City Councilor Mark MacDonald Rebuffs City Position on Vincent Kids Ice Rink in Cornwall Ontario

City Councilor Mark MacDonald Rebuffs City Position on Vincent Kids Ice Rink in Cornwall Ontario

vincent rink 2 DEC 23 2014CORNWALL Ontario – City Councilor Mark A MacDonald has rebuffed the official City line over the Vincent Ice Rink on Monaco Crescent.

Greetings:  This is my position with respect to the recent city of Cornwall press release regarding the kids ice rink.

My understanding is that our by-law officers have the authority to use discretion when it comes to enforcement.  They should use their discretionary authority and they can choose not to enforce this particular by-law, until next year.  

I think that this is the course of action that we should take.  I’ve had the opportunity to speak to Laura Vincent and she claims that if they are forced to take down the boards, the kids will lose their rink.  She would like to see the boards stay.  They will NOT put the rink up next year.

This is a time for discretion and this is my opinion on how to proceed.  The city does not enforce every by-law all of the time.  I respectfully disagree with the approach the city is taking on this issue.

Based on the following reasons, I think that we should use discretionary authority on enforcement and allow the rink to stay for the remainder of the hockey season.  If they lose the boards, the kids lose their rink.

#1 — This is a heavy handed approach to this situation.
#2 — The city does not always enforce every by-law.
#3 — The Vincent family is aware and will NOT put the boards up next year.
#4 — There is a time for discretion and this is it.
#6 — This is a time for cooperation, for the sake of the kids.

Mark A. MacDonald
Councillor, City of Cornwall

The City issued a press release on behalf of Mayor O’Shaughnessy earlier in the afternoon.

City provides clarification on outdoor rink on Monaco Crescent

The City of Cornwall would like provide some clarification on the outdoor rink that has been established at a private residence on Monaco Crescent.

The City would like to stress that it has not instructed the homeowners to remove the ice rink but rather the boards that surround the ice. The City would also like to note that the homeowner never sought or received permission to install the rink boards in their present location.

The boards fall within the municipal right-of-way, which is in contravention of Section 4.6 of the City’s Streets By-law No. 56-2003. Municipal rights-of-way are preserved in order to protect underground utilities and to provide space for snow storage, among other things.

Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy met with City Administration prior to joining Councillor David Murphy at a meeting with the homeowners on Tuesday morning to discuss the matter further.

“The City has nothing against homeowners wishing to build an outdoor rink to provide sport and recreational opportunities for children. In fact, we think it’s a great thing,” said Mayor O’Shaughnessy. “But this is not about children. This is about public safety and working within the By-laws that are in place. If we allow an exception to the By-law in one place, what’s to say there won’t be other situations that arise?”

The City received a complaint about the structure and it has a duty to act on potential safety and liability concerns.

“When we are made aware of liabilities we have a responsibility to correct them,” added Mayor O’Shaughnessy. “The City is expecting to face a significant increase in insurance costs in 2015. As a City, we should be looking at reducing liability, not increasing it.”

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