Why I Want to Move From Cornwall Ontario For the First Time After Vincent Rink Fiasco by Jamie Gilcig

VINCENT Rink Dec 23 2014CORNWALL Ontario – Some very ugly people got their way and used City Hall as a bully tool to destroy a family rink.   Last night the Vincent family and some friends were essentially forced to take the boards down from their rink.   As you can see in the picture above from last week it was a pretty rink.

Our Mayor, Leslie O’Shaughnessy pegged signs into the ground all the time as a real estate agent.  Some were probably deeper than those in this ice rink.  Did he get a permit or check with power and gas authorities before spiking away?    Yes, I know that the rink stretched over onto city property, but so did the paved over section of the Vincent’s drive way.

After three police cruisers visited the family and the threat of financial intimidation from the city, instead of allowing a discussion or process as outlined by Councilor Justin Towndale and championed by at least one other councilor, the Vincent’s pulled down the boards at night in frigid cold.   Due to a seasonal warm spell last week there was a pool of water under the main ice surface which flooded into the street.   The result looked something like this.

The pink marking showing how far up the city driveway the city claims as property.

Fissures now ripple the surface of the once flat perfect skating surface so lovingly cared for by Brian Vincent and friends.

These are deep and the rink has now slanted down as the pad gave way without the supporting water and slush.

Why did Mayor O’Shaughnessy and CAO Norm Levac give the order to City Manager Bill De Wit to attend with heavy machinery and force the Vincent family?   Why not wait as per the communication from Councilor Towndale and MacDonald?   With temps freezing most likely an extra week of seasonal weather most likely have saved the ice surface and allowed the Vincent family to shore up the ice pad for their children and neighbors.

In a Hollywood movie the neighbors and town folk would come around and help rebuild the rink.  This being Cornwall the Vincent’s will be putting up their house for sale.

The Vincent family are the target demographic that the City of Cornwall spends money every year trying to attract; a young professional couple with a gaggle of kids ready to attend our schools and build all of our futures.

How many people reading this story and watching National news will read this and what will their perspective of our town be?   Why?   When people hear the name Cornwall will they now think, “yeah, that’s the city that ripped down the kids hockey rink.”

Yes, laws are there for a reason.  I’m not advocating breaking any.  The Vincent’s weren’t either.   At the root you have some people who clearly feel an entitlement that they don’t deserve pulling some strings through a former councilor.

Likewise the excuse of only applying by laws when there’s a complaint line espoused by the Mayor I have a hunch will result in an awful lot of complaints to the by law department.   Again, fumbling the ball instead of dealing with issues.

There are many people that think like Andre Cardinal; but very few ugly enough to publicly share what he did on facebook.   That not a single person said a peep about his comment about a small group of families ruling a block from behind the scenes is scary.  It goes against the grain of fairness and civilized society.  It’s essentially gang like.

As councilor Towndale wrote in our earlier piece:

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.

So why the rush? What was so critical?   Many residents complained that many city streets had still not been cleaned from the most recent storm yet the city had spare staff and vehicles for an ice rink that really wasn’t harming anyone?   It’s boggling.  Was that even the right by law to be working under or was it the Fence By Law 040-2008?

Yes, at first the by law issue was a management issue which Norm Levac as CAO failed at handling justly, but once the issue hit the media then it became political and that’s when council and Mayor O’Shaughnessy failed.

We elect people to lead.   Councilors Bernadette Clement, Maurice Dupelle, Andre Rivette, Carilyne Hebert, and Claude McIntosh, failed the community with their silence.   Councilor Elaine MacDonald gets a free pass due to the sad passing of her husband David Denneny who was a very very nice guy.  (Condolences Elaine)   while Brock Frost gets a free pass because after seeing him this morning he looked medicated and probably is out of it.

The villains in this story are quite clear.    There were other interpretations and solutions.  Clearly the feeling is that this council were unwilling to debate this in open council and clearly rejected what the public wanted which is odd as they are elected to serve we the public.   Over 2,200 people have signed the petition to save the rink and over 3,000 have voted by a margin of 94% to save the rink.

 

A man from Kemptville drove all the way down to place a RIP marker in front of it today.

As our Junior’s won Gold and made Canada proud last night Cornwall’s “elite” destroyed a little rink where little girls got to play hockey within the safety of their own home.

It’s funny as I get asked far too often why I stay in Cornwall.   The answer has always been clear.   I have a lot of friends here.   I have ties to the area now.   I have ties to Montreal and Ottawa.    I don’t like living in a Big City.

But the hate, ignorance, cronyism, corruption, bullying and racism can add up.   Of course no place is perfect, but really it seems Cornwall should get some awards for worst politicians, worst marketing, worst reputation, worst place to set up a small business, worst place to try and run an online newspaper from….

I of course won’t be moving.   This is my home.   I’ve always thought that the bad guys should be the ones to move, like Chris Savard and Scott Armstrong did.  Like Brock Frost most likely will be shortly, and Bob Kilger likely has as well.

Will I move one day.  Probably.    But not today, but today is the first time that I really feel like moving.    And that’s sad because I too am the type of demographic that Cornwall needs, and the reach of CFN is such that it should be a tool for promoting what’s great in this city instead of scratching my head as literally thousands of other people are doing over this destruction of something that we as a city should have embraced or as I had written earlier, invited the Vincent family to City Hall to sign our book.

In a city with no open Ice rinks begging people to volunteer the city just shut down and destroyed one fully funded and tended by one family; a family that is now going to hop over the city line to South Glengarry and not have to worry about this sort of grief ever again.

We saw some change this past election.  It looks like we need more change and we need to move forward.

I want to personally say thanks to my community for throwing their support behind the Vincent’s and loudly supporting their rink.    I hope this is a trend for important issues in this city and I think it’s time to hold those elected officials accountable and for them to stop hiding on important issues as so many of them did on this ice rink.

Cornwall has black eyes, but black eyes heal.  It’s time for those eyes to see more clearly and for people to step up like Councilor Towndale did.

And it’s time for CAO Norm Levac to retire immediately as per his original promise of leaving for December 2014.

This sort of embarrassment can never happen again in our city and there needs to be a public investigation into how it happened from who made the original complaint, who made the official complaint, and how expedited the rink’s destruction.

Leslie O’Shaughnessy campaigned on Transparency and Accountability.   The people of Cornwall elected him to change how things are done at City Hall.  This has not been change.   He needs to apologize or resign, and the Vincent’s deserve their rink back.

Jamie Gilcig – Publisher – The Cornwall Free News

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

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41 comments

  1. Do not leave Jamie
    You have helped alert voters to a lot of city corruption,enough that change occurred.
    You came to help the vincents that came to you for help to save their children,s rink.
    You helped a young teen that came to you for help in removing a hate symbol sprayed on his school bathroom wall & not being removed in timely fashion. If bathroom was not safe enough for a janitor to paint over it…why were school kids allowed to use it.
    You helped at several rallies in city for unfair hiring practices at CCH.
    You helped raise awareness of chemical tanks put in prime waterfront land.
    You alerted us that Agape was being run more like a business than a charity.
    All did not always end well but at least you tried.When most people say “why me” you say “Why not me”
    Do not leave ,Cornwall needs you CFN more than you need them. The only people who want you to leave are those with something to hide for various reasons including corruption.Cornwall has lost it,s heart, don,t let it lose it,s brain as well,We would never have even known about any of the above without you.

  2. Very well thought column Jamie! I agree so much that this terrible fiasco could have been avoided by much more input from our newly elected council. It seems that compromise does not seem to be an option. That is sad and things could have turned out much better for both the city and the Vincent’s. I do not always agree with your comments Jamie, but you nailed this one right on the button.

  3. By you saying you are thinking of leaving, you will never have a real connection or impact on this city. You get to just leave. Try having kids and a family in this city. Try having one of the crappy factory jobs here and raise a family. Try struggling to survive in this city with no real help from cops or council. Many of us struggle with very low pay, hardly getting by and trying to stay happy and health. Now you say you’re just gonna leave? Well go on then! I’m personally sick of hearing how bad it is for you, with no regard for the true cornwallites struggling here. If it’s not good enough, LEAVE! And take Jules with you since you BOTH only have disrespect for the people of cornwall. Like jules says, the vincents are too good for Cornwall. NEWS FLASH…. They are a perfect representation of the average joe of Cornwall.

  4. And another thing, this is all it took to break you? A nice family that broke bylaws and had to remove a rink? Wow. Just wow. I’m really glad now, that i never opened up to you and shared the whole story about frost with you. No doubt you would have thrown me right under the bus.

  5. Jerry two thoughts. I could have left at any time. When my ex-wife and I were looking originally she wanted us to live in Brockville and I chose CORNWALL.

    I have worked some crappy jobs in this town too before starting CFN and while building CFN. I built CFN based on the struggles that Cornwallites had especially small business.

    The Kilger boycott has impacted CFN, myself, and the community in many horrible ways.

    There are people here that will never leave because they wouldn’t know where to go. I think there’s a lot of value in people that do have a choice choosing to stay.

    As the Chinese say “Beware what you wish for.” I don’t disrespect the people of Cornwall. I do disrespect people though that don’t respect themselves or others. I have no time for them and think they should be left behind in the dust.

  6. Jerry I have endured false arrest. I have endured an awful lot of lies about myself and my friends and CFN. I have endured this silly boycott. I have witnessed beavergate, beat Wal-Mart to help school bus drivers in this community. I have seen and endured a lot.

    It’s not “just this” and I’m not broken. It’s the utter thickness of intolerance and the culture. And I’m not leaving. I simply felt like leaving as I clearly shared in the article. Oh yes, I’ve dealt with the lack of comprehension by many…..

    As I’ve said before, if we could take the charming essence of the best of Cornwall and simply retain that and grow our city as we develop our waterfront I think we can have a great future. But this city has to become more inviting, inclusive and it needs to break the cliques and old boy clubs so those of us that choose to live here can build better lives. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask.

  7. I hope you don’t leave.

    If you think moving to another city / town will free you from nonsense that happens I have sad news for you, it doesn’t.

    Crap like this happens in every city, town, village, etc. in the world. Moving may seem like a good idea at the time. But then you realize that you’ve just changed your location for more of the same.

  8. In the article you stated: “There are many people that think like Andre Cardinal; but very few ugly enough to publicly share what he did on facebook. That not a single person said a peep about his comment about a small group of families ruling a block from behind the scenes is scary. It goes against the grain of fairness and civilized society. It’s essentially gang like.”

    I replied in another article about this same subject when you copied a Facebook screen capture yesterday that I thought there was a clique mentality: “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.”

  9. As one of a professional couple in Cornwall who has moved back like many others recently for whatever reason, I see this as a very backwards step for the mayor. It looks like management will continue to run roughshod over the city. The new council has no balls (unless they are eight balls..heh).
    .
    Business as usual again. Four years till we get that pussy mayor out. I am gonna haunt that $%#^RR with the CTV videos until he is done when he gets voted out.
    .
    This is our city, not their’s.

  10. I just came back a few minutes ago and will soon be doing my other chores and what a SHOCK THAT I HAVE! If people think that the rink was an eyesore before this is what I call an eyesore. Wait until the ice melts what will happen to that house with the water flooding their basement. We have a neighbor in one of the townhouses where the man who shovels the roadway here and the parking spots put snow at the end where the townhomes are and the flooding that happened in their basements and I mentioned that before here on CFN and don’t know if Jamie put it through or not but this happened.

    Jerry I am not in Cornwall anymore and Jamie doesn’t know me personally and we have never met before. Jamie is the best that Cornwall ever had and maybe ever will including this Vincent family. Jerry there is a man whose parents are very well known in Cornwall and he himself left Cornwall and is in real estate back east. I fell on his name by looking at homes down east and my mom used to babysit him and I remember him when he was only two years old. His father is from down east and mother from Ottawa and both highly professional people. Cornwall is literally finished Jerry and I mean that fully. All young people today who have a chance will leave.

    Jerry my parents were poor and my dad worked at the Cotton Mill like what you would have seen Sally Field in that movie trying to form a union. That movie made me cry buckets of tears because it reminded me of my dad and the people who worked on very low wages and today my daughter is earning low wages and no benefits here in Ottawa and all of her co-workers are more than fed up – there is nothing out there at all. You should see the man who is a distant cousin of my husband’s who is three years younger than I am and has a nice house like the Vincent’s and lives in Nepean and has three daughters – he looks like 75 to 80 years old because of the stress. Say to yourself as long as we have our health that is the most important thing and something that you can never purchase.

    Jamie you have been hell and back living in Cornwall and I keep repeating myself like an old worn out record but it is all in your hands what you decide to do. Your paper is the very best there is and all are mighty jealous of you. I will say one thing is if you do leave you will make the filthy clique happy and I don’t think that you will want that until you have accomplished what you want.

    Do you want a little laugh Jamie I need to share one with you my good man. This morning I was at Billings Bridge with my husband and while getting out of the car and walking towards the mall in the back to enter through Target there was a young man in a sports BMW vehicle and a girl entered into the passenger side and I started to laugh about Frosty and his BMW and now that you brought him up it wasn’t him since this man was well awake of his surroundings. LOL LOL. ROLF!

    People of Cornwall wanted change but Leslie was the only one who could defeat BOB and Jamie you would be great but you would be more than fed up with what you would have had to deal with. You are much better as a journalist any day than to occupy a seat where you are criticized 24/7 a lot more than what you are today. Whatever path you choose to take your paper is the only one that I will look at and respond. Nothing else is good out there to read or look at and nothing but garbage through and through. The decision is in your hands and your hands only and whatever you choose I wish you all the best in the world and believe me my good man I couldn’t send you enough good greetings. All the very best to you and take care.

  11. Jamie and Hugger who is André Cardinal? I have never heard of him nor other names mentioned and only saw that man Houle a few times a mighty long time ago and haven’t been to his gas station since at least 20 or more years. Jamie and Hugger it is a gang mentality that exists in Cornwall whether it be Monico Crescent, Riverdale, North End, East End – c’est la meme chose et pas de difference. I could never live in such an environment ever again.

    Hugger you and I differ in plenty of subjects and we are two very different people but you said to Jamie something true that wherever you go you will find some things similar and other things are better. I do prefer a big city in a way because you don’t know the gang the way you do in a small town. You don’t even know your next door neighbor here let alone know what is going on in politics, etc. People don’t live that same mentality here because you don’t get to know your neighbor long enough before they are gone. One elderly lady told me that many years ago here in Ottawa and she was right on.

  12. I hope that the enforcement of the specific by-law in question is universally applied. Fairness for all. Real estate signs, election signs, etc appearing on city property or easements will promptly be removed upon complaint. If this is the case city resources may be a little strained in the future and provide this new council with the ammunition to justify the next wave of tax increases. Oh joy!

  13. Mr. Oldham you just brought up something very important just now about real estate signs that are pounded onto the lot. That is something to be concerned about as well. Thanks for bringing that one up.

  14. Jamie, If you do decide to leave to leave the Cornwall area, I strongly suggest that you head for the boonies, or places at least as far west as Kingston. Don’t bother with Brockville or any of those two-bit towns.

  15. Furtz I don’t think I’m going anywhere, but CFN is just about at the stage that I can run it from anywhere in the world. One of the benefits of living in near house arrest this past year because of the corruption of the crown and AG in refusing to drop my charges and and conditions and begin a police investigation to what really happened is that I’ve really developed skills in covering a lot of ground from my office.

    Imagine running CFN from a beach in Mexico or Villa in Spain? 🙂

  16. Jules, Andre Cardinal lives on Monaco Cres and, apparently, is part of the Monaco Cres clique.

    Big cities, good for some, not good for others. I don’t like big cities.

    David Oldham, there has to be a complaint for the bylaw office to act. I’ve noticed in this part of town that realtor signs are not on the city road allowance.

    Yes, Admin, you can practically do anything from anywhere now due to technology.

  17. Thanks Hugger for letting me know. I was wondering just a while ago if André Cardinal is affiliated with Cardinal Wholesale on Sydney Street at 11th Street. No not everyone is suited for a big city and Hugger you are from Ottawa and should be used to it a lot more than myself.

    Furtz is right Jamie where with today’s technology you can work from anywhere in the world. Many people work from home and even live in the boonies like Furtz and lives a happier lifestyle.

  18. Furtz right now I can move as long as I notify the police. Due to the threat I feel I received from one officer and other conditions I feel, to use a football term, that it’s in my best interest to “Stay in the Pocket” until the conditions are dropped. What’s worse is that the party that mostly likely spoofed the calls is protected by the law until then. In fact when they made categorically false statements about myself and a friend I had to sit silent because if I responded I’d be in breach and in this case the penalty for breach is worse than the original charge.

    Essentially it feels like the nasty government and crown office are trying to bleed me dry by dragging this out as long as they can with each attack doing more damage. During the election this toe rag would post that he’d be attending events hoping to keep me from attending as I’d have to leave if he was near me.

    The crown that just quit the case even played dirty pool by agreeing and faxing over a change of conditions but not signing it and then changing their mind at the last moment without just cause.

    It’s been nasty all the way so far.

  19. Jamie you have heard of the term “too close for comfort” well that is a similar term that I am trying to find about what you are uncovering in Cornwall about what is going on and it wouldn’t just bring down who lives in Cornwall but the “much greater elites and higher ups like government officials involved in terrible things” and if that is discovered it could be mighty dangerous for you and anyone else involved. Trust your wacky Jules on this and my husband and I spoke about all of this plenty of times. This fiasco doesn’t just involve that Frosty the Showman but people with mighty deep pockets involved in sexual abuse, fraud, etc. and they would all come down like a house of cards. Cornwall is not a place to raise a family at all.

  20. you go Jules…..let’em have it…..shit heads…..” People with mighty deep pockets involved in sexual abuse , fraud, …….\kilger fought hard to close down the inquiery….the Cornwall Cops did a fine job assaulting innocent people….the cornwall judges, wrongfully imprissoned innocent young men refusing their sex games….!…they made so many people ill for life…..you can all go to hell with your ideal cornwall…..its better to move if you can find peace else where…then do it…..go where you feel safe…if there is such a place its not in cornwall……I was sad to leave but it was better than being intimidated by the barney fife dept……parked outside my house on third and staring into my house watching me……cause i was about to talk about his harrasing me at the inquiery……well….you know nothing has changed…and ….cornwall ….and its power trippers took my freedom …..get it……good………glad you got it…….this is all mickey mouse compared to rape..! and sexual assault …maybe it will be taken seriously when it happens to your son and they totally mess his head over….!…Thanks cornwall …..for the big great memories…..at least where i am …i can build a rink….!

  21. Yes, Jules I am from Ottawa, but I will never go back. But I will visit as I have family and friends there. Ottawa is just too large now and things are happening that should not be happening. That LRT is one huge mistake. The taxpayers are going to be on the hook for that for generations to come. If the city thin ks they can lock in the costs they are sadly mistaken. And let’s not forget all the shootings. Gang related or not you have to be concerned about it. How many times is an innocent bystander shot?

  22. Jamie I fell back on this article again and I can honestly tell you including this morning that I think about the Vincent family all the time and that is the truth. Yes making an ice rink in the front yard was wrong and should have been in the back but these people were good folks doing good for their kids and their friends and I hope that they are doing well now.

  23. I used to think that moving back to Cornhole would be a good idea after living here in Ottawa and when we went back it was a bad idea. You cannot go back to the same place and expect it to be like what it used to be or how you want it to be. I like Ottawa to a certain point and only hubby and daughter don’t care for it much. I am happy where I am. I have thought about going elsewhere but where

  24. Hugger you have the same fears as I have about Ottawa. The gang problem is mighty bad and I live in one of the very worst gang areas (live nearby but not in) of Ottawa in the south end near Heron Gate by about a ten minute or less walk. The LRT is going to cost big time and Ottawa is growing more and more all the time. I prefer the 70’s era and so does hubby. We speak about that all the time.

  25. One thing is Jamie you wouldn’t have as many crazy insane stories to write about like what you have in Cornhole. What other place can be as wacky and backward as Cornhole. Well???? I can name Ottawa’s drivers and even the way they walk since they have lost it compared to what they used to be. A lot must be frequenting those marijuana stores – they are off their hinges.

  26. There wouldn’t be as many stories for Jamie to write about if he moved to Ottawa? Think again. There are more stories to be written about Ottawa than Cornwall will ever have. Time to wake up Jules to the fact that Ottawa is a cesspool, just as bad as any other city or town in Canada.

  27. Marc Carrière people don’t know what is coming soon and we will all be around to see a lot and mark my words nobody will escape the punishments of God. Money will not buy their way out of any of what is coming. Life is like a circle “what goes around comes around and even worse than what they did to others” and mark my word.

  28. Jamie I agree with Mary Bray here and it really boils down to “why not me” and I know how you feel my friend because I have been through a great deal but you are a very special person who gets out there and does what he can to try and change things whereas I said enough is enough and left. I am very fed up when people don’t want to change for the better.

  29. Hugger Ottawa has become a dangerous place to live nowadays with the gang problem and all kinds of insanity. If it were not for our children’s jobs we would move from this city since it is very dangerous. I don’t know where I would go and maybe we would all have to move eventually – things are mighty crazy here and we are living in one of the worst places as you well know.

  30. There has never been 3% vacancy when we lived here in the 70’s and 80’s era and even in the 90’s era when high tech was king people were taking apartments at any cost – a huge housing shortage. Well that went bust and government is totally and completely insane and many are not being paid and homes reposessed, etc. We wouldn’t know where to go elsewhere just yet.

  31. I think that Jamie would be very bored without journalism and is mighty talented at what he does and does it so very well. No “toilet paper of Cornhole” can match Jamie’s CFN and they are all mighty jeolous. Cornhole is too small minded and that is the problem down there. People have not come up to the 20th and 21st centuries – they are really stuck in limbo. I think that Jamie is burned out.

  32. Jules…time for the kids to leave the nest. When my two step-children left to live with their b/f and g/f they were told that they shouldn’t plan on returning to live with us if anything failed as that wasn’t going to happen. When they left our grocery bill dropped by 60%. Kids have to grow up and stop relying on mommy and daddy.

  33. Jamie I will tell you one thing certain and that is if you retire from CFN you will be very much missed from myself and the crew here that is on board. You are the best and that is the truth. I can never ever live in Cornhole ever. When you live in a civilized city or town you just can’t go back to Frontier town and living in a weird kind of an environment that I can never adapt to.

  34. Jamie whatever you do I personally wish you the very best and hope that you succeed in what you wish to do and where you want to live. Going to just visit Cornhole is a living hell for us and never again would we make that horrible mistake. My parents are deceased and I no longer have to go to that insane assylum. If you saw the people from the past you would know what I am talking about.

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