UPDATED City Of Cornwall Ontario Brutally Send In Trucks To Take Down Vincent Rink JAN 5, 2015

Truck to plow vincents JAN 5 15CORNWALL Ontario – Ugly politics have led to a city directed truck starting to tear down the Vincent family ice rink in Cornwall Ontario.  Manager Bill De Witt who was present said it was on direct orders of Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy and CAO Norm Levac.

Laura Vincent was teaching at school when City By Law Officer Joel Lemire phoned her to tell her that city vehicles were coming to tear down her rink.

When CFN and Mrs. Vincent arrived the city had already painted marks for the back hoe.

Shortly after a back hoe arrived and cleared snow around the rink up to the pink hash marks.

The truck left and City Manager Bill De Wit arrived and explained that on orders from Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy and CAO Norm Levac the city was to tear down the boards. (and bill the Vincent’s)

Mrs Vincent was upset as previously Mayor O’Shaughnessy had clearly stated that they could have up to an extra week.  As well, with the help of councilor Mark MacDonald they had applied for a minor variance.

The Vincent’s received a notification, but city staff were off for the holidays.   This being the first day back for many the tear down order was already in place.

There’s been a certain political meanness to this process similar to Beavergate where the city refused to hold a moratorium of beaver trapping in a city owned nature park.   At that time their response was to move the deadly conibear kill traps next to the beaver lodge wiping out the family.

In fact one of the family members of “The Block” posted this on facebook.

Kinda makes it sound more like a US inner city than one of the most expensive neighborhoods to live in Cornwall.

This after it was alleged that former councilor Glen Grant helped file the complaint to pull the rink down.

Mr. De Wit stated that they would hold off until Levac spoke to Mrs. Vincent regarding the minor variance.  CFN will update with video as soon as it’s loaded.

UPDATE 1:30 PM

Mrs. Vincent has informed CFN that CAO Norm Levac has denied her minor variance and is sending in the trucks.

UPDATE 5:00 PM 

The Vincent’s have posted on facebook that they are taking boards down tonight and asking for help.  They are hoping to avoid the city coming back and billing them and have also vowed to sell their home and leave the city.

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Should the Vincent's Have to Take Their Ice Rink Down in Cornwall Ontario?

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87 comments

  1. {MODERATED}

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    Cornwall > ByLaws
    The City is powerful unfortunately, They have essentially the power to do whatever it is they want with THEIR city which is unfortunate. The Vincents are doing the right thing by moving out, the only way to beat a cancer is to get rid of it. God Bless the Vincents for doing something for the kids and keeping them out of trouble

  2. this is a sad ending to this story, I personally know this family and know they had a lot of pride in their rink. The only losers in this are the kids, it’s too bad all this happend around xmas time and an agreement wasn’t made. Hopefully in the future some of these bylaws could be changed moving forward to prevent stuff like this from happening. No matter how upset ppl get at any individual in this situation it won’t change what happend.

  3. Jesse Lagrue….some of us were “grandfathered” into CFN’s comment policy before the new policy of full names took effect in early December. I use a pseudonym because my wife works for a local municipality and I will not have her career suffer because of anything I say here or on other comment sites. Some may not like it, but those are the rules Admin set up.

  4. And so far it’s working really well. It’s amazing how the most toxic comments come from trolls or the gutless who won’t post their names.

  5. Gerry Dean….this was not just handled badly by the city, it was handled bad by the Vincents as well. First they said they would take the offending boards down, then they said they wouldn’t. That forced the city’s hand, as you cannot have people ignoring city orders. Who won in this case? IMHO, no one won. The kids lost most of their rink, the city (admin) looks bad for try to destroy a Canadian winter icon. I think we all could have done without this mess. BUT ON THE GOOD SIDE CANADA WON GOLD AT THE WJC 2015!!

  6. Hugger your information is incorrect because some very unprofessional media spun the story. Please see the Townsdale story today. The Vincent’s did nothing wrong and their rink has now been destroyed. They essentially were bullied with City Hall being used as a weapon at taxpayer expense.

  7. Perhaps the bylaws won’t be changed. But I think the city admin has learned a thing or two or how / how not to handle a situation.

  8. No, the CAO was a big part of this problem. And it was Norm that gave the order according to Bill De Wit on site yesterday. Watch the video Hugger. Get your facts straight. This is how they handled beavergate too. It shows that they have not learned and may not be capable of learning, thus they need to be removed from their positions. Do you know how much the city of Cornwall has to pay to attract a family like the Vincent’s to our city? Complain about low income, low education, an aging population and we just chased away two young professionals with a family? Someone should be fired for this, period and frankly it’s time for Norm Levac to finish his retirement process.

  9. Admin….I can only go by what I see or read. What I read / saw was that the Vincents had agreed to take down the offending rink parts. Then after the “rally” they said they wouldn’t take any of it down. As I’ve said many times I do not rely solely on CFN for my news. Thus if it was reported wrong then the reading / viewing public gets the wrong info. The reading / viewing public can only go by the info given to them.

  10. And that hugger is why CFN tends to rely on either written documentation for quotes or video.

  11. moving out of the city won’t fix this situation. They should start the process now of getting this bylaw changed. Running away never solves anything, this is a great family and does great things for our community and that’s why they should contact who they need to do and fight to get the bylaw changed so moving forward maybe it will be changed and maybe it won’t be who knows. If you just sit back nothing will ever change.

  12. I watched all the videos yesterday. We see things in two different ways. Like you said yesterday we agree to disagree. You see it one way I see it another. If everyone always agreed the world would be a very sterile boring place.

    The city does not pay families to come to Cornwall. They were attracted here for a reason or perhaps they were already here. Why they’re leaving is their own decision.

  13. I think one thing has got lost in all of this. Once a bylaw complaint is filed the city must act upon that complaint. For those who say the city didn’t have to act on the complaint that’s wrong. The complaint must be investigated. We’ve been sunject to one bylaw complaint since moving to Cornwall. As well, we were subject to other bylaw complaints in our previous location. That being said I think the city should have held a meeting between the Vincents and the bylaw complainer and tried to reach a mutually agreed upon settlement. I think the city acted hastily, considering the admin offices were closed from December 24 (noon) to January 4.

  14. Long Sault is a community that is destined to grow by leaps and bounds particularly if Cornwall continues to promote itself as a less than desirable destination and not family friendly. But hey rules are rules.

  15. Too Bad for the kids….!……what a joke this by-law is…..like when the city counsellors wanted the e-bikes off the bikepath…..and Elaine reminding e-bikers to obey this important by-law……wow…..that was a challenge for the city ……how about….it’s not the first family to leave and won’t be the last…still….its power abuse……..there was nothing dangerous about that rink ….the city could have overlooked it…Id like to know if perry dunlop got to build a rink out west….?where his kids are safe from bullying adults in power……now the Vincents and who knows where this will end…….this is unfortunate and abusive by non caring neighbours..and mr. houle to have started this fight to begin with…….going to eat the body of Christ this sunday m.houle. …….this is why i state that the town is not going forward it seems that there is some truth in my belief….and I certainly am glad for the ones who leave because they have seen enough of this craziness…….a national shame cornwall is …..

  16. lol, Jason you need to go reread what you’re quoting and then I would suggest that you read the fence bylaw while you’re at it. 🙂

  17. Marc Carrière I salute you for what you said and yes to go to church to accept the body of Christ and then go home and curse his neighbor, his employees, his patrons, etc. and call himself a Christian whereas they are all hypocrites. I know and that is why I left the church. I can say so much and when I do Jamie never posts it and believe me I have plenty to say and things that the general people do not know a thing about anything. I have had my fill with Cornwall and I left for my sanity and the sanity and life of my family and anybody sane would do the same thing.

  18. Will Marsolais I don’t know the Vincents personally but I can see that they are very good people and way too good for Cornwall. There is an old expression “YOU CAN’T FIGHT CITY HALL” unless that only applies to Cornwall. Cornwall is a mighty big loser and has lost the best and brightest from the past till today. I agree with David Oldham that Long Sault will grow and prosper over Cornwall and I have said that for a long time except for the new mayor in charge and Tammy Hart and Richard Currier in the hot seat and until things change for the better nothing of good will happen. I cannot stand Norm Levac at all and wish that he left a long time ago. He has overstayed his stay and like a bad guest he is a real nuisance.

  19. This is all getting very silly. The vincents can be made to look good or bad. The Cornwall council and mayor can be made to look good or bad. So where are we going to get with all the bickering? Let it go, they were wrong but we all love hockey and kids playing. Everyone knows very well that it’s easy to say the mayor is wrong, but if he let the rink stay he can also be shown as wrong because of favoritism. Especially if you have a bone to pick with him, this situation is like having him bent over the couch.

  20. I re-read it again and the fence bylaw, Since there is no definition of fence in the bylaw I went with one from the Meriam – Webster dictionary. The rink is NOT a fence and the offending parts can be removed in an emergency. Again, they do not define emergency. So, it’s a matter of interpretation by the Vincents and the city. When two parties have different interpretations of a laws this is what happens.

  21. I agree, we agree to disagree. Part of the problem is, like all cities, towns, etc., they fail to provide definitions at the beginning of the bylaw. When that happens you get what is happening now. It is left up to city residents and city administrators to interpret what is meant in a bylaw. When that happens you get cases like the Vincents vs the Houles vs the city.

  22. Hugger you said the offending part can be removed in an emergency. Was there an emergency that made the City destroy their rink?
    I wonder how many kids who played hockey on a rink became criminals and how many kids who didn’t play on an ice surface did become criminal. I would rather have the kids on a rink where the Parents can watch them because now days you never know what could happen to a child.

    Like the pedophile who was released from prison
    Toronto police issue alert after pedophile released from prison after 21 years. That was yesterday Hugger and printed Today in the Toronto Star.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2015/01/05/toronto_police_issue_alert_after_pedophile_released_from_prison_after_21_years.html

  23. Monique Ashby….I never said there was an emergency. What I was saying was what is in the bylaw. And as I mentioned earlier due to the lack of sufficient definitions at the beginning of the bylaw it leaves that bylaw (and probably many others) open to misinterpretation by both city residents and city administrators.

  24. Hugger1 OK it is in the bylaw but you never answered about the question which also I apologize I made a mistake about my question it should have read:

    I wonder how many % of kids who didn’t played hockey on a rink became criminals and how many % of kids who did play on an ice surface did not become criminal. I would rather have the kids on a rink where the Parents can watch them because now days you never know what could happen to a child.
    Like the pedophile who was released from prison
    Toronto police issue alert after pedophile released from prison after 21 years.
    Sorry I made mistakes in my last post which I just corrected.

  25. {moderated} Jules. Nothing more than a short paragraph please. It may be the best post ever, but I will not read a freaking book to moderate a post.

  26. Monique Ashby….I guess it’s how you define “emergency.” But since the city bylaw doesn’t define “emergency we are no far ahead.

  27. One question who cuts the grass in the summer owner or city?

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  28. Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy has indicated quite emphatically that there are electrical cables and gas lines running underneath the rink. Exactly, and I do mean EXACTLY where are these lines located according to the Official City of Cornwall Public Land, Utility and Public Works Records? What is the EXACT depth of this critical infrastructure?

  29. I took a look at the city interactive maps. According to the maps there are sanitary and storm sewers running under the city road allowance. As these maps just indicate “city” utilities there is no indication of natural gas, hydro or cable TV lines as well. And according to the aerial view map they would have enough space to move the rink to the back yard.

  30. Hugger the Vincent family today indicated that they’d called the toll free number to check for utilities prior to ever building a rink. The utilities are apparently not an issue.

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