Did Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger Kill thecornwalldaily.com ? by Jamie Gilcig UPDATED

cwdaily doneCORNWALL Ontario –  Today Corus Radio shut down The Cornwall Daily.com; essentially cutting down its local newsroom in Cornwall.    Three jobs were lost including,most likely, news director Bill Kingston who also represented the station as a member of the board of the Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce; a position he’d have to step down from if not with the station any longer.

Kilger BeardMayor Kilger was speculated to be holding a grudge against the station since newsie Eric Spence let him have it over the budget process.

It’s city council’s main responsibility. Once a year they decide how to spend your tax dollars, my tax dollars. The budget process finished up yesterday and I sat through the entire thing for three and half days. It was …well….it was an experience. Councillor Andre Rivette seems to be the only one who is willing to cut spending. Glen Grant is a stickler for procedures. Bernadette Clement doesn’t get the respect she deserves. Denis Thibault is well-prepared and Denis Carr is pretty good at keeping everyone in line. But, I want to talk about Mayor Bob Kilger. +


The good ‘ol Mayor, who makes upwards of 50 grand a year of taxpayer money, strolls in 15 minutes late to Tuesday’s meeting. If I’m 15 minutes late, my boss ain’t happy. But maybe Kilger thinks he doesn’t have a boss – well, guess what, we, the tax payers are your boss. We pay your salary. So, Kilger, get your butt to work on time and try to fix this city which, oh by the way, has the lowest per capita income in the province – maybe you should try to do something about that? And then, during the meetings, the mayor spends half the time ignoring the presentations and whispering to other councilors or to city staff. What, is this process not interesting to you, Mr. Mayor? Are you bored? You show up late, you talk while others are talking – if this were school, you’d be in the principal’s office, where you belong, wetting your pants.

Mr. Spence commented to CFN from Toronto where he now resided:

Bill, Jesse and the other reporters at TheCornwallDaily.com have done a great job over the past few years. They have a passion for delivering the news to the community of Cornwall. It is my understanding that they were unaware that TheCornwallDaily.com would be shut down until they came into work today when they were suddenly told that it was their last day.

I am sure that this was not a decision that was made at the local level. The Cornwall staff of Corus Entertainment are hard-working individuals who have a strong commitment to each other. They are great ambassadors for the company and the community. However, the decision makers at Corus Entertainment who sit in their offices in Ottawa, Montreal or Toronto should be ashamed of themselves for treating TheCornwallDaily.com team like garbage.

It’s hard for small-town media to survive in the current marketplace and if shutting down TheCornwallDaily.com was the best business decision, I do not fault Corus Entertainment for that.

However, nothing justifies firing employees on the spot with no warning when this decision has obviously been discussed for some time. These are people with mortgages, leases and ties to the City of Cornwall that can’t be broken easily.

Unfortunately, Corus Entertainment sees them like nothing more than employee numbers on a spreadsheet. Their actions are callous and extremely disrespectful. I wish the former staff of TheCornwallDaily.com great success in the future and hopefully they can join an organization that treats them better.


Since that morning share on the last day Mr. Spence worked for Corus the buzz was that the mayor’s temper was on full flare.   If anyone has followed what his temper has led to regarding the boycott of CFN, the largest newspaper in our city; you can only imagine the impact to Corus.

It’s been over one year since I asked CFO Maureen Adams for a break down of how the City of Cornwall spent its $275,000 plus dollars in 2013; but if Corus lost ad dollars that certainly would have fueled the decision of the Corporate giant to pull the plug on three jobs in this city.   Even councilor Dupelle tried to help.  At the end of being jerked around for a year Ms Adams sent me an application to file an Freedom of Information Claim.

Ironically the shutting down of “the daily”  comes on the day that The Freeholder (Sun Media) and Seaway News (TC media) both ran stories about the mayor stating that he was going to run again for election even though his office is across the hall from clerk Helen Finn.  It’s not like he’d have far to go on the days he actually is in Cornwall.  Both companies benefit from a deal to put out glossy magazines promoting the city full of City connected ads.

The Mayor’s good buddy Claude McIntosh had written that the mayor was going to run this past winter.   After that miss he stated the mayor would announce after the election and that Pat Finucan (the President of the Police Board) would return as his campaign manager.  Now this non-statement by the mayor when all he has to do is simply sign his forms.

Now, with the Provincial election over, this muted non announcement that he will be running again, without actually running, on the day that three more jobs are lost in the city under his watch is up there with his announcement that he was not guilty of conflict of interest because his lawyer said so.

And of course Closed Meeting Investigator Stephen Fournier’s report will most likely condemn his actions in having the Waterfront Committee move into a closed meeting without an announcement first.   His response to media on that oopsie was that committee members needed more training when the Chair, Lee Cassidy clearly asked for advice with the Mayor and two long serving veteran councilors in attendance.

It’s yet another example about why truly local media have a role to play in any community and why they should be fairly treated if not out and out supported.   How on earth can some businesses shout about supporting local business and buy local like that wacky Alan Wilson and then not do so themselves?

How do we find out the truths in the world if media will not cover them without fear of losing their income and ability to survive?

What do you think Cornwall?  You can post your comments below.

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  1. Your respectful decorum on the matter of “thedaily” being
    shut down and the loss of jobs has not gone unnoticed.
    That said, I hope you find the time to toot your own horn a little, and point out how maybe ‘cornwallfreenews’ is the model for the future of small town news.

  2. I think this was an economic decision. How and why it was done sucks. But is there a good way to close down a news department? With people seeking their news from other than traditional media outlets a newsroom in radio stations in small cities are doomed. Bob Kilger may have a grudge with TheCornwallDaily.com, but I don’t think that played in the decision. The city still advertises with the two Corus radio stations here. And if all it takes is for one advertiser to pull their ads from a media outlet to kill that media outlet the media outlet wasn’t in good shape to start with. People have grudges with media outlets all the time. Sports celebrities are continually refusing to speak to sport reporters after said sports reporters do opinion pieces on sports celebrities. TheCornwallDaily.com will be missed, as will the staff who did an excellent job.

  3. It sucks that we are losing the Cornwall Daily.com. I enjoyed reading their articles on Facebook. I will no longer be have variety 104.5 for my news on Facebook. People have treated the people of Cornwall daily news like nobodies not giving them even the 2 week noticed which I believe may be the law that nobody follows.

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    Monique a company can always pay salary in lieu of notice. I’m sure Corus took all legal minimum care of the three that were let go. It sucks; but that’s how things roll at big corporations. Normally though these things are done on Friday.

    Methinks someone might have wanted to send a message by doing this the day that the Mayor announced. Of course that’s purely speculation and talking out loud…

  5. Jamie you are smelling a rat like what I am and this rat is awfully big. I have never read the Cornwall Daily News but I did hear of the name of Bill Kingston before. It sure is no fun being without a job and many of us can vouch for that. While living in Cornwall I felt that there was no way out and that was back in the mid 70’s era and my husband said right away that is it and we were off to Ottawa. Well these are no longer the good days of the 70’s era and leading into a global economic collapse sooner than what most think and yes I am very frightened about the future. Cornwall has always been dead end and the people have never thought further than their nose. It is the very first time that my son left so late to vote in this election for Ontario. He was always out the door early and eager to vote but not this time. Cornwall needs big changes in administration and you can’t vote for the same dead beat old horse ready for the glue factory nor the same council ready for the glue factory and the grave. All of them are there for a pay cheque. You have a part time absentee mayor who would be fired on the spot if he worked elsewhere. Do the people really care? I don’t think so because if there was a real people Bare Ass would have been put out to pasture a long time ago. Now he let go talented people to go and pound the pavement. I know very well what that is like and coming to a place that was unknown but today wild horses cannot drag me out of here. I wish Mr. Bill Kingston and the others the best of luck.

  6. Jules… not everything in Cornwall is a conspiracy or smells like a rat. A lot of your posts make me laugh and shake my head. I can’t believe some of the theories and explanations you come up with.

    As for sending a message I don’t think one was sent or received. Yes, layoffs and firings used to be done on Fridays. But I don’t think that’s the case any longer. It seems they happen all days of the week now.

  7. Nobody feels more for Bill and the daily team than I do. That being said, Jamie and cfn are proving again and again that small companies and ‘hyperlocal’ news are the wave of journalism’s future. Keep up the good work.

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    Tony the problem; at least here in Cornwall; is that a clique of bullies have been choking CFN to death by boycotting us and intimidating our clients. Imagine; we had an online station; fully local. Squashed. Our plans for our own local online TV station. Squashed. Imagine those real jobs if we only were given half a reasonable chance and given our fair justly earned market share. Even with the boycott CFN is still pulling in the largest audience even though we probably are earning less dollars than the totally pathetic seeker chicks!

  9. Hugger just what kind of a low life goes and destroys other people lives like what happened to Jamie when someone made false accusations about him and the Barney Fife PD didn’t do their job to investigate any of this crap and now Jamie is considered guilty before being innocent. Just what kind of low life pieces of filth would go to that extent to destroy other peoples lives. You are defending a society who hasn’t stepped up to the plate to defend Officer Perry Dunlop and now Jamie. You have no idea how I feel at this end – I am totally ashamed of Cornwall. I can tell you that there were plenty of good people who were from Cornwall and they all left and they knew more about Cornwall’s dirty laundry than I did and they never returned. Good and decent people do not stoop so low as to do harm to other people. What people don’t know or understand that life is like a wheel that what goes around comes around. One day someone will give it to Bare Ass and his gang and they will wish that they never did horrible things to good people but it will be too late. Anybody who has a real conscience would never accept such things to happen at all. Only the lowest of the lowest would do such horrible things.

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    No Jules. People like Mayor Kilger are usually allowed to get away with whatever it is they do. That’s how things roll because that’s how the system works. It’s the Lumley way of doing things.

  11. Thanks Jamie for explaining that to Jules. I was trying to figure out how she figured I was defending what happens in Cornwall as right. I was simply saying not everything that happens in life is a conspiracy or smells like a rat. Like Jamie said “That’s how things roll because that’s how the system works.” Life isn’t always fair and doesn’t always go the way you want. Remember the golden rule……whoever has the gold makes the rules.

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    There has never been justice in this world for the “little guy” . There never will be either.

  13. We may not agree on a lot Jamie. But with what you just said, “There has never been justice in this world for the “little guy” . There never will be either.” I agree 100%.

  14. Nice sentiments, but not reality. The reality is that’s how the world works, not just here in Cornwall, but everywhere. Money is power, power is money.

  15. Ah ha! Now we can agree with something here. There is no justice and only JUST US. We live in a mighty filthy and rotten, scum bag world don’t we. The suffering of the little people is horrible. Life is like a wheel and if there is any justice in this horrible world then Bare Ass and his gang of cut throats would be put away for what they do. Well God has His real justice and we will all face that justice because it is the only justice that counts. Man’s world will soon be finished for good when God comes back. God will rule the world with a rod of iron. There is something in the Bible where one’s gold will turn to rust and that is the truth. Money is debt.

  16. Quoted from the CSF(and let’s not get into a discussion on the CSF):

    Mark “Dickie added that costs were a factor in the decision, but not the primary reason for the shutdown.

    “We figure we would leave it to the news guys.””

    Well Mark you had three very capable “news guys” here (Bill, Jesse and Kasia) at TCD and you closed the whole unit. Guess it goes to show that news is moving away from traditional methods.

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