Thoughts on a Gloomy Monday Morning in Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig MAY 25, 2015

CORNWALL Ontario – What a furry week it’s been.  It’s been an odd mix, good and bad, ignorant and nasty with spots of hope and joy.

I’ve been getting some missives complaining that I’ve been writing less here on CFN and well…that’s true.   Part of me is glad to be missed, but this life and balance thing can be difficult.

Sadly there were two major issues this past week that bother me as a journalist.

The Cornwall Housing story where only CFN has picked up the story that is going to impact so many and put people’s health and safety at risk.

Cornwall Housing is not allowing tenants to put in window air conditioners in reaction to a few incidents of units falling from windows.    Again, when you lower the bar because of cronyism and nepotism these are the results you get.

Frankly anyone at Cornwall Housing that supported this decision should be fired.   And anyone on the board that supported that should resign.     Sadly those whose voices need to be heard are in fear of being evicted.   Watching how things work in Cornwall I can’t blame them and even though we have many tenants willing to come forward we have been careful to put them at risk of punitive actions by vengeful staff and board members.

IF they can get a school teacher fired for having a hockey rink they can get someone in housing evicted.

There’s a larger issue looming.  Ironically while discussing the possibility of a new code of conduct the City itself is refusing to respond to my two complaints of Councilor Brock Frost via the City’s own Harassment Policy.

This is a policy that currently is in effect.  Councilor Frost has used his position as a City Councilor to attempt to get this scribbler arrested and his using the Cornwall Community Police Service to keep me from doing the simplest and most basic facets of my job as a journalist.

Sadly the solutions to most issues like the two outlined involve litigation and frankly that expensive and draining and get you labelled and feared.    That’s not how the system should work.  The question is how many tax dollars is the City spending to protect people like Councilor Frost and the mess at Cornwall Housing as some of the tenants are attempting to lawyer up?

It seems that council may not have actually read their own Declaration of Office as they don’t read most of what staff present before them….



My last note concerns my other gig, on the board of our 33 year old public gallery.

I am not speaking for the board as I write this, but it’s so sad and pathetic to see some people put their prejudices against the welfare of their own community.  Frankly if I had my way very bright lights would be shined on them and they would be outed fully.    That may happen very shortly to some of them.

It’s one thing to have a prejudice against a person, but to do so when it impacts innocent people is quite another, especially when it’s students that are being impacted.  As I’ve written about bullying in Cornwall, how can you ask kids not to be bullies when their parents and grand parents are?  I mean there still are idiots bragging here in Cornwall about how they used to beat up Ryan Gosling when he was a student here.

People don’t seem to understand that these reflections to outsiders are a huge factor in why Cornwall can’t get its population over 50,000 people or why some companies don’t set up shop here.

From how City Hall and the business community treat this newspaper to small business owners getting mauled by permit departments, to individual stories like the ones brought to me every week.

The negativity adds up.   It creates buzz and that buzz creates negative momentum.    The even bigger irony is that there are many of the special people as I call them screaming on facebook that CFN is negative for outing the bad behavior of others.   It’s as if the actual faux pas of the bad guys isn’t the issue; just that they’re public.   Holy shades of Project Truth!

Can you blame me for wanting to focus less of my very valuable time on this community?

The utter irony is that one of my media consultants pointed out that if all I care about is money I should simply ignore the local business community and just focus on exposing scandals and corruption and driving traffic as it will raise our viewership and raise income from digital ads.  I could sit on a beach in Spain as long as there was wifi and do that.   Contrary to what some of the bad guys scream about that’s not what CFN or this writer is about.  Since day one the goal of CFN was to highlight what was good about Cornwall, and the people that make that good happen.


It’s time for people to make positive changes and yes, sometimes that means standing up.   Every voice that does helps.  I think I’ve proven that if nothing else, one voice can change a city.


CFN by the way is looking for two Summer Interns.  They both have seasonal honorariums and we’re always looking for media sales reps.   We’re getting a lot of positive response to our new look and feel.   We have been innovating and leading the way for online news in the Cornwall region since 2009.     And we couldn’t have done that with each and every one of you that have clicked on our pages.



  1. It saddens me to now learn that Cornwall is still the vindicted bully that it always has been, I never knew that they would stooped so low as to fire a teacher for standing up to her rights to own a rink in her front yard

  2. Admin, cognitive powers have never seemed to be a strong quality of Cornwall’s city council and now you are assuming that they all can read, statistics would suggest otherwise. I read the story on J.C. Goddards recent City of Cornwall experience and realize that the trees are blocking this councils view. If I wasn’t so disappointed in these clowns I would be disgusted at their seemingly complete lack of understanding of business and community.

    I believe Admin that you hit the proverbial nail on the head. The reason Cornwall has not grown is the simple fact that the elected representatives collectively for years have brought little or nothing to the table. Don’t get me started on leadership (lack of). I have yet to see a long range plan for Cornwall that is rooted in any kind of real vision.

    No one even wants to discuss the looming energy crisis facing the residents of Cornwall as the contact with Quebec Hydro nears completion. This is a completely avoidable situation that none on council wishes to address because not one of them understands the magnitude of the issue and how it can be rectified so that we all can continue to receive the benefit of continuing our energy business with Quebec. The Green Energy Act is seriously flawed in protecting the financial well being of the residents of Ontario and is open to charter challenge. Which representative is leading the charge to protect you and your financial future?

  3. Author

    David there’s not much our council can do about Hydro. They lost that say when they sold their power (pardon the pun). They took a tiny purse of gold for a lifetime of income and control over their own destiny.

  4. Imagine if we had a knowledgable lawyer on council that could offer a meaningful opinion as to possible direction or even better a leader that was capable of doing just that, lead. Just wishful thinking.

  5. Author

    um, we do have a lawyer on council David.

  6. Therein lies the problem Admin, attitude. While I may agree that selling our utility was a grievous mistake in judgement by a previous Cornwall council I vehemently disagree that nothing can be done.

    People have forgotten or quite simply do not understand that we are the government. The government is not an sustainable independent body but a wholly dependent entity that we by our very apathy have granted a form of immunity to. We do not answer to the government rather the government answers to the electorate, that my friend is the point of democracy.

    We seem to have lost touch with the basic principle that a democratic government was designed to reflect the will of its people. The people within a democracy hold the high cards and isn’t it high time for a leader to emerge and lead us back to a position of control and application of common sense?

    What government possibly represents its people when its very direction leads them down a pathway to financial hardship? What reasonable government/leadership removes the basic concept of competition within a capitalist society and imposes unfair restrictions to the detriment of the very people that its serves?

    True leadership would fight and challenge an unfair act of parliament that places undue hardship upon its people. Attitude is everything Admin and this is a winnable battle that needs to be fought.

  7. “Undue hardship” is but one legal avenue for a challenge on my list of how to stave off the loss of our current exemption under the Green Energy Act in continuing an arrangement with Quebec Hydro. Another is the very fact that we have had an “exemption” under the act which in itself paves an argument (case) for another exemption to be upheld. I could continue with a plan to successfully defend our right to access affordable energy but who is there out that wants to hear it? Apathy gets people what they deserve.

    A true leader would inspire and unite this community to undertake a challenge to protect its interests. A challenge of this nature would generate such positive feedback from people that are currently having difficulty managing their energy bills that Cornwall would get attention so positive that we would attract the support of the entire country. Change would be inevitable and those politicians opposing a sea of change would be lost in the waves.

    But then I believe in the power of unity.

  8. It seems the other media outlets around don’t see the CAHC / AC as a story. Is it right? Is it wrong? Everyone sees things differently. Because this “policy” involves potential health issues it can not be just ignored. Is there a potential for falling AC units? Yes. But at the same time you could get hit by a car waking down the street. CAHC really dropped the ball on this one. There are several solutions to the AC situation, but CAHC refuses to look at those solutions.

    Perhaps the city sees the issue between yourself and Brock Frost as a personal one, not one involving the city and / or city council. It obviously isn’t. But everything in life is open to interpretation; not always for the best

  9. Author

    Hugger when Councilor Frost signs a press release as a councilor and then tries to have me arrested at a council meeting I think that crosses the line from personal to using his position as a councilor.

  10. Admin…..I agree. It’s to get the city / city council to recognize what he has done will affect the city.

  11. Author

    Hugger it should take litigation for them to do that. That abuse of tax paid litigation should invoke a violation of their Declaration of Office as it’s rarely if ever in the benefit of the Tax Paying folk of our great city.

  12. Can’t say I disagree.

  13. Ms. Clement is a lawyer, does she not have an opinion that she would share with a taxpayer such as yourself? Not stepping up to the plate or sitting on the fence does nothing but retract from her desire to attract voters in the upcoming federal election. Surely one cannot be that short sighted? Or maybe she campaigns on the premise that most people could simply care less.

  14. Author

    David apparently Ms Clement only grants me interviews when she’s running for office, if then…

  15. That certainly fits the stereotypical image of a lawyer, self serving.

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