Cornwall Ontario Chamber of Commerce Event in Pulls in Less than 100 Attendees at Best Western NOV 20, 2014

Kevin Hargreaves Photo:Facebook
Kevin Hargreaves Photo:Facebook

CORNWALL Ontario – The Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce was embarrassed and humiliated as their guest speaker essentially pointed out the very reasons why it has not achieved success for several years.

Reported in the Seaway News, Ontario Chamber President Allan O’Dette stated that “Cornwall that local businesses need each other, to succeed.”

The event at the Best Western only drew about 75 people.

“O’Dette said if small businesses work together it will create an atmosphere of growth.”

The Chamber did not send out a press release to CFN because frankly they put their petty politics ahead of business which of course equals a massive fail.

In fact in spite of the nastiness from the Chamber directed at CFN we invited them to participate in a Shop in Cornwall for Christmas program that would have seen all of its members get a free Banner ad.

The Chamber did not even send a reply.

“O’Dette also underscored the importance of welcoming newcomers to the community.

“Newcomers, that’s what built this country. We have to be mindful of making our communities open to newcomers. The communities that are going to be successful are going to attract newcomers.”

While I was a member and on the board of both the Cornwall and South Stormont Chambers there was no focus on newcomers.  Mostly on personal gain for the other directors.   The Cornwall Chamber had a dismal record with both new businesses and especially those from the immigrant business community in Cornwall.

“Embrace innovation and strong risk taking, we need to learn how to take risks and stop tearing each other down. You have to lift each other up, support each other.”

When we created Seaway Radio the Chamber prez at the time called it a “Pirate Radio Station” and said he’d get us shut down.  He’s now in Winnipeg.

While I’m sure Mr. Hargreaves(Kelsey’s) , Rick Shaver, Mike Metcalfe, and a few of their fellow monkeys are slapping each other on the back, 75 people out of this large a community for such a guest speaker shows a clear lack of success and the very reason why Cornwall does so poorly on the Communities in Boom survey results.

I queried several business persons locally and not a single one had heard of the event.

The Chamber boycotts CFN and missed over 28 million page views of exposure in 2013 alone.

As I said when I resigned from it and Team Cornwall.  It needs to clean house.   This sad event was another example of why.

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

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  1. Maybe if the majority of City business was not managed by criminals and their relations, more honest and upright business folk would venture some capitalism in Cornwall. But alas, Cornwall is buried under years of corruption and sickened leadership. It is going to take a righteous group of local heroes to step up to the job of salvaging any true home grown community of business. Am I the only one who remembers when Pitt Street was alive and thriving? Look at the Eastcourt Mall as well. It wont be long before Cornwall looks like the boarded up ghost town that London’s core has become. this is what happens when you line your pockets with international interests and have sell outs for council. Then once they make their money, just like this Gilcig said about the blowhard who now lives in another Province,they move on, leaving us all to pick up the pieces. I could go on about strong arm tactics and political stonewalling but that would be as redundant as the Mohawk having met with Kilger.

  2. Care to provide proof for your allegations there (the majority of City business was not managed by criminals and their relations, etc.)? With a new mayor and a 50% turnover in city council change will happen. But it will take time.

    In regard to the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce Event pulling in 75 people….perhaps it isn’t such a good idea to have these events at lunch. Not a lot of business owners can spare the time at lunch to attend meet and greets (or as some refer to them ass-kissing); they’re too busy running their businesses.

  3. Author

    Or Hugger maybe they should be properly advertised? When you bring in a VIP guest and nobody shows up that reflects very poorly on the organization and community.

    Again, the Chamber leadership boycotting CFN is not pro business or what a Chamber is supposed to be about. Mr. Hargreaves circus antics and Mr. Metcalfe as an associate of the Chamber being allowed to wage the campaign he has via Rick Shaver’s support in the Seaway News is not community building or sound business practice.

  4. Cornwall’s population has declined in the last 25 years. The number of people defined as low income prior to taxation is 50% higher than the provincial average. Our current ranking of best places to live is 167th out of 190 cities, not real impressive to be in the bottom 15%.

    Kilger and council, the chamber and the feel good group that continually pat each other on the back are/were just some of the reasons for Cornwall’s dilemma.

    On a positive note if the next council is wise enough to develop a realistic vision for this community we will all benefit.

    There are still two or three members of council who represent the past that we need to break from. Hopefully the deadwood around the table do not contaminate the talent pool that have been voted in thereby giving progress a chance.

  5. Author

    David I am hoping that the lessons learned on this election haven’t been missed by Councilors Clement, MacDonald, Rivette, Murphy, and Dupelle.

    They have an opportunity, at least for the first month or so of this new term, to show a difference of character and behavior, or we will probably see a lot of what happened last term; just to a lesser degree and with less illegal in camera meetings.

    There is a real chance to move forward here. The question is will this council under Leslie O’Shaughnessy embrace that or simply uphold the culture of cronyism, bullying, and boycotts…..

  6. Actually the population has basically stayed the same for the last 33 years. But I guess it depends on where the numbers are gathered from.. What I found is below.

    1981 1991 1996 2001 2006 2011
    46,144 47,137 47,403 45,640 45,965 46,340

    I think Leslie O’Shaughnessy will be able to get Bernadette Clement, Elaine MacDonald and David Murphy to toe the line. Andre Rivette and Maurice Dupelle have indicated previously that they are for the people, not the clique.

  7. TruCorn you and I remember when Pitt and Second literally thrived and Hugger I am not kidding you or anyone how Cornwall thrived back then. During the 1960’s you could hardly walk the sidewalk with all the people shopping and going to their businesses. Banks were full of people down there waiting their turn in line and everyone was friendly. Riley’s Bakery (the real Riley’s Bakery and not what they have today) permeated with wonderful bake goods and that shop was full of people including mom and myself. Today Cornwall looks much worse than a 1930’s Great Depression and dead like a door nail – you can’t get worse than this. The thing is Hugger that the good people moved out and big cities sent in their welfare recipients to Cornwall. Cornwall’s reputation is BLACK TO THE CORE and believe me many have left town including many seniors to go to better places to live. Unless the new mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessey can pull a rabbit out of his hat and make a miracle there is no hope in hell. This also takes the work of every single citizen of Cornwall to turn things around and not depend on the government alone – it is each and everyone of you to make those changes. Take an active part in your community and go to those council meetings and voice your opinions. Stop being a piece of deadwood or else Cornwall will cease to exist. Cornwall is mighty small and I don’t believe in the government at any level for statistics since I can see things for myself. Cornwall has lost a lot of people and like I said only the welfare is sent down there. You cannot improve a city with welfare statistics.

  8. Author

    Jules Rob and Ana at Riley’s still have some pretty good smelling stuff served daily. Frankly without Riley’s there wouldn’t be much to visit on Pitt Street.

  9. By demanding low prices we consumers killed off our downtowns. We stopped going to the local guy’s hardware store and bought a shitty made in China part that was half the price at Walmart. We did it with clothing, with electronics and with all consumer goods. Our rampant greed and consumerism has caused us to stand on the very spot we’re in today and your corporate overlords couldn’t be more pleased.

  10. So, Greg, would you rather pay higher prices?

  11. Greg Reynolds you are absolutely right in what you said about made in China goods and I miss seeing the Snetzingers Hardware Store and all small businesses with Canadian/American made products that lasted. Yes one of our biggest sins is consumerism and greed. I have a some blouses that I purchased at Wally World some years ago and two of them feel just like paper. My husband’s PJ top the same and he told me today to use it in a quilt or make a rug with it. LOL LOL. Everything has gone downhill.

    TruCorn spoke about London Ontario and that is true about its downtown. Some years ago we were thinking about going down there and family told us no because of the pollution coming over from the US, crime, etc. We settled on Ottawa at least for now. I am checking into other places but never Cornwall ever again that town literally died. A ghost town is what Cornwall will be very soon. It is going to be worse than what people think.

  12. Gazing into a crystal ball is never a good idea.

  13. It seems that buying the most stuff at the cheapest possible price has become the big pursuit of most people. Who cares if it’s junk and will end up a landfill next year? And who cares where it was made? As long as it’s cheap and satisfies the Friday evening shopping addiction, that’s all that matters.

  14. Don’t get me wrong I love quality merchandise. But when the same quality can be obtained for a lesser price I will always choose the lower price. And being retired sometimes price takes precedence. It is true that Walmart has put a lot of mom and pop / quality stores out of business. But at the same time by offering lower prices it has allowed families who previously couldn’t afford some things to now be able to afford those items. Walmart is a double-edged sword.

  15. The CoC event may have only drawn 75 people. But the SDSG Liberal meeting at the Best Western with Marc Garneau as guest speaker drew about 30 people.

  16. I don’t mind paying more for quality and service. If I can’t afford it, I wait a little while and think on it because maybe it’s a want and not a need. That’s the point I was trying to make Hugger. My grandparents were modest but what they had was quality made and durable. We are paying for garbage today and not even getting service while lining up like cattle to slaughter at the checkout. I chose to leave Cornwall out of economic necessity and can now afford to vote with my wallet and support the businesses I choose to shop at. I like furniture made of wood, not glue and sawdust. When I bought a pair of vice grips I made sure they’d last for life not just long enough to do the job on Saturday. If I can help a local business that puts their profits back into my community I’m all in.

  17. Author

    I was invited to the BW for tonight’s meeting but ended up at the Waterfront Committee meeting, a client, and then the Seaway Valley Jewish Community meeting. I would have liked to meet Mr. Garneau.

  18. Greg Reynolds….I agree. But sometimes a family does not have the luxury of shopping for quality. They get by on what they can afford. Thus Walmart fills that need. I prefer quality too. But sometimes that need can’t be found elsewhere.

  19. You know as I read this I’m thinking, am I missing something?
    The stuff bought local or near by is simply stuff that was imported, tack on shipping and profit tagged “made in China” or Taiwan.
    Take electronics or appliances for example, there are only a few Mfg’s. that make them!
    Even if tagged “made in Canada”, its all parts made over seas and assembled here to make a consumer product.

  20. Agreed Marc. At least now food manufacturers are required to disclose the origin of the food and where it was “assembled.” Hopefully this will come to all consumer goods.

  21. I hope they can implement that Hugger because if you search, captain highliner says “Made in Canada” on the box but the fish comes from the other side of the World.

  22. Yes, “made” and “origin of product source” are two very different things.

  23. Hugger1 my point was that our population is not growing. The fact that since I came to Cornwall in the late 80’s the population has actually decreased slightly (several hundred fewer residents)is just reality. The joke is that in the 70’s the city councils long term forecast included the population reaching the 100,000 mark by the year 2000. The long term plan that I am referring to can be viewed at the public library.

    As far as being “for the people” is concerned it doesn’t seem to necessarily mean standing up for people. I hope that some of the individuals mentioned find their conscience this term.

  24. Like I said before ” But I guess it depends on where the numbers are gathered from.” My stats were from and yours were from StasCan.

    As a whole it is not just Cornwall’s population that is not growing greatly. Canada’s population as a whole has been basically in a holding pattern for a number of years. The baby boomers are growing older. Families now are not having children at the same rate from a number of years ago.

    I’m hoping with a new mayor and five new councilors the councilors from the previous council will learn to play well with others and do what’s right for the taxpayers and citizens of Cornwall.

  25. Hugger I remember when Mr. Oldham stated that he saw the population statistics at the library and I literally laughed about Cornwall being 100,000 by the year 2000. All the young people of my day except for a very few that you can count on your fingers of both hands have left Cornwall and never return. Very few people stayed in Cornwall and those who stayed took over their father’s job or were pulled into a job but otherwise any intelligent and educated person said the hell with Cornwall and left for good. Cornwall is mighty polluted both in regular pollution as well as having the highest cancer rates, welfare rates, sexual abuse and you name it. If I ever left Ottawa it would never ever be Cornwall of all places. Many people feel the very same way as I do. Cornwall is literally finished. When you see the Barney Fife PD run by a crooked mayor and hanging charges without investigation shows you the corruption and crookedness going on. 26 cops of the Barney Fife PD quit back in the day of the man who was writing about Project Truth because they couldn’t stand the BS going around and today it is a great deal worse. Again Cornwall is finished.

  26. I agree with Greg Reynolds and what we are getting today is pure garbage. I wouldn’t buy garbage furniture at all nor electrical appliances made overseas. I would rather purchase things made locally. I personally purchased some things used and of excellent quality a few years ago and nothing but praise (I am talking furniture here) from a leading store here in Ottawa. I got rid of stuff that I purchased in Cornwall used and sent it off to the Salvation Army. I support good hardware stores, good furniture stores and good clothing stores, along with good appliances (things made in Canada) and not China, Mexico, etc. Yes I will pay more and get quality and not junk. People in Cornwall will have no other choice but to move on – you cannot stay in a place where it is finished for life and getting a great deal worse.

  27. The continual trashing of Cornwall has to stop.

  28. Author

    Hugger what has to stop is the bullying, lying, lack of inclusion, and overall culture that has led Cornwall to where it lies today. What I’m typing isn’t not negative. It’s holding a mirror up. It happens time after time where the clique and bad guys rip down news stuff. It’s like a body rejecting a kidney transplant even though it needs it to survive. It’s very sad that the leadership of this community seem unwilling to change.

    We need to hold bad guys accountable like Kevin Hargreaves. We have to teach people that if you really are nasty it won’t be tolerated. We need to award merit instead of cronyism and nepotism. I can tell you that during the boycott as an example if one of the clients that were bullied into dropping their ads truly stepped forward so charges could be laid the boycott would have ended years ago.

  29. I agree. But to me the continual trashing of Cornwall on this newspaper in the comments has to stop. Constantly seeing what you said and what I refer to and you actually start believing the crap.

  30. Author

    Hugger CFN has a mission and vision statement that’s very clear. People are allowed to share their opinions. Even if we stopped them from posting it they would still think it. Personally I would suggest the solution is giving people less issues to gripe about.

    Please do not try and censure or censor anyone here. Your opinion is just as important as anyone else’s. Debate the point being made by a person, but please do not attack them.

  31. Let’s hope with the new mayor and council things start to change.

  32. Author

    That would be a good start 🙂 And CFN is here to promote the good and mirror the bad. My story about Cornwall’s own RCMP agent on Parliament Hill has been picked up for reprint and will be exposing a positive story from Cornwall!

  33. I try not to. But the continual trashing of Cornwall on here gets to me. One saying I was taught as a kid was if you don’t have anything good to say then don’t say anything.

  34. Hi Everyone.

    @Hugger: I just wanted to make note that the website you quoted your population #’s from is based in the Republic of Germany – It’s not a Canadian source.

    I don’t live in Cornwall, but I am forced to do my grocery shopping there. I cannot say that Cornwall businesses are run by thieves and such, but I do question the ‘moral fabric’ of some of them. In the dollar store in the Cornwall mall, one is able to buy Crack Pipes. There was a small hand written sign saying it was for tobacco only, but one does not use GLASS pipes for tobacco. Glass pipes are for Crack Cocaine or Crystal Meth. That’s it, That’s All. I complained to both the owner of the store, and at the Mall offices. A year later, I can still buy a crack pipe at the Cornwall Square.

    I wouldn’t worry about your population levels though – Canada imported over a quarter million future ‘New Canadians’ last year, and probably more than that this year… They are gonna go somewhere, and Cornwall is an immigrant friendly city.

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