Cornwall City Councilor Justin Towndale Speaks Out Regarding Vincent Ice Rink – JAN 6, 2015

towndaleCORNWALL Ontario – Rookie City Councilor (and Liberal nomination hopeful Justin Towndale has spoken out regarding the Monaco rink status.

He sent CFN the following communication.

He is only the second councilor to publicly speak out regarding the rink that the city sent trucks and police to yesterday.


Please see my comments on the rink issue below. I sent that email on Friday, and then emailed Laura (also below) immediately after. I received a reply that a review would take place this morning and I had been expecting a discussion today, but unfortunately, this was not the case. Your phone call was my first indication about the removal. I asked about it, but did not receive a reply until the removal had been confirmed. Today, once the removal started, my hands were tied. As a single Councillor, I cannot stop a removal order. Even with three, we cannot.

Part of my hope for a delay was so that alterations could be made the rink, as discussed here:

Excerpt: “If there are no pegs, it’s not to be considered a structure,” de Wit said. “They can put a 2×6 or 2×10 down as long as its not fastened.” Contacted on Christmas Eve, Laura Vincent welcomed the option.”

Some people are attacking the Municipal Works employees who executed the removal order. This is not fair, as they are simply doing their jobs. In the end, responsibility either way rests at the top with us. Personally, I still would have preferred a different outcome. Or at the very least, an opportunity to discuss the issue in depth.

Justin Towndale
City of Cornwall/Ville de Cornwall
Cell: 613-362-4856

As we can also see from this email below Mr. Towndale was one of the few trying to show leadership and sanity regarding the rink.

That would beget the question as to why CAO Norm Levac and Mayor O’Shaughnessy instructed a city manager, Bill De Wit to show up on January 5th to carry out the rink removal order and essentially bully and terrorize the Vincent family who had to take time off of work.    Why were three police cars needed at one point?   Other media are claiming that people refused to remove their vehicles, but that simply wasn’t true.

There were two vehicles parked in front of the Vincent home at one point, both of which were removed without incident.

Maybe it’s time for Norm to fulfill his promised retirement as CAO?

—– Forwarded by Justin Towndale/CITYHALL/CityCornwall on 01/02/2015 04:25 PM —–

From:        Justin Towndale/CITYHALL/CityCornwall
To:        Norm Levac/ENG/CityCornwall@CityCornwall, Helen Finn/CITYHALL/CityCornwall@CITYCORNWALL,
Cc:        Councillors@CityCornwall, Leslie O’Shaughnessy/CITYHALL/CityCornwall@CITYCORNWALL
Date:        01/02/2015 04:25 PM
Subject:        Monaco Crescent Ice Rink

Good Afternoon All,

I hope that everyone had a great holiday season, and a very Happy New Year. As the holidays come to a close, I am writing to formally request an extension to the take down order that was issued to the Vincent’s for the ice rink that they have erected. Unfortunately, I am not sure where to send this request. I am also not sure if I can make such a request alone, without a formal motion at a Council meeting. As such I am emailing the CAO and Clerk, so that it can be passed along to the appropriate department and persons responsible, or so that I can be provided with feedback and direction. I have also copied the Mayor and City Council for their information.

By-Law 56-2003 states that any encroachment (in this case, the rink) must be removed within 10 days of notice being served. The notice was served on December 22, 2014 at 11:50AM. The date for removal given is January 5, 2014, which is  technically 10 business days. However, it does not take into account the holiday season. Christmas Day and New Years Day are statutory holidays and are not usually counted as business days.

In addition, with the holidays, and with City Hall being closed from 12 noon on December 24, until January 5, there was only one real business day, December 23, available. The reason I’m brining this up is not due to semantics, but because it has been difficult to actively pursue this issue at this time of year. This matter is of interest to at least three Councillors, including myself, and it is something that we would like to attempt to address. However, again, due to the time of year, it has not been possible, and the January 5 deadline does not take this into account. Basically the notice period takes place when almost everyone is off. If the Vincents were to file an encroachment review request, the first possible day to submit it is January 5, the same day that the removal order takes place.

The purpose of the by-law is not lost on me, and it was put into place for a valid reason. However, at the same time, by-laws are made and amended by City Council. As Council has the ability and authority to review by-laws I strongly believe that we should at the very least have the opportunity to take a look at the issue. I would like to see it on the agenda at our next meeting, which is January 12, and will be looking to add a motion to the agenda so that we can have a discussion.

I’ll also be very candid here. Because the story made national news, Cornwall did receive a ‘black eye’ as The Seeker put it. I strongly believe that Council should be able to take a look before the rink is taken down. Once it is taken down, it is too late to have a discussion. As an elected representative, it is my job to represent the residents of this city when they have an issue with administrative policy. I am also a representative of the City to the rest of Ontario, and Canada. It is also my responsibility to promote Cornwall, and to ensure that we have a positive reputation.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this.


Justin Towndale
City of Cornwall/Ville de Cornwall
Cell: 613-362-4856

And here is an email he sent Mrs. Vincent.

Date:        01/02/2015 04:36 PM
Subject:        Fw: Monaco Crescent Ice Rink

Good Afternoon Laura,

Below is an email that I just sent to City Council and our CAO and Clerk. I am still hoping for what I consider a positive solution to the issue at hand. I mentioned an encroachment review in the email. I’ve attached a link that explains the process for a review:

I’m not sure if the link will work for you or not. A copy of the procedure is supposed to be on the City website, but isn’t working. I had to creatively find a cached (backed up) version of it. So the formatting will look a bit odd. Basically, there is a formal process for you to initiate a review of the City’s decision to issue a removal order. However, it looks as though the fee is $200.00, and it requires sketches. Unfortunately, I cannot get a better copy of, or clarification on, the process as everyone is off until January 5th, which is why I am hoping to at least get a temporary extension so that we can have the opportunity to take a better look at the issue.

I will do my best and keep trying.

All the best to your girls tomorrow at their tournament.

Thanks, and talk soon,

Justin Towndale
City of Cornwall/Ville de Cornwall
Cell: 613-362-4856

Or as Councilor Mark A MacDonald stated in an email to council.

It is completely absurd that the first order of business in the new year, was for the city to send in the heavy machinery to deal with an issue that could have been resolved by being a little more considerate.  It seems a bit heavy handed.  
Mark A MacDonald

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

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  1. Justin Towndale and Mark MacDonald I extend my vote of gratitude. Rarely have I seen a Cornwall councilor, let alone two, step up and speak their mind.

    This situation was one of the poorest handled that I have witnessed in my 28 years a resident of Cornwall. Fortunate indeed that you have separated yourselves from the pack. In all fairness I also include David Murphy who fairly represented the cities position while at the same time promoting a common sense solution.

    Where were the rest of the councilors. Were they to busy spending their first paychecks to stand up for a Cornwall family?

  2. Three wards people. East, West and North. You must live in the ward to represent it and you must live and pay taxes in Cornwall to be a councilor period. Six councilors and a mayor for 45,000 people.

    My point here is that had a councilor been directly responsible to the electorate in his/her ward this rink situation would likely have been handled more appropriately and have concluded much differently.

  3. Author

    David this is an example of why I have been writing that Cornwall needs a ward system for over five years now.

  4. Ward system….yes. But I’d say eight councilors. Five for wards and three city wide.

    Has David Murphy turned the corner and is going away from clique mentality?

  5. Author

    Hugger in my opinion Mr. Murphy’s only claim to sorta fame is his clique position. He’s a caricature of a politician.

  6. That’s what I don’t like about the internet. It’s hard to tell emotions or when someone is asking a rhetorical question. My question / comment “Has David Murphy turned the corner and is going away from clique mentality?” was meant to be rhetorical.

    My suggestions for wards would be: West, North, Centre, East and Northeast.

  7. It shows again and again that whatever happened, the old mentality is still there! Who consider the opinion and then the petition of thousands of citizens from Cornwall? You see that your opinion, or whatever you think, don’t matter when they, ( municipal, provincial, federal) are elected. Who runs the city, really?? For me it’s the same ideology that showed up again!! What was so important to put down an outside rink, where some kids had fun?? I salute mr. Mark Mc Donald to step up again and is not afraid to speak and say what he has to say!! I also salute Mr. Towndale for showing some wisdom in all that stupid intervention. Also, this stupid way of reacting from the city, when they react on a complaint, while others could have done the same thing and not had any problem, if no complain being reported. This is what it is in Cornwall and they have now a black eye, that will give this city a bad name or reputation or reinforced it!! This city will lose also a good family, as they will sell their house and leave the city. Do Cornwall are not in need of good citizen, who bring something to this community, instead of too many drug and cigarettes traffickers all over the place in this city, to name just two things?? As I can see, the given reason for so call security, to put down the Vincent rink, was a false one, the real reason as you say Jamie, is the old boys country club behind it!! Not in my backyard!! To me, all this thing stinks and showed me again, that our right, as the one who pays taxes, who we the people should run the show, our opinion don’t matter in this country who is becoming more and more of a police state, like the U.S.A. After what I see all over this country, the establishment should not be surprised about the rise of people who disconnect from this society.

  8. Author

    Mario look at how some of the other media are spinning and making the Vincent’s look like they are capitulating. They were bullied. They are reacting to force and threat of financial pain when they have children to think about. What family should go through that?

  9. Jamie, you are right!! They always take the same action against people, by threatening financially, those who try to have some kind of justice!! It seems it’s their favorite way of threatening people!! But, Jamie, even worst is the complicity of the media, press, TV who are bullying people and who are sleeping with the establishment!! No matter, how much their actions are disgusting, they still sleeps with these much of the time corporate and don’t try to take position for justice period. As I had follow you for a while, I respect you very much for your sense of justice and to be able to speak out, no matter what for justice and accountability!! I have always said that what is going to kill our Canadian system is the political correctness, not being able to call it like it is, a cat is a cat and a dog is a dog!! The one who fight for justice and is rights are always pictured as extremists and sometimes, but more and more these days as terrorists!! In this little story about the Vincent rink, is that there should have been put a moratorium in place for two months, not even, as the winter season would have been over and the rink a thing of the past!! And what about those other sign house for sale, on that street that are on the city property!! Hello!! What about that?? What about the tempo’s, the pegs?? What about the east end, Belmont street, Carleton street St Felix, and others, full of garbage, on city right of way?? Etc, etc, etc!!Then the city would have prove that being considerate, by not ignoring this petition and acting in a professional manner, with dignity and respect towards a family who did not do anything illegal, except to have trespassed their city property limits, being on the city right of way!! Also, why not have been waiting until the first meeting of 2015 from the council, to discuss this issue!! Where are all the others councillors, where is their shovels to help the Vincent family?? Respect towards the Vincent family, the kids and the one’s who sign the petition would have been much appreciated!! Instead they even sent three police cars to make sure their( by-laws, laws) are being respected, sending a very strong message of who is the boss!! I believe the Canadian population, not only Cornwall should wake up before it’s getting too late!! This is a fair example of living in a totalitarian regime!! Do I need to give more example??

  10. Why doesn’t Leslie go after boats parked on the streets, campers on the streets, snow mobiles running on city streets, dogs and cats loose on streets, kids playing on streets and I can go on and on and on and on like the bunny that advertises for the Eveready batteries. I am mighty angry at how things were done and if this was Glen Grant or anyone in that clique nothing would have been done about it and life of that wacky and corrupt town would have continued without a wink.

  11. Why don’t they go after boats parked on the streets, campers on the streets, snow mobiles running on city streets, dogs and cats loose on streets, kids playing on streets? Simple answer really. There have been no complaints to the bylaw office. If there is a complaint they will investigate. If you want bylaw and police officers to go up and down every street to check for violations we would have to double or triple the number of bylaw and police officers. And have you ever tried toi catch a snowmobile running down a city street?

  12. Watching from afar I think this is going to be a very different and interesting city council. On one hand you have Councillors Justin Towndale and Mark MacDonald who are not afraid to get involved in issues inside and outside council chambers. Then you have David Murphy and Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy there to defend the city’s side of things. Now if the other councillors Bernadette Clément, Maurice Dupelle, Brock Frost, Carilyne Hébert, Elaine MacDonald, Claude E. McIntosh and André Rivette would step forward on this and other issues we can get a feel of what kind of council this is going to be. The one councillor that has surprised me is Brock Frost. He’s come up with some ideas and has put them out there so we can see what he wants. Some of them are a little far-fetched IMHO. But we’ll see what is what as time moves on.

  13. Author

    Hugger you mean his ideas like how he’s going to bankrupt myself and CFN? Or that I made sexual advances on him? Or his latest that he’s sworn out an oath stating that I showed up at the last council meeting to as he said “Beat me up” and the his idea that a bunch of cars showed up at his house that night?

    Yes, Mr. Frost is full of ideas. Ask Al Hatset.

  14. No, I was actually referring to the $110K for arts / culture and his insistence of a tax freeze (or there as close as possible to that.)

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