aren’t media” and only “legitimate media” are recognized.

    If some things are legitimate then logically others are illegitimate.

    The dictionary defines illegitimate as:

    1. Born of parents who were not married to each other at the time of birth; bastard
    2. Forbidden by law; illegal; unlawful
    3. (Logic) contrary to logic; incorrectly reasoned.

    So what is legitimate media?

    To answer that question, we must first define the word media.

    To begin, the word media is plural. The singular of media is “medium.”

    So, media are things and/or technologies that communicate.

    Consider a T-shirt with political cartoon on it. That T-shirt would be a medium. In other words, legitimate media.

    Consider a bathroom wall with a symbol etched on it. That bathroom wall would likewise be a medium, as would a newspaper (print or online); a blog; a TV; a cell phone etc.

    So what is legitimate (news) media?

    Well, from what certain people are arguing (and contrary to logic) legitimate news media must be a medium born to partners who were married at the time the paper was birthed off the press or published on the Internet.

    So logically, there are no legitimate media in Cornwall.

  5. Jamie: I may not agree with you 100 per cent of the time, and I don’t think the mayor HAS to talk with you (though by refusing to do so it could be causing some harm in getting his version of things out.) However there is no doubt whether you are a blogger or a newspaper is immaterial — you should have the right to cover whatever you wish if it is an open meeting.
    Having said all this though, I can’t help thinking of a saying on the old Globe and Mail masthead that was there for years…”I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death to allow you to say it — Junius” It’s just a pity that is no longer there…maybe another sign, eh?

  6. I was a member of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce for a number of years. At a certain time the corruption slipped in and friends benefited where they had no business doing so. At that time I allowed my membership to lapse! They haven’t yet learned that you can fool some of the people some of the time……but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time! Hargreaves might be a good candidate for Winnipeg!

  7. Author

    Hi Marc and thanks to everyone for your comments. I really do not seek people to “agree” with what I write. It’s never really about that. I don’t have fans or followers. For me personally; it’s about reporting truths and trying to stand up for oneself and ones community. I think that’s the way we all can move forward.

  8. The people of these groups whether it be the Cornwall Chamber or Team Cornwall serve but one purpose, themselves, they think because they are a part of these groups they can say/do what they please including prop up a buddy or two. These people have not nor ever will clue in that they only have each other (their click) and if they think they have support they need to seriously take a look around, they truly are a laughing stock of Cornwall, what are we up to Gilles photo opp Latour, just under 500 members from a city of 47000? lol. I should also mention cowards because if they had nothing to hide or worry about what would it matter who covered what? Mr. Hargreaves because you have a title at the Chamber does not give you any right to act or think like you are all that, your far from it.

  9. “As far as I know Cornwall Free News wasn’t invited. Only reputable media outlets were”. See there is the problem, Free speech can only be exercised after you have been “invited”.[I run into that a lot as I am in the park doing evangelistic work]. Then after you have been officially invited, the enlighten ones will give you the script to write and to report on. Real news – “repeat after me, say what I say, blah, blah, blah…”. Isn’t that how communist China, or North Korea does it? Or in a more reputable way – King Obama.

  10. Why, Mr. Newton, do you turn a lot of things about others into something about yourself and / or your ideals?

  11. Mr. Newton says “I run into that a lot as I am in the park doing evangelistic work”. I find it amazing that a professional preacher, or any kind of huckster is allowed to set up on a public sidewalk or in a public park, and conduct their business with no permit required.

  12. Author

    Now Furtz we don’t live in Russia or China although it does feel that way many days. Freedom of Speech is part of a true and strong Democracy.

  13. It’s not so much freedom of speech as it is conducting a business in public spaces. It doesn’t matter whether your business involves selling hockey cards or an asinine religion.

  14. Author

    Conducting business would mean a transaction of some sort Furtz? I have never seen Tom doing anything remotely like that. I may not share his beliefs, but I think it’s not fair to portray him in that manner.

  15. Furtz – conducting business – Ha! We are a registered charity in Canada, and tomorrow will be our 62th year in Cornwall. We have,just like you, freedom to assemble, freedom to worship God as the Holy Scriptures clearly teaches us, and yes freedom of speech. So get over it, or move to Russia. I hear they are handing out one way tickets for free. Step up, don’t be shy. You will be missed?

  16. Author

    Now guys; let’s stay on subject and not let our personal dislikes ruin a valid discussion or live up to the title of this story….

  17. There is no freedom of the press and everything is controlled by the powers that be. The journalists that you see on TV are under control and they dare not say the real news or they would be fired and their licenses taken away. What you get in the news is all sanitized and the person that you see on TV or radio is reading from a script. There is no real democracy and you might as well be living in Russia or China or N. Korea. Canada and the US have lost their freedoms a long time ago. Everything today is CONTROL. George Orwell would be in shock today because everything has surpassed his 1984 into something even way beyond his best selling book. Freedom doesn’t exist and is only granted by the powers that be for certain things but more and more is being taken away and soon there will be none left and only for themselves.

  18. I love reading Jules’ theories on why everything happens.

  19. Sadly, I think Jules is correct on this one. All privately funded news organizations have to please their sponsors. And in Canada, publicly funded news organizations like the CBC live in fear of their political masters. There really isn’t a free press.

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