CORNWALL Ontario – Cornwall has a vibrant Francophone community which at one point was the largest in the city. Every election they host an All Candidates event and this election was no exception with the fund raiser held at the Knights of Columbus.
Many of the candidates didn’t appear. Missing was Brock Frost who left the library meeting with what looked like an Anxiety attack Monday; Davey Bedard, Alyssa Blais, Denis Carr, Maurice Dupelle, and Geoff Stephenson.
Those that showed up had three minutes to speak. (mayoralty candidates in order of appearance.
Candidates Mary Ann Hug & Mark A MacDonald
Guy St. Jean had the loudest applause on the evening. Gary Samler had his best speech winning line of the night when explaining that though from Quebec City that he couldn’t master the language, but did the next best thing by marrying a French girl!
Heather Megill had another good speech although she read it from prepared notes. Mike O’Neill also spoke well. Many of the candidates clearly did not have a grasp of the language. Some tried their best; others simply focused on the message. The group allowed candidates to receive their questions and speak in English if they chose.
It was charming that Leslie O’Shaughnessy brought his family to the debate and that he had his wife, a Francophone, speak to the crowd. It certainly was the opposite than the snub & rudeness shown by Mayor Bob Kilger to a Federal Liberal Riding Association President and Actor who arrived in Cornwall for his very first visit from Montreal.
Those that clearly had issues or needed to up the ante speaking wise were Roland Besner, newcomer Justin Towndale who finally made an appearance in the election (he’s also having a BBQ this weekend) , while some like Elaine MacDonald read from a script in really choppy and poorly enunciated French.
The fire that occurred during the debate in the nearby East End was talked about in the audience. It was like a ghost reminding those present about the issues facing the Le Village section of the city and highlighted why Cornwall needs to move to a Ward system.
TC MEDIA owned Seaway News did not send a reporter reinforcing the fact that this election for some reason is not getting the coverage or urgency that it should require.
On social media people were reinforcing Mr. Lihou’s comment; but it is elected officials that vote and decide on budgets for our EMS, Police, and Fire Fighters and those decisions can be the difference between life and death sometimes. Who is elected does matter and does count and if the media do not cover those running for office is it any wonder why voter turn outs are the way they are and why some people get elected that probably shouldn’t?
What do you think Cornwall? You can post your comments below.
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