The meeting itself lasted until nearly 11PM and there were three main issues (four but I promised I’d play nicey nice on the last one) .
First up was the Benson University which at the end of the day will most likely be a satellite of Queen’s University and a French school of higher learning.
The report, which was taxed on the public with gross conflict of interest as the Mayor and Councilor MacDonald are on the committee and didn’t recuse themselves for the funding meeting, came in over six months late. The short and fuzzy is that NAV CAN is a perfect spot; which is true. It may or may not be available if its main client leaves as scheduled.
Yes the province wants to add some Uni seats in the province but only at established schools, so if the group wants to cash lightning in the bottle it’ll have to work with established schools which might but St. Lawrence College Dean Don Fairweather who’s in the group in a bit of a conflict situation as it sounds by what was said last night that our local college would benefit.
The good news is that no more tax payer monies were asked for. The bad news is that the presentation showed that some of the group are not in touch with the realities of education and marketing in 2014.
The deal would be good news for Akwesasne in particular as their kids wouldn’t have to travel for Uni as long as what was offered at the local school was acceptable.
One of the group was excited about the concept of remote learning where students see their teachers and class mates online. Of course they don’t have to go to a campus to participate via computer.
Another issue that wasn’t brought up is that if the dream of having a Uni in Cornwall somehow comes off where will we lodge an influx of 300, 600, or 1000 students?
There already is an acute shortage of good quality rental property in our city. This same meeting saw more apartment units converted to condo sadly with Mayor Kilger giving a hand gesture to the developer who was at the meeting that everything was good and no real discussion on the issue as it was rubber stamped.
Sadly this project should have happened over 20 years ago. The question is why didn’t it as most of the committee were around then too? Is it purely because of the potential need to fill NAV Can the reason?
Projects like these remind this writer of the Benson Centre; which is ironic as this project is referred to as the Benson University.
Because the Federal and Provincial government had some funding the city built a $35+ million dollar facility on top of toxic soil which miraculously sold for the highest price per acre in Cornwall history as the city ONLY had to kick in about $12M.
As opposed to simply filling the needs of the community and building two $5M single pad arenas.
One of the strongest themes as I heard from those in attendance including some of the few current candidates for council that actually show up to meetings and events is that there seems to be a hidden agenda at City Hall from this project, to the waterfront, and of course all the in camera secret meetings that the Kilger council keeps getting spanked over.
What do you think Cornwall? Are you happy with your investment so far in this project? Part Two Coming Up Soon!
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