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. Do the same to O’Shaughnessey in the next election toss him to the garbage heap – all of them at the council table and bring back the Ward System and make them all accountable for their actions. Toss Leslie to the garbage dump!

  2. I hope, Jules, that you’re not suggesting that this event qualifies council to be elected out in four years. There will be many more issues that council will have to deal with. One issue, that somehow got blown out of propotion, does not define the current council.

  3. I can understand why people are sympathetic to the family and the ice rink however I think there is an important point that has to be considered. Is the rink legal? Does it meet all city bylaws? Obviously it does not so the city has no choice but to do something to have it removed. If it was allowed to remain due to popular protest then anyone could do whatever they wanted if they could get the public on their side. That would be a prescription for chaos.

    Have said that and understanding the situation, some kind of compromise should be worked out ensuring the rink does not show again at the same location next year. To set the date and, due to holidays, to fail to follow up until the night before, is high-handed in the extreme. At the least another week should have been allowed before moving on this illegally-located rink. That would have allowed some time for discussion and maybe a resolution all sides could have lived with.

    As it is, the city gets a black eye even though, legally, it is only doing what it must.

  4. Marc the problem is that we don’t really know if the city is “doing what it must”. It really feels that this is some heavy handed mean spirited political favor doing on behalf of some “Old Boys” clique thing.

  5. I drove past the rink this morning around 9:00 a.m. and all was peaceful. This is a telling day for the new mayor. I am very disappointed in the manner that this situation was handled.

    Some things are destined never to change. Cornwall needs an individual with a wealth of common sense to guide this dirty little town out of the darkness.

  6. The city told the Vincents that the pegs in the ground are what’s making their rink illegal according to bylaws that have been in place for ages. The Vincents chose to duke it out with the city instead of searching for, and working towards a compromise. The kids are the losers in all of this if their rink is destroyed. It’s easy to point fingers at the city for being mean spirited, but at the same time the kids could also learn about negotiation and compromise and who better to teach that than parents who are teachers? So get a week’s extension, get the pegs out of the ground and do some engineering and figure out a way to save the rink. Hardheaded adults on both sides. It’s not US vs. THEM, it’s just US.. always has been. Who’s going to save the rink?

  7. Jamie, the fact is the rink is not in compliance with the bylaw. To that extent, the city must do what it must — it MUST uphold city bylaws. Legally there is no choice.

    How the complaint came to be is a totally different issue and not one I am prepared to comment on.

  8. Marc nails it. The city has to enforce the bylaw, especially if there is a registered complaint. Council can amend or eliminate any bylaw in the future, but the ones on the books have to be enforced.

  9. Marc let me make this clear. The actions against the Vincent rink are not acceptable. They might not even be legal. This has been heavy handed abuse of a possible breach of the law. Do we really want to live in a world of hyper nit picking of bylaws? Shall we all start combing and complaining to City Hall? Maybe we should…..

  10. Jamie, if one doesn’t like the bylaws one goes to one’s council member. It’s long and tedious, but that is the way to change bad laws — not taking them into your own hands.

  11. Marc there is the “interpretation” of a by law that can be reviewed. Then there is the resolution if the by law is in breach. This process has not occurred. What we’ve had is some “Old Boys” get a councilor to assist in lodging a complaint and a by law officer offer only one resolution without any process, appeal, or true discussion. This is not how Democracy works.

  12. It’s the good ole boys drinking whiskey and rhye good ole Mississippi Cornhole dump. It never changes it just keeps on smelling like Domtar never left.

  13. I get the sense that the tide has turned in the rink fiasco. At one point the Vincents were willing to work out a solution with the city. Then they said they would not take the rink or its offending parts down. Now upon reading here and other sites it seems the tide has turned against the Vincents and their refusal to abide to the bylaw(s).

  14. Hugger I think the average person being manhandled highhandedly is not something the average family is prepared for. Today Mrs. Vincent was allegedly spoken to rudely by city staff, saw a tractor show up at her home after not expecting one and for some odd reason a large police presence.

    That would undermine many people’s will to fight. Isn’t it easier to just sell your home and move? A City With a World of Possibilities. We now know that having an ice rink on Monaco Crescent isn’t one of those. If the solution is always to move when faced by bullying who will be left here in Cornwall?

  15. Please stop with the “Cornhole” commrnts. It may be a common comment on Cornwall, but one I find quite offensive.

    Roland Besner….I would NEVER publish my phone number on a website. Perhaps you should have asked Jamie to forward your message privately, not on the comments section.

  16. I agree with your comments of January 5, 2015 at 6:08 pm. However, when they said they would not remove the offending elements things changed. If we all decide we don’t like laws and will not obey them where does that put us? It puts us in a lawless society with no rules. It would have been better if the Vincents had tried to work with the city instead of first saying they would, then saying they would not remove the rink’s parts on city property.

  17. Why would anyone require the assistance of a councilor to lodge a complaint about a bylaw infraction? It’s a very simple process. Apart from providing phone numbers and directing a constituent to the office of bylaw enforcement, what more can a councilor do? Under the Ontario Municipal Act, a councilor cannot interfere with the enforcement (or not) of any bylaw.

  18. Hugger I think you need to listen to what Mrs. Vincents states in the updated story with videos.

  19. I’ve been following this through various outlets since it first came onboard. I think this is a case of neither side wanting to lose or give an inch. Nothing wrong with that. But no one wins or comes out looking like they won. Both sides lose when they stick their heels in.

  20. No Hugger. I think it’s safe to think that your perspective as shared is wrong on this one. Due process was not served. The City did not respond or parlay including today refusing to deal with the request for variation. It was a heavy handed political decision.

  21. “Manhandled highhandedly?” Not in my eyes. When the Vincents said they would not remove the rink parts after saying they would they left the city no choice. She really couldn’t have been surprised that the city acted today. They were told they had until today to remove the parts or the city would do it for them. It doesn’t surprise me the city acted today. What surprised me was that they waited until the afternoon.

  22. why don’t the Vincent’s take out the peg and leave the rink don’t give in to your neighbours or the city

  23. The request for a variace was denied by the city today. IMHO the city had no choice but to do what they did today. The Vincents could have avoided all of this if they had altered the rink, as they said they would originally, when the weather was favourable. But they chose not to and thus forced the city’s hand.

  24. we’ll have to agree to disagree Hugger. It’s odd, but this is the first time I have ever felt like moving from this town. That’s crazy considering all of the weird and freaky stuff I’ve seen here….

  25. It is good that the Vincents are taking the boards down.

    It seems to me that there is still a clique mentality here. From re-reading your article it seems Andre Cardinal thinks he’s a leader of the pack.

  26. I dont think they should have to tear the rink down they complain that children are spending way to much time in the house not being active this family has taken the NOTION TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT … TO get them outside and being active and having fun …let them play be kids and enjoy the out doors …There are to many people now a days that have nothing better to do but complain about what the neighbors are doing than thinking about how families can enjoy a good game of hockey or skating or just having family time..Get over it and for the pegs being a problem really its not the pegs that are the problem it is people who are the problem >>LEAVE THEM ALONE WHAT IS NOT BROKEN DONT TRY TO FIX IT … LET PEOPLE HAVE A LIFE WITHOUT ALL THE NICK PICKING AND BS …AFTER ALL THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLS ENOUGH WITH THERE BYLAWS BUT CANT CLEAN THERE OWN BS UP…TAKE TAKE TAKE AND THEN THEY WONDER WHY SO MANY KIDS HAVE NOTHING AND GET INTO TROUBLE WITH THE LAW…When I grew up we had rinks and all kinds of things we could do …WHAT DO THE KIDS HAVE NOW ???? ASTHE CITY TAKES AWAY EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS A COST FOR THE PEOPLE …SICK IF YOU ASK ME ….WHO MADE YOU ALL SO SERIOUS THAT YOU FORGOT WHAT IT WAS TO HAVE FUN AND BE A CHILD ON THE ICE …WAKE UP PEOPLE IF THE ICE RINK IS AN EYE SORE TO YOU THEN DONT LOOK

  27. After reading the little Facebook capture above, it’s amusing to think that such a dinky little street could harbour such an overblown elitist gang… a bunch of grumps and toffee-nosed snots crying to the city to rip down a children’s hockey rink.

    Cornwall thanks you all for the black-eye that you’ve given this community.

    Bad enough that some “Old Man Potter” had to grump and crab to city hall, but these other arrogant fleas are outrageously pathetic.

    Sure the rink isn’t a work of art, but it’s damned practical, well used, free, and kids can walk there (without dodging traffic).

    And really, the rather pricier Benson Centre, is one gaudy piece of tin and corrugated metal… tucked in behind a chlorine storage farm, with a railroad track for a necklace, and 4 or 5 lanes of speeding traffic to keep out the riff-raff kids.

    A variance could easily have been given for the remainder of the season, even our former self-serving city council could have managed that, yet here we have a brand new council, having no imagination, no guts, and — it would seem — no need for a jock strap!!

  28. To be clear I do respect Admin’s opinions. I, at times, do enjoy the exchanges I have with Admin, Jules and others. PTN I could do without. I’ve been on other sites where it’s like arguing with 7 yr olds, you get nowhere. Please do not leave Cornwall. We need you here.

  29. Is she crying? C’mon! Take responsibility and own up to the fact that you did not do your due. diligence prior to setting this rink up. If you don’t like the laws, fight to change them through the appropriate means. Maybe next year I’ll set up a beach volleyball court on my parents front yard and up to the boulevard than complain when the city takes away my sand castles

  30. If there is indeed a clique on Monaco Cres there is very little the Vincents and others can do. It is good the Vincents are taking down the offending items. It avoids the city doing it and sending the Vincents a hefty bill. People say that there are other items (snow remoal signs, temporary car holes, etc.) in the city that are on the city’s road allowance. Well, if people don’t like those things on the city road allowance they know what to do.

  31. Jason women are emotional and she has a right to be. This lady feels that it is her property to do as she pleases and now she is seeing the reality of how mean people can be. What a lot of you do not know is that BOB (yes your former mayor BOB)brother-in-law Sgt. Snyder lives on that street as well and his name was not mentioned but talk about the GOOD OLE BOYS CLUB YOU HIT IT ON THE NAIL. The good ole boys drinking whiskey and rye ……… I am signing that song while typing this out and laughing about Cornhole. Cornhole is backward Mississippi and you cannot change a mentality that has never lived anywhere else. These people put big money into their house and they will find out about the losses just like what happened to us and putting nice things into a house and getting screwed royally. I nearly fell off my chair listening to how much taxes these people are paying. IN CORNWALL YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!

  32. Jules I have to tell you something. I don’t think Kilger would have taken down the rink. He might have sold the kids future’s in a harbour deal, but I can’t see him pulling that rink down….

  33. {MODERATED}

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  34. @Jules.. I really take offence to all the name calling you do. Ex. Cornhole, Enough please. I live here and it is negative and doe not attract viewers to this site..thanks.. Yes I live here, yes I pay big taxes etc. and no I am not in love with Cornwall I have met some very nice folks here and continue to do so

  35. So Jane Doe it’s offensive for Jules to be a silly old trout and spout a name, but it’s not offensive to rip down hockey rinks, sell out hospitals, allow Chem tanks through subterfuge, and conspire against local businesses? That’s messed up.

  36. Maybe Council will amend the bylaw so that front yard rinks will be permitted in the future. In the meantime, the city managers legally have to run the city in abidance with the current bylaws and regulations. How difficult is that to understand, Jamie?

  37. Jamie the hockey rink was totally wrong.. The idea was great, their hearts are big. BUT why not get a permit? My son has a rink in Orford QC. His boards are 1 foot high and it enough. Why whe big boards etc.. Were they playing with real pucks or Walt. That rinks is not appropriate in any one’s front yard.. I think if they would have informed themselves especially being teachers they would have saved themselves a lot of trouble

  38. Jane you don’t need a permit in Cornwall for a rink. The point isn’t allowing someone to break a law. The point is that I’m not sure the Vincent’s broke a law and that if they did the penalty is to rip down the rink. Nobody is quoting factual by laws and remedies.

  39. Well then it must be property standards. Jamie I put up a fence pew hat is the difference. I needed permit for that. Cornwall electric marked the ground in orange to indicate where the line was underground plus Union gas came and put up yellow flags.. There has to be a legit reason why this rink came down. Sorry

  40. I think that the city was 100% wrong on how this was handled and if it was that big of a problem then it should have been addressed where the family could have talked with the city to come up with an alternative to this. I am disappointed that people would take away all of the fun these kids were having over such a minor thing. I have met the Vincent Family while doing my job and they are very nice people they would not have done this to upset people they were only thinking of the children in the area. Now if kids want to skate at an outdoor rink they have to walk to the closest rink instead of being able to go to this nice local rink that was made for them.

  41. I did use my real name. And my email doesn’t “bounce” I use it for everything. You’re just trying to hide the fact that you wrote an incredibly biased article followed by a biased poll.

    I can’t wait to see what I’m “moderated for next”

    I’m willing to bet: Admin, Jane Doe, and Hugger 1 are all real names though right Jamie 😉

    Suppress anything against you as you will, but some of us can see the hypocrite, you aren’t a journalist, you’re a sensationalist.

  42. Jamie, the pdf of bylaws you linked i believe the the bylaw being broken would be 8(1). Not sure if it would be alter or modify though.

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