CORNWALL Ontario – I took Sunday off. I wanted to mull this piece before scribbling it onto the web.
This weekend saw something incredibly positive happen for Cornwall that proves a major point I’ve been standing on for several years.
People in the region care more about Arts and Culture than they do about Sports.
That doesn’t mean sports are important, but it does highlight how much we lose when we spend $35M on a white elephant like the Benson Centre while cutting our tiny public gallery’s funding to FREAKING ZERO!
Said white elephant, the Benson Centre, drew more people Saturday for a comic con (allegedly over 4,000) than have ever been to the facility. For one day every single parking spot was filled. They were parking on the grass. They filled the Angelo Lebano lane way.
Carol Grant and Randy Sauve made Cornwall proud and put a lot of cash in their pocket. Kudos to them and their entire team (except for that nasty Patty Edwards who if she is going to greet the public should be friendly about it).
Was CAPE perfect? heck no. Did Carol and Randy play silly politics to some degree? Yup. But they worked hard and they made magic happen and that doesn’t happen often in this town. They deserve a round of thanks and applause by all that care about this city.
Hopefully after they recover and start to prepare for next year’s even they can analyze and make improvements for next years, and hopefully the city keeps its beak out and doesn’t ruin it like it has Lift Off, Winterfest, and other A&C activities.
Now speaking of wasting public monies Gerry Benson and his gang that essentially live off the public teat are back to council seeking more money.
They showed up originally seeking $ for a consultant report which came in years late. Looking at the report I was scratching my head. We certainly didn’t get value for our money. We really are no farther ahead than when we started.
Now Gerry and his gang want another $75K, for another report. This in many people’s world’s is called. Insanity.
The list of the “steering committee” is also a weird hobbling of cliquesters and wannabees; mostly politicians.
It’s listed in alphabetical order:
Angie Baker, Gerry Benson, Dr. Wolfgang Bottenberg, Jim Brownell, MJ Joanne Lafrance-Cardinal, Tracy Collins, Grant Crack, Brad Crepeau, Dr. Francois Desjardins, Eric Duncan, Rick Eamon, Don Fairweather, Peter Garrow, Mai Habib, Carilyne Hebert, Tish Humphries, Bef Illauk, Gail Kaneb, Tom Kaneb, Guy Lauzon, Elaine MacDonald, Jim McDonell, Bill McGimpsey, John McMartin, Nicole Marion-Mills, Mike Mitchell, Leslie O’Shaughnessy (replacing Bob Kilger) Dianne Poirier, Jeff Ridal, Denis Thibaualt, and Roger Voyer.
Each of these folks, if they really care about this project should dig into their own pockets and kick in the cash. They are after all steering and making the decisions. The public has zero say. Not a world. Not a public consultation, and certainly no accountability. Essentially this is a vanity project where these people, if a project comes to pass, will get to say they did something while we all paid for it.
Whey do we even need a steering committee if we’re just using consultants?
This is fiscal political abuse of tax dollars. It’s embarrassing and shameful and frankly people should be very upset at this.
The last time this circus came to council Mayor Kilger and Councilor MacDonald didn’t even recuse themselves and they were on the committee asking for cash!
There are many paths to Nirvana and lord knows in this town we need more educated people, but this certainly is not an educated path to achieve that. Looking over the proposal there now seems to be a link to companies that would potentially hire graduates, but those companies are not in Cornwall.
Do we really need to pay tax dollars to educated our young people so they can move away? Again, insanity.
But then that’s what happens when most on a steering committee don’t have the very education they are asking to steer too or as I would posit, like asking Councilor David Murphy to perform brain surgery…. or coach hockey. The good intentions might be there, but the remote possibility of success is minimal.
So Gerry, please dig deep into you and your own friends pockets and stay out of mine until you have something of value to offer us.
What do you think dear CFN viewers, you can post your comments below.