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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  1. i think the city is being ridiculous.When the boards were being put up in October is when the complaint should have happened .why are people complaining now?it is not hurting anyone.

  2. and these so called liabilty concerns are. . . ???? Basically it comes down to some dude complaining because he didn’t want to hear the pucks hitting boards no more?? Oh well who cares? As long as there not in the middle of the night, which since we’re talking about kids I doubt then it’s fine!!! Holy people get a life!!

  3. If she must tear down the board why don’t all the kids parents save 2 liter cartons of milk fill them with water and place them as a wall it is not a permanent fixture and if they would like you can add diff. color food coloring just fill let freeze empty .with a lot of family doing this I’m sure it would not take too long and it would be a nice colorful touch.

  4. I can’t believe they are using the right of way by law for this case when we have so many one way streets in this city which can’t even get plowed right during the winter due to the city not enforcing the no parking on streets during the winter. This is truly a worse situation of right of way than an Ice rink on someones front lawn.

  5. Another challenge is what is this teaching the children about problem-solving? The issue should go to mediation.

  6. To be honest, the neighbor who complained should be mortally ashamed of herself for not only being such a busy-body that she needs to mind other people’s business but for also being such a Grinch and mean-spirited person at this – or any – time of the year. You *really* do put the “Grinch” into the season. Maybe we should thank you for being such a good role model of what NOT to do or how to act …. And as for the city councilors and mayor who enforced the bylaws, when they let so much else slide or look the other way as they so often do … You WONT be getting MY vote ever again ….

  7. Like the girl said – having friends sleep over then go out and play is infinitely better than playing video games, watching movies, eating junk food. Here’s an example of kids GETTING active – voluntarily!! – and you want to remove that?? For shame!!

  8. Wake up mr mayor! Use some common sense and Leave the rink up. You know there is some way to help this situation and come next election, people WILL REMEMBER this one little decision you have before you. Ordering it to be taken down is career suicide.

  9. Thumbs up to Councilor Mark MacDonald!!!

    You found a great compromise with no casualties. I think this is the best way to solve problems.

    It would also be nice to get more councillors input on this topic. Let your voters know who they chose.

  10. Mediation…..mortally ashamed? Once a complaint is lodged the city has no choice. The rink sits on the city’s right of way. The city is (& should be) concerned about liability. But I do think the “rink” should be allowed to remain this year and not assembled next year. Or move it next year, perhaps to the back yard. Or have a smaller rink next year.

  11. I hope this bylaw works for all those car shelters and tempos that I’m sure are closer to the road then they should be. Same conditions as this rink. The city just opened a bigger issue than a rink

  12. I live in Winnipeg and saw the item about the hockey rink on CTV. I wish someone would build a rink like that on our street- would love to watch the kids play and get outside.How about some discretion?

  13. I agree with the councillor they should not in force the Bilaw this year seeing that he said they don’t always in force every bi law the children are having great fun and it’s keeping them happy next year they know not to do it and they won’t but why ruin a bunch of children’s fun I thought the mayor would be more of a good sport seeing that more then half the city are saying it should stay up and only one “grinch” who clearly just wants to cause trouble is the only one complaining I hope they get to keep it up. ….. stay safe and happy holidays and remember always use a designated driver 🙂

  14. Jan, when I lived in Winnipeg in the 70s I was amazed at the number of backyard rinks there were. One of the coldest cities on the planet, and the kids were out there skating, shooting pucks and having a great time.

  15. Nick Q….the car shelters are a different matter, they aren’t sitting on the city’s allowance. If they had to gain access to the buried utilities quickly this rink would not allow that.

  16. I wrote a lot that hasn’t been posted on this subject and I warned everyone for some years now about that cursed tax mahal of an albatross you call a Benson Centre and that dump will bury you all in taxes and the pay outs to BOB’s circle of a clique who is squeezing the living hell out of you and putting their filthy paws in your pockets as deep as those filthy paws can go. You haven’t seen anything yet what is coming our way. I am a little hammered just now since I dipped my beek in the Bailey’s and boy what a headache. I just woke up because of my husband waking me up and I need to sleep this off. I warned all of you before many times and Jamie didn’t post it. Jamie please post it.

  17. Author

    Jules if your posts are shorter, on subject, and don’t include some of the things you that you sometimes write they go through.

  18. Jamie I just posted a long one just now and it is on the subject but long and I hope that it does go through because I feel it to be important and on the subject. Thank you.

  19. Better to have the Benson Centre than to be pouring buckets of money into the Si Miller and Bob Turner arenas.

  20. This property owner cuts the grass on the “city’s property where the rink is on”….Does the property owner get anything from the city to service city’s lawn? And for that matter there are many other bylaws that are not enforced…Leslie sad it was time for change? what change? what transperency? The 2 people that complained, I’ll be avoiding your businesses

  21. I live in SK and don’t know the family who built the rink but I just want to say that I applaud parents that make ways to give their children a great way of life. How fun to play hockey and skate in an outdoor rink in winter. My dad used to build us one on our yard in winter. Our neighbors across the street have quads and snowmobiles and because our small city allows people to drive these if you need to go from point to point they often start them so we have to put up with noise sometimes too. I just smile every time I hear those motors because I know that the dad and those kids are going out to do something fun like ice fishing. We need to support parents that do things for their kids that keep them active and away from the TV! By the way, I think the boards should stay; you actually need them for hockey and it keeps the pucks from going onto the road!

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