Cornwall CAO Norm Levac Finally Answers 5 Questions – Vincent Ice Rink Rebuild Starts Saturday January 10, 2015

vincent fam rink DEC 2014CORNWALL Ontario – In what has been a not so magical mystery tour the City of Cornwall has relented and agreed to allow the Vincent family ice rink to at least finish off the season, even though part of the ice surface is on City property (as is the family’s driveway).

Hello Jamie,

I believe your questions are as follows. My answers (in black) are provided following your question (in blue).

Your heavy machinery went out of its way to not touch the boards or ice pad. The boards as they were, were removed. The ice pad is still in place although fractured. Is the ice pad a violation?
Technically, it is not legal but we have previously agreed to it, without the boards, for this season. The ice surface can still be used by the family at their own risk.

Will the City of Cornwall take any issues with the securing of the ice pad on the Vincent’s property via snow or hay as mentioned by Mayor O’Shaughnessy even if some of that surface is on property owned by the city? To note the Vincent’s paved driveway where they park is also city property.
We can accept, for the remainder of this winter season, a snow bank appropriately shaped to serve as a method to make up the boundaries of the rink. Consideration will have to be given to providing enough snow storage for street clearing operation.

Do you have any issue with a snow/hay wall that supports a piece of wood that is not affixed to any surface?
The use of hay may be a problem in the spring but, with proper clean up and reinstatement by the owner in the spring, hay would be acceptable.

Are there any special requirements that the Vincent family rink needs to meet to enjoy their rink without further grief from the City?
The use of City property for this purpose is not permitted. The method described above is a compromise for the remainder of the season (as reported in the Media on December 24, 2014).

Is there anything that you can think of in your capacity to prevent us from saving the ice surface?
I believe your proposal, as generated by these questions, is reasonable and workable

John St Marseille will be managing this matter. Please contact John as you move forward. It is important to note that Mr and Mrs Vincent, as the owners, need to be directly involved in the process and accept the outcome. It should also be mentioned that the owners must consider the impact of the rink on the neighbourhood.


Saturday January 10th, the group that formed to help rebuild the rink and the Vincent family will be starting in high gear at their home on 6 Monaco Crescent at 1 PM.  Friends and supporters will be joining in and helping.

Laura Vincent said she simply was speechless when she finally heard the news and that the ordeal was over.

Rookie Councilor Justin Towndale, who had championed the Vincent family from early on had the following to say as well as that he’d be at the family home Saturday to learn how to build an ice rink.

towndaleI think that its great news for all parties involved, especially for the Vincent children who will be able to get back to playing hockey, and being kids.  It also shows that in the end, the City is favour of outdoor sports and activities like the good old hockey game.


Councilor Mark MacDonald also championed the rink and stated.

It’s nice to see this resolved. And as John Prine says, They weren’t hurtin nobody, they weren’t hurtin’ no one. 

People have been volunteering all day.  Some are bringing coffee and cocoa, some are bringing hay, and wanting to help shovel snow and build the walls.

Sadly none of the other local media have covered the group coming together to help the family rebuild the ice rink although le Journal de Cornwall said that they’d be attending the event.

What do you think Canada?  You can post your comments below.

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  1. As mentioned earlier, with the boards and Aurele Houle both gone, there shouldn’t a problem.

  2. At least they finally answered the questions. The timing (Friday afternoon) of the reply though leaves a lot to be desired.

    Everyone has part of their driveway on city property. Unless they come up with flying cars I don’t seer this changing.

  3. Author

    Yes Hugger. We lost two days of rink building.

  4. Kudos to councillors Justin Towndale and Mark MacDonald for attempting to bring this matter to a favorable conclusion.

  5. Congratulations for putting healthy active kids, family, and positivity above some who would conveniently use bylaws when the whole thing began with one person’s complaint that the rink is an eyesore.

    Go volunteers, Go!

    Ignore the boo-ers, bullies and haters. But don’t forget the person who claims a few families control everything in the background. That’s scary if true.

  6. I find it funny that the response was issued Friday afternoon. That’s the sort of thing companies do to make bad financial announcements after the stock market has closed for the day. The federal government has done it as well many times.

  7. Good job James. When I saw this story on the banner line on CNN, it had gone WAY too far. Embarrassing lack of foresight by mayor made Cornwall stink again in traditional and social media, figuratively of course. Ignore the naysayers..they just can’t handle the truth and they hate you.
    Charlie Hebdo was the new Voltaire.

  8. way to go family Vincent’s. The kids need this.I happy to that at lease one city counselor stood up to the bully’s.

    I hope the city can work whit the family in the following years if not on property somewhere close to home like the site of the old Bobterner or something close to home that these volunteers can work on together.

  9. Why is the cheese smuggler always in the other papers? Is he also a pipe smoker?

  10. Just curious….how did the rink building go? Is the rink a go-go?

  11. Author

    It’s looking great Hugger. Our coverage will come out Sunday or Monday.

  12. Cheese smuggler?? pipe smoker??

  13. Thanks for the update. Looking forward to reading your article on it. I just read the CSN story on the rink rebuilding. Why can’t they get basic facts right? CSN said the city took the boards down. My understanding is that the city removed the snow, etc behind the boards Monday afternoon and the family / helpers removed the boards / stakes Monday night.

  14. Author

    Yes, Mr. Brazeau missed most of the key facts and of course they didn’t publicize the group that organized the event for today. And they criticize CFN for Gonzo reporting?

  15. Woohoo!! My kids are smiling again 😊 thank you Jamie – you helped Cornwall “right a wrong” I look forward to reading your next story. Way to go !!!

  16. Congratulations CFN for all you just did for the Vincents & actually all of Cornwall,a happy ending story because of you Jamie & the strong determination of the Vincents. CFN righted a wrong….way to go!!!
    Too bad ,however, that other media have not waved the white flag yet…..just saying.

  17. Mary Bray….most of the other media in town are owned by large corporations and / or are part of large chains. They have to tow the corporate line or else.

  18. Author

    Hugger I think some of the pettiness that has been going on has nothing to do with Corporate culture, especially from the Seaway News. I doubt TC Media is fully aware of the mayhem under Rick Shaver. I know Todd deep down isn’t the total scumbag that he has been professionally. There are fewer media jobs out there and it’s sad to see some media people sell their souls.

  19. Then I’d say jealousy is playing a part. Or not wanting to agree with how CFN does things.

  20. Author

    Hugger they do seem to make it very personal…which is very unproductive for the community. When I helped organize the group to rebuild the rink we sent out a release to all the local media. When I joined the TAG board I could have “scooped” the new board formation. Instead I said we should send out a release to all media.

    You can compete in an industry and still do the right thing and you can always put aside some issues for the better of the community. I have no idea why some of these people don’t get that.

  21. Mrs. Laura Vincent Jamie is the best as a journalist and I am so happy that your kids are smiling again as well as yourself. Have fun this winter. Next winter put the rink in the backyard the best that you can do with it. There are by-laws and right here in Ottawa on my residential street the men were cleaning out a sewer on a front lawn. I signed the petition and I support your rink but I said that it has to be in your backyard. All the very best to you Mrs. Vincent and to your husband and children. Take care.

  22. Good job Jamie. Nice that you were so persistant in getting that rink rebuilt.. People are petty here no doubt about it. Again am happy for the Vincents so their kids have a rink. I am with Jules on the back yard though for next year. Enjoy…and Jamie am proud of you man!


    Comment policy reminder

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  24. Comment policy reminder

    CFN has a new comment policy. You must use your real first and last name. As well if your email bounces we will terminate your posting privileges.

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    Town administration and neighbors should be encouraging any form of sports and outdoor activity . Exercise is beneficial to both the mind and body . A further point may be added that kids playing sports are also staying out of trouble . Glad to see the rink has been allowed

  25. For those who think Cornwall is unique in requesting rinks, etc be altered or moved check out the two links below. One is about an Ajax front yard rink that the city wants removed. The second link is about a snow fort in Montreal facing the same problem, it has to be removed.

  26. Hugger I will be looking at what you posted about Ajax and I know that there was another town somewhere that had the same problem about an outdoor rink in the front yard and the town was against that. What the sheeple don’t realize is that YOU ONLY OWN ABOUT TEN FEET FROM THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR HOUSE UP TO A CERTAIN POINT ON THE FRONT LAWN AND THE REST BELONGS TO THE TOWN AND NOT YOU. YOU HAVE TO MAINTAIN THAT LAWN AND DRIVEWAY EVEN THOUGH IT ISN’T YOUR PROPERTY.

    I saw in the toilet papers of record about some woman in the Riverdale area went and put in that cobble stone on her driveway and was upset because of the snowplow going by and damaging that driveway. I want to tell her and others that you don’t go and put in that driveway and complain because the maintenance has to be done. If you sewer goes on you and that has to be dug up you lose so stop complaining about it. You bought a house and you have to put up with the high payments (which I call robbery) so deal with it. My rent has gone up and the landlord has gigantic payments so the money which I call ransom has to come from somewhere.

  27. Hugger I read even about back yard rinks being told that they cannot use them for skating or hockey and I have said it for years along with my husband “the hell with owning a house because it isn’t yours. You try not paying taxes and see what the town will do to you. When we had our house all we had were one tax bill after another, one utility bill after another and the house needed plenty of work and so much so that it was like rebuilding another house. NO TANKS – WE ARE SO WELL THE WAY WE ARE. In order to be really private (if it is what you call private) you have to live out in the boonies – way out in the boonies with the horses and cows and other animals to have the best neighbors on the planet. While walking home I fell on the sidewalk and my daughter was with me and a lady one of my neighbors that I don’t know but see sometimes who lives on the main street stopped to try and help me up but I thanked her very much and told her that I was heavy and can make it up so as she and my daughter won’t fall as well and I was laughing. The City of Ottawa does a mighty lousy job at cleaning and salting and last year both my daughter and myself fell and my daughter fell hard last year. Tonight is supposed to be freezing rain and snow and tomorrow morning she works – she works one Saturday every two weeks at that hell hole. There was Arabic music coming through the loud speaker and I was trying to do the belly dance. LOL LOL. ROLF! An old lady trying to move around the best she could. It was a site to be seen for sure. LOL LOL. ROLF!

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