Letter to the Editor – Harry Valentine Challenges Gilcig Mayoralty Platform – June 30, 2014

LTE UTO: Jamie


I read with interest your promise, if elected to public office, to attract $25/hour jobs to Cornwall. I will urge you re-consider such a promise given that the North American economy is in a mess. The US-dollar is the world’s reserve currency and unless US lawmakers drastically reduce their spending on defense and other pet projects, don’t expect any long-term economic improvement any time soon. During previous municipal elections, candidates promised to work to attract higher paying jobs to Cornwall, except that nothing resulted. The days of high-wage manufacturing jobs in the North American economy are over, for at least the next decade.


In you political campaign, you mentioned a young Stephen Clark who as mayor of Brockville built that city’s economy. Much of that economy spun off from West Ottawa (Kanata) economic progress that began under onetime Kanata Mayor Des Adam who enticed along with developers, attracted then fledgling high technology and information sector companies to ‘set-up-shop’ in the then rural community. Many years earlier, futurist Alvin Toffler penned his treatise entitled FUTURE SHOCK that foretold the development of that sector of the economy. It took a few years after the late 1970’s for Kanata’s high tech sector to blossom.


Brockville was within easy commuting distance to Kanata and VIA Rail offered AM and PM return trains between Ottawa and Brockville, with a stop at Barrhaven (near to Kanata). All that was needed at Brockville was for somebody in a position of political influence, to ‘open the door’ for some high-profile companies to open a branch office. At the present day, the first daily weekday train to Toronto leaves Brockville at 7:00AM and arrives in Toronto at 10:00AM. They also have a late afternoon leaving Toronto for Brockville; ideal for the business community and with convenient return trains to/from Ottawa.




With regard to Cornwall, peddling Cornwall’s convenient location has long worn thin. Brockville has an excellent road connection into the USA via Interstate 81 and a good highway connection to/from Ottawa. Cornwall’s advantage has to do with it being outside of Quebec and with good future indirect and possibly direct maritime connections to the rest of the world. Events occurring far away promise to provide an advantage. Cornwall’s distribution centers depend on low-cost container transportation from Asian countries like China. While super-ships offer low per container transportation costs to Vancouver, trans-Canada railway transportation costs are a disadvantage.


While the new Panama Canal is too small to transit the world’s biggest container ships, they can still sail through the Suez Canal. Construction is underway at Sydney NS and Port Hawkesbury NS to build deep-sea container ports. These ships are too huge to even sail to Quebec City. During winter, trains will carry the winter off-peak container shipments to Cornwall, at lower transportation cost than the trip through Vancouver. During warm weather, small ships will carry containers to Montreal, with trucks completing the trip to Cornwall. Alternatively, tug-barges could carry containers at low cost right to Cornwall’s doorstep.




Cornwall’s advantage will be cost competitive maritime container access to the city’s waterfront, whether at Cornwall docks or at a rebuilt old dock at the warehouse on RR2 near Boundary Road. Such service would enhance Cornwall’s attractiveness for freight transportation logistics and enhance the bottom line for distribution centers that operate from Cornwall. Some distribution centers may transfer produce, enhancing for super-size greenhouses near Cornwall, perhaps on a piece of agriculture zoned land located between Hwy 401 and CN tracks, west of Moulinette Road in South Stormont, with a food processing plant located on the east side of Moulinette Road.


The saturated earth of Cornwall’s swamp in the industrial park is an asset. It could serve as the heat sink for a cold storage facility attached to a distribution centre, reducing their refrigeration energy costs by over 60%. Politicians will need to be wary of snake-oil salesmen posing as dynamic entrepreneurs arriving in the area with plans to build a super-size greenhouse, except that their business plan will depend on government funding. It would be disaster if any area politician falls for such crap. Some 40-years of past history has repeatedly shown that they have nothing to offer the region.




Distribution centers buy consumer products from Asian manufacturers who make such products at low cost. In this area, automated manufacturing could go far in reducing manufacturing cost with the advantage of lower transportation cost from the factory to the distribution centre. Operators at computers located overseas may oversee some aspects of manufacturing, to assure competitive manufacturing costs. Again, area politicians need to be wary of snake-oil businessman who arrive in this area with plans to build such factories, except that their business plans depend on government funding. While the region has potential, political behaviour could screw it up quite royally.




New generation ‘3-D printers’ can actually make a range of products from a range of different materials. These machines are sufficiently small to fit inside a home basement or a home garage. Miniaturization is occurring in many sectors of the economy, such as the NUCOR small steel mill, the 10-MW micro nuclear power station from Toshiba and a range of other small and automated technologies capable of performing a myriad of task. The ingenuity of an inventive entrepreneur could mass-produce a range of marketable products with help from a small staff, possibly family operating from small premises.


Micro factories could sell product to distribution centers and also to a variety of retail outlets located within the region, including Ottawa and Montreal. Real time Internet connections to competitively priced expertise located elsewhere (in the world) could keep these machines productive overnight. Mini-factories need to be the concern of private entrepreneurs who operate free from political involvement and who build their businesses on private capital. Such businesses could operate in Cornwall and in the surrounding area. Local and area technicians and specialists would be available to provide the expertise to keep the technology functional.




CN Rail has introduced locomotives placed in the middle of the freight trains. The combination of forward and mid-train locomotives allows the railway to operate longer trains that delay traffic at grade crossings. Boundary Road will need an overpass within the next few years to enhance future increased north-south commercial road traffic. West of Pitt Street, Tollgate Road will need to be diverted along the north side of the CN tracks to an intersection with Brookdale Avenue located north of (a future widened) CN overpass. Then close the grade crossing on Tollgate Road.


While road-rail intermodal transfers occurring at the CN rail yard on Marleau Avenue, most of the containers that arrive at that yard are destined for the distribution centers in the industrial park. Perhaps some future discussions with CN Rail could relocate the intermodal terminal into Cornwall’s industrial park, where transfers of containers between rail and road may occur. During winter when the Seaway is closed, future containers carried on super ships will arrive at deep-sea ports in Nova Scotia. CN Rail will carry them to Cornwall.



NO, I am NOT a candidate for public office

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  1. This is a very well written column. Jamie I agree that you should never make promises that you cannot keep and believe me many people today are working for minimum wage and absolutely no benefits and yes even right here in Ottawa. People are more than fed up but when there is nothing else out there to turn to they have to take what they can get. Don’t make promises that you cannot keep and be ridiculous to the tax payers who put you in power. Be realistic and honest. You are doing a great job as a journalist. Cornwall has to have a complete overhaul to even match tiny Brockville and it is a real shame how Cornwall went to hell in a handbasket with the wrong administration especially the current one which is mighty shameful.

  2. I don’t see this much as challenging Jamie’s platform as offering suggestions for Cornwall. If you’re not a candidate for public office you certainly should be. Or at the very least help one of the mayoralty / councilor candidates on their platforms.

  3. Hugger you never make promises that you cannot fulfill and that is the truth. Be honest with the people and that is why so many towns and cities are in trouble because they cheat the people. Just listen to that lady Maddie from Newmarket. The Canadian people will only learn when it is too late to know how bad things are and wait until the end of this year 2014, 2015, 2016 and beyond for the shocks to come. People’s jaws will drop in shock.

  4. I love your predictions “wait until the end of this year 2014, 2015, 2016 and beyond for the shocks to come.” If people live by that they are making a mistake. I live one day at a time. I deal with each day as it comes. Thinking too far in advance does no one any good. That`s part of the problem with society now, everyone is worried about the future. No one is concerned about the here and now.

  5. Hugger I sure do worry about the here and now and what is going on today is going to be a great deal worse tomorrow if restraints are not put on things financially which can be like a runaway train. If we didn’t think about tomorrow in our household then we would be in great trouble. We recycle everything. People have to think about tomorrow where our next meal will come because it can be deflation of the dollar or hyperinflation and both are very very bad. Thinking about tomorrow is vital.

  6. About Call Centres there are plenty here in Ottawa and our economy is not much better than other places. China and India have call centres and our Bell Canada call centres are all over India, China, Central and South America, etc. and I know because a friend of my son works for Bell and is one of the heads in this field and travels the world teaching others in this area. Canada is in the service industry now and you will see engineers H1B’s come over from India and elsewhere doing work in that area for a lot less than our Canadians and yes you will see this sooner than you think. About big box stores and the centres for storage in Cornwall you are lucky to have them. Target was a mistake to bring in stuff (junk) that resembled Zellers and at high prices and Canadians who shop in the US rejected what Target brought here to Canada and at humoungous prices. No tanks was what they told Target we don’t want your junk – we will stick with Wally World’s junk instead.

  7. Let’s be fair Jules. Bell also has Canadian call centres, they are not all off shore.

    As for Target and Walmart…they both use the same suppliers. Walmart has adjusted to the Canadian landscape. Target will eventually. The U.S. and Canada are two different environments, retailers have to adjust to it.

  8. Yes Bell does have some call centres here in Canada and I know of one here in Ottawa maybe two and there used to be another near me and it left for overseas. That was the time when my daughter felt like quitting her job out in Kanata to be close to home and I said no because I had an uneasy feeling about that company going to move and they had other companies in that building as well who moved offshore. My son’s friend travels the world teaching others in the offshore countries and he has been pretty well all over the world. India, Central America, south America (Ecuador) and so many other places.
    When I was in Target store hardly anybody was in there shopping. The prices are higher than Wal Mart and no variety like what they have in the US. Shoppers are staying away from that store. The only quality in Target is that it is clean and bright and that is it.

  9. Harry
    Well written letter, but you seem to be missing some rather important facts when it comes to manufacturing and fabrication.

    You are correct in saying it is cheaper abroad for manufacturing.
    However from an end users perspective we need to consider lost time for things such as servicing these manufactured goods. If our smaller industry needs to service something made in Asia, we lose at least two days for communication and planning, should service be necessary there is three days plus expenses for the service crews. Therefore at the very least a weeks’ worth of production is lost.

    If we manufacture large structures overseas as is often done, the same applies. That really gets deep in costs.
    Industry is already seeing this as a higher than anticipated business expense.

    Some companies though few are already relocating back to North America.
    If you remember in the 80’s Mexico was the new manufacturing mecca. That has now moved to Asia and is now on the move to India. There is sound reasoning for this.
    We also need to understand that the wide world of social media now shows a once controlled nation how much money people earn abroad and ho better they live. Greed affects everyone as it did in here, Mexico and starting in Asia.

    I strongly believe we have the opportunity to bring back some forms of manufacturing. We just need a government that can eliminate all this tax nonsense. If industry decides to move to Cornwall, for arguments sake, they do not need to pay taxes so long as they contribute to infrastructure. With our rates for general labor it would be beneficial. Not to mention a hand in where we put homes so as not to build in industrial areas which will bite back later.

    It is possible we just need people with insight and the ability to make a decision without wasting time on what if’s

  10. Author

    omg, I think Hailey and I almost agreed. Right now we do not have free trade. We have our Western business using low lost labour and lack of equivalent conditions selling the discounted goods back to us.

    Except as jobs and wages fade here they’re losing their clients. These same business people keep their earnings off shore to add insult to injury.

    Nearly thirty years of this has us where we are today. I’m all for free trade, but there should be tariffs that even the plate so our own industry can fairly compete. Right now they can’t so we lose, and in many more ways that just financially.

  11. Jamie and Hailey you are both right and yes I agree with putting tariff’s on good coming from abroad. I was talking to my husband this morning about goods made today is garbage no matter what you buy these days. We have no jobs here in Canada except for Alberta and that has to change. My daughter applied back to where she used to work in Kanata that is how desperate she is but it is a Call Centre. Her former supervisor told her a little about it and they are expecting contracts. We are not pleased about her wanting to go to work back out there but it is her choice. She will keep this job on certain times and days for extra money. One thing is that she knows how horrible the public can be and is going through hell with some and the supervisor told her the same is true over the phone system which I was telling her myself after my own experience in the federal government.

  12. See Admin I am not blonde all the time *l*

    Tariffs are becoming the problem here. Look for example at the Stewardship Ontario. It is so laden with tariffs and legislation that dealing with the province is difficult. That is in part why we pay so much in recycling and associated fees. They make the laws and costs are passed down to the consumer not the seller.

    Eliminate or minimize tariffs and expect the same from the other side.

    Taxes or Tariffs its all the same bit of extortion

  13. Free trade is not free nor fair. You get goods coming in from example Asia and they do not pay tariffs and anything that is made here in Canada or the US pays tariffs to go overseas and you cannot have fair competition that way nor with the cost of the salaries which is insane – no comparison. Goods made overseas is garbage nowadays but in past years when goods were made locally they were good and lasted much longer. Ontario is a real mess and I sure do agree with that. McGuilty #1 and #2 are both stupid and negligent and liars to the core.

  14. Time to look up the definition of “free trade.”

  15. Jules
    they may not have what is called a tax of tariff on incoming products from abroad, but they do have standards and regulations that must be met. In order to assume these standards are met they must pay inspectors or pay fro access to the standards. Therefore an informal tariff is added. Either way the Canadian Government still makes revenue on imported goods. There is NO freetrade

  16. You are right indeed Hailey that there is no free trade and everything has to be examined thoroughly to be approved. One thing that I mentioned some years ago and I can’t remember if I posted it on CFN or on the toilet paper of record – SF but I mentioned that Ottawa (OC Transpo) wanted to have a rail system between Cornwall and Ottawa and Bare Ass turned it down. That is another screw up of Bare Ass. I knew a woman who had her PH D in high tech and went to school at Oxford University in England and worked as an engineer at Nortel before it bellied up and her sister is a doctor of medicine here in Ottawa. She didn’t know what to do with all the high tech going down hill. This rail system would have been good for Cornwall. Brockville is way ahead of Cornwall because a lot of people are well educated who live there and are a tourist area – Thousand Islands but Cornwall has been held way back in isolation for years. The people of Cornwall in a general sense are not educated but are factory workers. You can’t put high tech in a place where people are not qualified. $25./hour jobs is a dream that Jamie has but it will not come to reality. I say to Jamie let Leslie take over and be realistic and Jamie you can do a lot of good with Leslie to give Bare Ass the boot to the glue factory once and for all.

  17. Jamie do you know that you would be great as a councellor to start out with so as the community can get to know you a lot better. You have a lot of talent and can help change things for the better. Leslie has been in local politics for a while now and has ammunition that he can use against Bare Ass and you can be of a great help. You have a great deal to offer and you are a very polite person and good with person to person skills.

  18. A daily rail link to Ottawa for commuters. That has been suggested for other places even closer to Ottawa (Casselman, Embrun, etc.) and has been shot to pieces. For the number of riders involved it doesn’t make sense. They would have to charge four or five times what they are charging now for it to work. Via Rail or whomever would be the service provider will not operate commuter lines at a loss.

  19. Jules & Hugger1 . . . . . until 1952, New York Central Railroad offered a 45-minute train ride between Cornwall and downtown Ottawa . . . part of the Ottawa – NYC service that had operated since the early 1900’s. At the present time, Alexandria has a weekday daily morning train that arrives in Ottawa at 8:20AM and an evening train that leaves Ottawa around 5:00PM. And in the future, they may get water from Cornwall. Alexandria also has daily weekday return commuter bus service to/from Ottawa.

  20. Yes Hugger it would cost a lot more money than what it does now in the way the commuters travel and yes they would have to have links with Embrun, Casselman, etc. When the train can go to Brockville why not Cornwall and surrounding towns. Cornwall is very isolated when you stop and think about it.

  21. Harry Valentine….Let’s be realistic about this. A commuter train service from Cornwall to Ottawa is not realistic. There is not enough riders to make it economically feasible. There is one bus that goes up to Ottawa. That`s not quite enough to justify a commuter rail service. When Casselman was looking into it we would have been dropped off at the Via Rail station. So, we would still would have had to ride OC Transpo to our jobs. And then if you take into consideration bad weather you would have to plan on leaving early to catch the train back home.

  22. Hugger and Mr. Valentine OC Transpo runs the commuter trains here in Ottawa and they are expanding the routes with the time here in the city since it is a big city and transferring on from one bus to another you can spend hours if you are lucky going to work and coming back. OC Transpo wanted to have the route to Cornwall and back and let the people of Cornwall ride on OC Transpo buses for the same price – no extra cost to the people of Cornwall – I guess that there would be a special pass for them. This is what was in the papers. The people of Cornwall do need work and you need good administration. We have plenty of construction jobs on the go and a lot of people in Cornwall have trades. Cornwall needs a much better administration to make Cornwall a much better town for the people who live there and not just for a very few rich people who snub their noses at the rest. Enough is enough and time to throw out the bums in Cornwall’s administration and get better. It is all in your hands people in Cornwall and it is time that you find your self worth and throw Bare Ass and his gang of shisters and the clique out of town to the nearest glue factory.

  23. Commuter trains are NOT LRT, which is what they have in Ottawa. There is not enough demand for commuter trains from municipalities outside Ottawa for commuter trains. There’d have to be arrangements with senior levels of government to cover the losses due to low ridership levels for commuter trains to work into Ottawa

  24. Hugger of course LRT is very different to commuter trains but if you take everyone out of their vehicles which will happen eventually and put them on the commuter trains then there will be plenty of people who will use them. My blessings and deepest sympathies go to those who are commuting and after a hard day’s work having to drive back is a real killer on the nerves. People go home totally exhausted and I think that a commuter train would be a lot better and to stop at the different small towns as well. Yesterday we got to speak about that subject here at home and about how isolated Cornwall became and Mr. Valentine is right about that commuter train to Ottawa in 1952. There are plenty of construction jobs here in Ottawa for those with the trades and that commuter train would be ideal for them. Light rail itself is just at the beginning stages here in Ottawa and there are plans made to extend this kind of service. Ottawa has grown a lot and it takes a long time to get to work and back in some places.

  25. In the US commuter trains exist and people who have lost their livelihood in industries, etc. are commuting from smaller towns to larger centres in this manner. This is nothing unusual and I think that it is a good thing for Cornwall. Cornwall’s demographics is a very aging population and is being made into a retirement town. Young people who wish to live in Cornwall will have no other future except to travel or move to where the job is and we both know how expensive Ottawa is. I am glad that I didn’t buy a house here in the past because a good area became a bad area and the city changed drastically. Better to rent than to own – I am free.

  26. I have Hugger laughing at me again about what I know what is coming in the very near future like the years I have stated but it may be in 2016 or before that we will see the Greatest Economic Crash since 1929 but this time it will be a great deal worse. Never had there been a time when the US was in the trillions of dollars worth of debt and they can never pay it back and there is no backing of gold or anything to hold up the dollar. Steven Forbes the head of Forbes magazine (business magazine) even predicted that this will happen. Jamie $25./hour job is unrealistic today and I can tell you that take a good look at the H1B’s that are going over to the US and Canada and doing high tech jobs for less money including those Tim Horton’s shops and even driving trucks and all. You have to do a lot of reading to find out what is going on. $25./hour is a dream (almost). My son’s friend makes that kind of money travelling the world teaching people the call centre work from Bell Canada. The past was a dream and if manufacturing ever comes back to Canada and the US the high pay rate will be gone and just a dream. The same will be true for everything else. Just hold your shorts Hugger and others and you will all see what Jules is telling you is the truth. It will be much worse than what I am revealing to all of you. Live frugally!

  27. We’ll see if the LRT works in Ottawa AND within budget. I somehow doubt it. As for commuter trains….unless they can figure out a way to get the cost down I don’t see them as an option in this area.

  28. We’ll see Jules, we’ll see. “Experts” have been wrong before and I think the “experts” and you are wrong again.

  29. Hugger I am not wrong at all and nor are the experts. The US, Canada and the entire world will be coming down sooner than they expect. There will be mass starvation in the world along with epidemics and wars that never stop. Wars have been going steady as well as overthrow of leaders since WWII non stop. Wars are the profits of the “banksters as I gangsters which they are” at the expense of the little people. Wars will keep on going until Jesus comes back to earth to clean up the mess that people have left behind. Man isn’t fit to govern himself.

  30. I guess we’ll see. We’ve survived 2014 years without destroying the world.

  31. I heard from a lady in Cornwall who used to work in Ottawa and took the train from Alexandria to Ottawa every day and back. She lived on a farm back in those days. Eventually the commuter train will come into existence and it is a necessity and I know from all what I have read that they want private vehicles off the road. Even in London England they have stopped private vehicles coming in from outside of London into the city. With the time there will be plenty of changes. Cornwall will have no choice but to be connected to Ottawa and Montreal.

  32. Well Hugger we did survive till 2014 and yet there is talk about WWIII on the way and the Pentagon in the US is talking about a war with China and Russia. I do know that one is coming and also a big war will happen in the Middle East between China, Russia, Israel and the Arabs along with the rest of the world. We will all see what is going to happen. I don’t know when but all these wars do not happen on the spur of the moment – no war has ever happened that way not even when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Anything in politics is well planned years in advance.

  33. So now wars and other catastrophes are planned in advance?

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