Leslie O’Shaugnessy & Elaine MacDonald in Conflict of Interest Over Benson Project in Cornwall Ontario APRIL 21, 2015

leslie jan 2012CORNWALL Ontario –  A Kilgeresque moment Monday night at a special Elaine BurntCornwall Ontario City Council meeting as Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy and Councilor Elaine MacDonald refused to declare themselves in Conflict of Interest even though they are on the very steering committee that was seeking cash. (and apparently will receive it.)

Councilor Carilyne Hebert, who sits on the same committee did recuse herself, as did Councilor David Murphy, who is employed by Gerry Benson.

The Steering committee was previously given cash from Cornwall taxpayers to fund a University for our city.   That report never came to be and instead Council were presented a new plan with a new request for $75K to attract Aerospace companies to set up shop at NAV CAN which is scrambling to use its space.

Again, no public consultation was involved in the process and the request came AFTER the budget process, and not during.  ( A little of the old shake and bake)

What is most hypocritical is that Gerry Benson was one of the founders of the Community Action Group focused on keeping city taxes down yet has been bloating them with these requests for cash.


“As well the Act captures as an indirect pecuniary interest a councilor who is a partner of a person or is in the employment of a person or body that has a direct pecuniary interest in the matter.

Both O’Shaughnessy and MacDonald acknowledged being on the committee which in fact was directly seeking cash.

The Municipal Act is quite clear and there now is a period where any citizen could challenge their actions via an expensive court process.   Super Lawyer Clayton Ruby for example had stated that a Rob Ford type challenge could cost in the vicinity of $400,000.

 That however doesn’t change the actions.  O’Shaughnessy ran on a platform complaining of these very types of actions taken by former Mayor Bob Kilger.


Mayor O’Shaughnessy to date has seen three festivals die during his first mandate in the city and had National negative exposure over the forced closing and destruction of a family ice rink during Christmas while seeing the taxes for Cornwall not reigned in, but raised to the same 2+ percentage points per year during Kilger’s reign.

So much for change in Cornwall.

As of press time the video of the meeting was not on the city’s website.

What do you think CFN viewers?  Should Council be funding another round of funding for the Benson Project?   You can vote in our poll below and comment.

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  1. So much for change in Cornwall – Jer 13:23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil”.

    The Son of God nailed it on the head when it comes to fallen, sinful heart condition of sinners in our day – “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”(Mat 12:34).

  2. Which part of conflict of interest don’t Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy and Councilor Elaine MacDonald understand. At least Councilor Carilyne Hebert and Councilor David Murphy understand what C of I means. I’m not surprised by Councilor Elaine MacDonald’s actions, as she pulls the same crap when it comes to the Agape Centre.

    And no public consultation was involved in the process and the request came AFTER the budget process. It’s not like this has never been done before in Cornwall. It seems groups don’t think they should be part of the “outside agencies budget process” and they’re “special” and rules don’t apply to them. This “steering committee probably knew weeks ago they would be asking for the money, but decided they’d wait until the budget had been approved. Argggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. No surprise regarding Elaine MacDonald. O’Shaughnessy I had perceived being somewhat more intelligent than I gave him credit for. Another lame duck mayor.

    Bottom line this committee should have been advised that their request would be considered during next years budget deliberations. This is not an emergency funding issue.

    Where do the rest of the councilors stand on this outdated and unnecessary study? Why not focus on why our local schools are failing our children? Why not focus on improving the graduation rate amongst our youth? Why not focus on moving the bar up so that more of our children can qualify for higher education?

  4. Author

    David Council voted to grant the funding request and those in conflict allegedly voted to do so. The city has still not loaded the video from the meeting.

  5. C’mon Jamie it takes a bit of time to edit the film. Same old same old for Cornwall….ohh well.

  6. Can you confirm whether in fact the mayor and councilor, in conflict with the municipal act, voted on the funding request for another university study?

    Perhaps time has come to consider crowd funding to impose the act as it was written or class action by all willing taxpayers of Cornwall? I have grown weary of the mockery that is being made of democracy and the legal systems scales of injustice.

  7. Author

    David according to my source they did in fact participate and vote and I can confirm that we may have to do that as I myself contacted a lawyer regarding this today. It can be expensive, but this case looks quite clear.

  8. Well nothing has changed except a new bird cage liner same old crap and nothing good. Plenty of conflicts of interest and all. What else is new in Cornwall – it never changes for the better. It is the same ongoing nightmare that never ends.

  9. And other cities don’t have some of the same issues?

  10. Certainly those not declaring must have been aware of their conflict. Typical for Elaine who of much of last council, yet unexpected with this one.

    What troubles me is where was the City Clerk on this matter or other city administration who should have stood tall on the matter in raising the point, or for that matter the other councillors. Surely some of these were also aware of who was in conflict.

    Better nip this junk in the bud or Cornwall reputation will not have shown an iota of transparency or change as all campaigned on.

  11. Hopefully these individuals will put in motion with apologise to withdraw or revote on the matter, if that is allowed. Crips, another $400,000 is only taxpayers money so why care?????????????????

  12. Diddlysquatt….I think this shows just how much Elaine MacDonald values the conflict of interest rules and in essence other city council rules. To have her and others basically say screw the C of I rules, I’m doing what I want is unacceptable.

    The City Clerk / other city administration can’t do much if a councillor decides they aren’t going to follow C of I rules. The rules are very loose, so councillors get basically free rein on interpretation. These rules need to be tightened up by the province and the city to avoid any C of I or any perceived C of I.

  13. Nothing but lies and corruption. Well we do have a new bird cage liner but the same corruption and contempt and pulling the fleece over people’s eyes. Lies, lies, lies and so much fraud and the sheeple get the shaft again.

  14. Jules, you should get out in the sun as much as you can.

  15. ” I want to thank you’se all for coming” are the words from our eloquent mayor Mr Leslie O’Shaugnessy. This is the kind of language we hear from people who have not got a grasp of the English language. In case it is not known, there is no such word as “you’se” !
    There is no difference between the singular you and the plural you. The pronouns are: I, you, he, she, we, you, they. I do hope our illustrious mayor gets this point cleared up before he has to give another speech on our behalf. We do want the public to think that we have some class. Don’t we?

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