Hoping For A Better Tomorrow for the Cornwall Ontario Area by Garden Girl – Aug 21, 2014


garden girlCFN – Where to start; the political climate in this area is absolutely scary. This does not feel like a community, this feels like a battle between good and evil. I do not believe I need to define who is who, anyone with a functioning brain can see that things are not right around here.

Potential? Yes! There is HUGE potential here. Cornwall may only have a population of around 50,000, but the population that depends on Cornwall far surpasses 100,000 people. Cornwall has it all, technically. It has a mall (insert joke here), a hospital that is slowly rising to the occasion of meeting its local needs (still leaving a lot to be desired), a downtown (again, insert joke here) and a local government (can we legitimately call it that? I personally am of the opinion that it’s a type of self-serving “old boys club”- and yes, I have personally attended council meetings to have a valid opinion) and we have a waterfront………………. (Rolling eyes)

It seems that the current government has squandered its chance of redemption. Just one look at the recent police blotter of the area, local facebook pages and a first-hand analysis of the city point out exactly the problems. We have a council that pretends to care. I am completely open to debate on that statement.

But, pretending to care and actual caring are two way different things. This council obviously cares more about covering up their footsteps than about the community at large. Why else would they have “in-camera” sessions and dirty-handed lackeys? Isn’t anyone else concerned about the diminishing number of locally owned businesses and local tax money being paid out to rich companies to “lure” them in when they are already here? Isn’t anyone else concerned that concerns of our waterfront is handled without public notification? Isn’t anyone else pissed that our local government is far from transparent? Isn’t anyone else questioning the fact that local political figures are enrolled and engaging in very questionable groups?

Yes, I may write and be published on CFN, but I assure you, my loyalty is to people I deem worth it. I am not on any bandwagons, I am not deluded or biased by close relations or friendships, I take no part in poo-flinging for the very simple reason that if there is truth in the flung poo, eventually it cannot be washed off.

I am a supporter of O’Shaughnessy, if only because he was the sole person I personally witnessed with a backbone at council meetings when he was still a member. I applaud him for jumping off the bandwagon and forging his own future within the city of Cornwall. I am excited to see where he will go with his independence. It can obviously go two ways, but I am an optimist on this subject based on the fact that he had the astuteness to leave the pigsty behind.

I am of the opinion that the more colours, the prettier the rainbow. That goes for opinions too, the more opinions, the richer the conversation.


When it comes to local news, I am a proud reader of all. I like to know as much about any situation as possible so that I can determine my own opinion. I find it incredulous that the Seaway News and the Standard Freeholder have no interest in covering ALL of the local politics for the benefit of the WHOLE city, and not just their own political pettiness.


Come on everyone, it is obvious. I am not asking them to like or even love what they write about, all I am asking for is unbiased information about what is going on LOCALLY. As a citizen and a subscriber I believe I am entitled to information, and I will dig for it myself, if necessary. However, with two well established local news providers, I am disappointed, to say the least. It seems, and again, totally open for debate (I love a good, intelligent debate, it benefits everyone involved), that the CSF and the CSN are nothing but self-serving organizations with their heads deep in sand. Why else can local news go uncovered by them? Why else do they have comments open on some stories and not others? Why else is our local store flyers monopolized? Anyone else notice some difficulty in order to get a Farm Boy or Shoppers Drug Mart flyer??? All these things should be considered, and everywhere else is, free enterprise. We should not feel like our FREE local flyers are being monopolized. However, they are, and I feel that way.

The latest news to get my gruff is that the Lift-Off seems to be in peril. Great, the one big thing that Cornwall genuinely shines for, has an uncertain future. Isn’t part of the job of local government to protect what is good? Lately I have been noticing Judge James O’Reilly’s facebook pictures (I totally invite you to send her (yes, she) a facebook friend request. She is a young, local historian who just completed university.). She has been posting pic’s of theatres, grand hotels and even postcards that Cornwall used to boast. In this respect, I feel the local government has failed us by not protecting the very things that make Cornwall grand and unique. In fact, the amount of condemned housing I have noticed as of late is yet another failing of our local government. As well, in the same breath, WE are the ones who voted them into power and voted to keep them in power. I sincerely hope that this fall will be a brand new chapter in Cornwall’s history books.

We need positive, selfless change. We don’t need name calling, pettiness or local facebook groups that have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of today or changing things for the positive. We need transparency in all aspects of local government. We need to start mending our sense of community so that EVERYONE feels included, and realize that even though we may have differences, we all ultimately want the same thing, to completely love where we live. I am so disgusted with hearing the (rightful) term of being “Cornwalled”, it is a sad state of where we are at this time. We need politicians who don’t take pot shots at each other, posting questionable things online for all to see, because we all know that what we see, no matter how minute, is a window into that person’s soul. Regardless if they “erased” it 43 minutes later.

That brings me to one last thing that REALLY bothered me in local news, and not just the incident itself, but the aftermath via commentary (links below). It is obvious that a certain clique is all about protecting its own, but could care less who they run over. It is no secret that I am a patient of Ontario healthcare, and let me tell you, if I found some janitor, or ANY employee of the hospital that I frequent talking about or discussing me publicly, I would personally see to it that they were punished by the full extent of the law.


It is breach of trust, pure and simple. Never mind that when I visit these places I am at my most vulnerable. I don’t care who you are, how many people you support or how old you are, when you hold a certain position, you are bound by contract and expected to keep and maintain people’s trust. Imagine a lawyer or doctor committing the same act? Laws like this are in place to protect all of us. It is inexcusable and unprofessional. It seems that if this crime was perpetrated against the clique, instead of for it, there would be a much bigger uproar. Even the idea that the person who was fired is suing the person who brought the comment to light. Hello, the person who brought it to light did not make you write the comment, nor did they make you delete it 43 minutes later. You made your bed, just as we all do every day, now lie in it. It would be like me suing the person who found my cancer instead of accepting that I have cancer… What a joke.

I am far from perfect and I never claim to be, but every single day I wake up with the intention of being a better (and smarter) person than I was yesterday. And remember, if we all did one small act of kindness each day, we would each change the lives of 365 people a year for the better. Better late than never. Baby steps in the right direction begin to lead to great things.

P.S.- I find it absolutely crazy, if not heinous, that some locals are complaining about not getting a FREE paper delivered, South Stormont News. Yet, these same people post pictures online of stacks of the paper acquired through local businesses burning in their fire pits. Never mind the pollution or waste, the bigotry alone should be raising people’s eyebrows.

“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he has to say.” Tyrion Lannister

“If you have to cheat to win, you have already lost.” Unknown

Links to articles with commentary mentioned- http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/hospital-employee-fired-for-posting-comment-about-duffy-treatment-at-heart-institute

And- http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/firing-devastated-hospital-employee-who-posted-about-duffy-visit-to-heart-institute?fb_action_ids=258810267645632&fb_action_types=og.comments


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  1. Garden Girl I aplaude you here in Ottawa and you are a very well educated lady and are a very good and intelligent writer and a good person indeed. Every single word that you said is the absolute truth. I am a woman of 63 years old and I can tell you honestly that I have never seen such a screwballed mayor and council as Bare Ass and his gang of crooks. I have seen it all from a mighty good mayor back in the early 50’s who is a relative of Jamie Gilcig to the crap that we see today. Yes Cornwall does have potential and that is true but people left back in my day and would never return to Cornwall for all what they went through and that was in Cornwall’s better days.

    I worked as a teenager volunteer at both the Cornwall General and the Hotel Dieu Hospitals and now it is Cornwall Regional Hospital or whatever they call it today. When I volunteered in those hospitals we had to sign a statement that we could not divulge who was in the hospital not even if it was our own relatives. The man from Cornwall divulged about Duffy and even though we all hate that no good for nothing cockroach we are not allowed to say anything whether you are a janitor, a nurse, a doctor, or any other level in the hospital. Mum is the word.

    Cornwall has a terrible reputation – black is the word. When I worked in the Federal Government two young people from Carleton University made fun of Cornwall to me and they were right and that was way back in the mid 70’s era. I heard a lady that we used to speak with in Cornwall at the Power Dam talking to another lady about her daughter at Ottawa University and what the students said to her about what she and the people of Cornwall are and I won’t say the word here because I know that Jamie won’t print it but I will say that it is mighty degrading. Well the people themselves have made Cornwall’s reputation into the tank. Just this afternoon I was telling the super’s wife that we have a very bad society today. We were talking because my daughter has her second bout with pneumonia and won’t go to the hospital to wait 10 hours and be confronted with the gangs in the ER and everything else. She has been off work now for a few weeks. She has meds but without penacilin nor sulfer which she is allergic to. Her father in law is in the hospital waiting for treatment.

    You would have read plenty of my comments and at this end of my machine I can tell you that I am mighty angry and want to scream and sometimes I get to laugh a lot but this is no laughing matter. I want people to wake up and understand what is going on. Cornwall is one big dump the way the “so called elites – cliques and Bare Ass” have made the place to be. Who in their right minds wants to go and live in such a place. Nobody with intelligence wants to go and be treated in such a way. The toilet papers of record as I call them, the Barney Fife PD is what I call them – do nothing – a bunch of worthless pieces of doo doo and I can go on too.

    Sorry Jamie and Sorry Garden Girl for my rant but I am mad as hell and people take me as a joke but I am not joking. Throw the bums out and if you do not get rid of them then you people can stew in your own doo doo. Garden Girl is a very intelligent and well educated young lady and too good for Cornwall. I went to CCVS for a short time and I knew Willie Wise back then but he turned out to be a crook just like the rest of the so called elites of Cornwall and I became mighty ashamed at what he did but he isn’t the only crook in town as you all know and he literally helped paint Cornwall even blacker than before. The people themselves should be mighty ashamed for staying down and hiding than to not speak up and do something about what is happening. Thank you for my say. I am spitting nails just now.

  2. Excellent article Garden Girl. I think you hit the nail on the head in regard to Cornwall.

    I even agree with some of Jules’ comments, but not all. Her rant is too long to go into what I agree with and what I have issues with.

  3. Wow Garden Girl,You sure have correctly summed up Cornwall .Certain people will go down into municipal history as having destroyed a once beautiful city for personal gain.Sad really that so many others just sit back & let it happen.Question remains,Is it too late to bring back honesty & Integrity. We have to try!

  4. I saw the huge potential ( & the huge waste) in Cornwall the minute I moved here. Like any city or town, it has it’s problems but I sincerely believe that with an impartial administration, some logical thought & truly believing in doing the right thing for all concerned, Cornwall could be a dynamic & interesting place to live. Unfortunately, it is only interesting right now for all the wrong reasons. If a new Mayor is elected with a new council, I believe that looking forward to solutions instead of looking back is the way to go. That is not to say that we ignore the lessons the past has taught us, rather, not get caught up in the negativity of the (hopefully) past administration.
    Hopefully, Garden girl, what you hope for will come to pass & I for one enjoy sharing in the optimism that come with opening up opportunities for ALL the residents of Cornwall.

  5. Author

    Geoff it comes down the culture of our city. If we honestly want certain results changes are needed. If you do the same thing for 70 years how can you complain about the same results or our population not growing?

  6. In order for Cornwall to heal and get ahead it all depends on each individual person and if the people do not care about their town then no it won’t succeed but will worsen. Yes Cornwall does have potential and it is pretty but not what those river front committee want to do to destroy the beautiful waterfront with condos for the rich and yes for the rich. All of you reading and laughing and snikering at me what I say I am telling you the truth. I don’t tell you a lie. Most of my most of my posts are not posted and I mean every single word I say. The only way that Cornwall is going to get ahead is to ditch Bare Ass and his clique and the entire administration to the ditch and start again. Select a good and decent mayor and there are two now and one is Jamie Gilcig and the other is Leslie O’Shaughnessey. I have my hopes on Leslie because he has the experience and the way to defeat Bare Ass and company. Leslie is a very good man and it takes guts to walk away from a bad administration the way he did and I have a great deal of respect for that. He wasn’t concerned about his pocket but was concerned about the people that he represented. He wanted no part in a fraud and scam system.

  7. Life is like a wheel it always changes and if it remains stagnant then something is wrong for sure. The people of Cornwall were stomped on for many long years by the clique and certain leaders of the community that were and are mighty corrupt. This clique like Latour and all the rest will steal from you blindly and say that they never did it. They will wave money under the judge’s nose and get off just like what happened in Project Truth. I have repeatedly said over and over and over again here on CFN that there is no justice in Cornwall and only JUST US and I mean that fully. You have to all stand up for what is right and throw out the wrong. What is the saying about a few good men not standing up and that is true. If you do not stand up for justice then the wicked will get away with it. You cannot let this continue. It is like the book “1984” by George Orwell real name Eric Blair about calling good evil and evil good. Look for it on PDF format on the net. There are many good books to bookmark and read. Society itself today is going down the drain because people do not stand up for the good but for the bad. I thought that book was mighty weird when I was in high school but that book along with others told the truth. It was Miss Shulman who taught me in that class and thanks to that lady I learned so much more so in my older years. I was never good at English and my French outdid my English and I am weak in English but I thank that lady very much and taught me a lot that I find on the net things that she brought up in English class all those years ago. That was at CCVS that I went to for a short time.

  8. I first of all want to commend Garden Girl and anyone who wants to see things change in a positive way in Cornwall write pieces like this. I covered Cornwall city council for 30 years and I find it interesting this same type of thing was the bane of my existence for all that time. While I wish her, and all the challengers on city council striving for change, all the best, I don’t think things in Cornwall will ever change.

    I realize this is pessimistic but allow me to explain.

    First all the mayor. Regardless of who is elected he or she has only one vote which he or she can use on a regular basis or use to break a tie. The mayor also sets the agenda and has a direct line to administration. But the fact is, he has very little additional power in council decisions, the only thing he has is the ability to try to swing the vote (sometimes behind the scenes). Otherwise his is one vote out of 11. So a change in mayor doesn’t mean a change in council.

    So, council members. Numbers still matter here. If you have the mayor and five members of council agreed on a course of action, then that is the way it will be. You can have as many as five against, but that won’t change anything in terms of whether anything gets done — although there could be political problems (the wave pool comes to mind). Again, there is usually a lot of backroom discussion (some would say in-camera sessions) but these are informal, usually in order to avoid complications from the municipal act.

    So, how does one change council?

    The best way would be to elect 6 new council members that would stand for a particular course of action. Whether that is five council members and the mayor or six councillors, doesn’t matter. However, I base my pessimism on the fact that members now on council have had four years of publicity and are well known. It is highly unlikely six would be defeated or retire. And don’t forget the new people have to read from the same book.

    In fact, in all elections since the 1970s there has been no wholesale change in council where a majority of council was turfed out. Statistically it is certainly possible, but history says that it will never happen. Therefore my contention that things will not change, no matter how much you and I would like it to.

    To be honest, I hope I am wrong big time, but I doubt it ):

  9. Marc Pilotte this sure doesn’t sound promising at all. I have a terrible feeling down deep inside me says that something is very wrong. I don’t know what it is but I sure am concerned.

  10. I agree with what Marc Pilotte said. But we are talking about Bob Kilger here and his power behind the council scene. How many councilors toe the Bob Kilger line so they don’t get on the mayor’s bad side?

  11. Hugger Bare Ass is running a dictatorship and not a free society of a town. It sounds more like what is happening in the Middle East with its dictatorship than what it is in Canada.

  12. I have read, understood & agreed with most of what you all posted & it proves that there are still people with common sense around here. There is just one item that cant be controlled, this is how the population will vote. On some points, I agree with Marc. It is still possible to see a wholesale dumping of the current council including the Mayor. Weather some of you like him or not, Mark McDonald is right about one thing. All those who aspire to council to knock off the old school gang MUST work together. Fractured, we play right into his hands. Together, we present a strong & loud voice. This does mean that some get in & some don’t. Those who don’t, can still play a role by helping & supporting those who do. This is not say we play partisan politics with closed parties at the municipal level, but rather a clear unified group who truly believe in doing the right thing for all concerned. What say you Admin?

  13. Author

    Geoff I like Mark and I think his voice is important. I don’t always agree with him and of course I wouldn’t expect people to always agree with me.

    We need to change the culture of Cornwall. We need leadership. We need people who will think for themselves and represent all the residents; even the ones that didn’t vote for them.

    Mostly we need to put Cornwall first as candidates. Sadly I see very very few candidate that would agree with that on our ballot right now. It’s scary.

  14. I agree that Mark MacDonald is a great asset to Cornwall and I have always said those words. I wish that Mark MacDonald would come forward and he would make an excellent counsellor as well. Everybody can contribute and stop this political crap of following the party system. You follow what is good for your municipality and it is there that you gain respect. You represent everyone whether they voted for you or not which is the truth. Stop the dictatorship going on which is evil and corrupted to the core. Everyone needs to be represented and not just for the rich and well connected but for everyone.

  15. I agree with you 100% Admin. Change has to happen.
    Jules; You are also right. I did not mean to imply that a municipal party should be created but rather, a group of Councillors that can work together & maybe help one another when trying to make decisions. It goes without saying that each individual needs to follow their head when making decisions affecting our community. I I do believe that in putting your community first before your own agenda will reflect well on yourself & your community because in the end, everyone wins. We can only hope that the population of Cornwall will think the same way.

  16. Well, maybe if the sons of the “boy’s club” were not so corrupt as their forefather, Cornwall might have a hope. But, that being said, many have tried to “fix” the problem which is a mixed bag of greed and despotic force which is Cornwall’s Business and Political body. Only to be threatened and strong armed out of contract bids and potential events with actual talent. How many times do we need to hear April Wine or Patio Lanters, seriously? Can somebody end the ruin of garbage entertainment in Cornwall? All it takes is giving the contract to real booking agents and talent. God only knows how long and how much{MODERATED} have pocketed over the years. {MODERATED} that’s only with the Canada Day events. For the life of me, why have we not a showcase or festival honoring the Mohawk people? Who’s land we stole to build our lives upon, upon their sacred graveyards and some. Why not showcase their talent, rather than adding to the stigma and prejudice that has been long engrained into Cornwall’s culture. It’s time for change period. Why trust or honor a mayor who can not honor his vows? But that is a whole other story all together. I feel a rant coming on so I must digress before I mention nurses who feed their Police husbands pills to meet quotas for street cred. Yeah, I digress.

  17. Author

    Actually Mr. Fixit there is a great venue in Akwesasne. The question would be why they do not promote or advertise it. Other than the Pow Wow I can tell you that it’s very hard to get any advertising or co-promotion from Akwesasne. That’s not a Cornwall problem.

  18. Thank you Garden Girl for your honesty and courage I thoroughly enjoyed your embracing of reality. I generally share the same view and it is consoling that there are others with passion that are not ready to throw in the towel but rather would elect to stimulate dialogue or at the very least the process of thought.

    Nice to see a face rather than just the feet sticking out of the sand.

  19. Mr. Fix It I totally agree with every word you said and Jamie moderated you the way he moderates me and I too am more than fed up with what goes on in Cornwall and Hugger jumps down my back because I have a right to what I say just like he does. If Hugger thinks that Cornwall is perfect then the man needs to really reflect. My husband and I were talking about Cornwall during its better days and Hugger has not lived in Cornwall back then and if he did he would be in the same shock as I am today. Today Cornwall sucks. The taxes are way too high and so is the cost of housing and what are people paying for but to keep Bare Ass and his thugs employed. Yes I can say a bundle like yourself and Cornwall is literally dead and would take a literal miracle for anything good to come back again. Industries are not coming back and any industry that comes back to the west would go to the US. You are absolutely right in every word you said.

  20. When did I ever say Cornwall is perfect? What I’ve said is that it’s now my home. I accept Cornwall with its good parts AND bad parts.

  21. Hugger you are one out of a million who come from another town and accept Cornwall as is. I was born and brought up in Cornwall and couldn’t wait until the day I would leave. Friends and acquaintances all encouraged me to leave and that was when times were good compared to today. Ottawa sure changed a great deal since we came back and some good and the rest not so good. Not enough roads for all the cars and not enough jobs to go around. I agree with Pat Buchanan’s book “The Death of the West” and that includes Europe and the entire west.

  22. Perhaps. But I know Cornwall could do much better if we could get a mayor and council who did what the voters wanted instead of pandering to the elite and cliques of Cornwall.

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