Worm Kids Lawyer Up to Face City in Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig – JULY 28, 2015

Worm Kids Lawyer Up to Face City in Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig – JULY 28, 2015

worms cornwall july 27 2015CORNWALL Ontario –   One of Cornwall Ontario’s  most successful lawyers, Andre Bourgon of Bourgon Law, has offered his assistance to Kristopher & Clayton Cadieux after the city served the family with a threat of fines of $240 per day if the boys continued to sell worms from their 2nd Street West home in Riverdale.

The boys plight went National after CFN broke the story yesterday.

The family was bewildered and upset after getting a written order from the city and it has impacted their ability to save up for a bike.

Reached at his office Mr. Bourgon said that he’d vigorously challenge the validity of the bylaw if the city pursued the matter.

The story has lit up across social media and news outlets across Canada with CTV interviewing the family while we called to get our update.

The family has spoke with a few city officials and Councilor Justin Towndale who also spoke with CFN earlier this afternoon.

This writer sent a letter to council asking them to lay down enforcement of the bylaw for 90 days while a new by law could be drafted that would deal with seasonal sellers or service.

Councilor Towndale stated that there were two areas of concern; the use of commercial signs on a residential property and of the operation of a “business” from a residence.

The boys parents operate a sign company which could have led to some of the confusion over their lovely signs.

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Local media have started to catch up with Todd Lihou of the TC Media owned Seaway News appearing to rip n write based on our story while getting facts wrong.

“A neighbour had complained to city hall, suggesting signs advertising the sale of worms (by children no less) contravene a municipal bylaw prohibiting commercial sales on a residential property.”

Um, we do not know if it’s a neighbor.  There is speculation that has not been confirmed that a worm retailer that had offered the kids .50 cents per dozen (and then sells them for $5.00) may have fingered them.

“Of course the city is within its rights to send the family a notice suggesting if the signs aren’t removed fines of $240 a day will be on their way. The signs are breaking the rules”

Generally if you’re going to cite a rule you should link to it.  As well rules have to be evenly enforced.  You can’t pick on a handful of people while letting others not be punished.

“Perhaps it would have been better to meet with the family, or give them a call, and advise them of the rules and that a complaint had been filed.”

If Mr. Lihou had actually practiced journalism and contacted the family he would have discovered that they in fact did speak with the by law officer which is how they found out that their seven year old could not sell Lemonade either.  Does the Claude MacIntosh school of journalism still cut it in 2015?

“Most of the time an officer will simply have a chat with the players and the game will be moved to a park…case closed.”

Really?  No street hockey either?

The one thing Mr. Lihou and I will agree with is that this is another  PR nightmare for a city that cannot afford self inflicted wounds.

There is an easy solution to this mess.

The Mayor & Council announce that they will not be issuing any $240 fines while they either come up with a new by law or sort this out so that no other local children or seniors get hassled for worm selling, lemonade selling or gosh knows what else.

We cannot afford any more Monaco Crescents or Wormgates.

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

UPDATE

Councilor Justin Towndale posted this on his facebook page.

I have an update regarding the sale of worms by the Cadieux children. As of this morning, it was determined by our zoning department (who issued the notice) that the children can keep selling worms, so long as they sell them inside the house, and without a sign out front. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it is a temporary one that will work while we fix the problem. At the very least, the kids will be able to keep selling worms without any penalty.

I’ve spoken to a few of my Council colleagues and we are working on a way to fix the issue permanently so that kids can sell worms and lemonade outside again. I met with the City Clerk this morning to figure out the quickest way to move forward with this. I hate to say it, but it might take a few weeks to get it all sorted out because of procedural by-laws and rules in place. Believe me, it frustrates me that we can’t work faster. It would be great if we could snap our fingers and change the by-law overnight, but unfortunately, we can’t.

I am still working on this, and waiting for some folks to get back to me, so there will be more updates coming. The goal is to still get the kids back outside, and to let them stay there permanently. For right now, worms are still for sale, and there will not be a fine or penalty imposed.

If you would like some worms, I would recommend heading over to see the Cadieux children at 1101 Second Street West. I’d usually be reluctant to give out someone’s address but I think that it might be okay in this case.

UPDATE

Mr. Robert Cadieux, the boys father, said that he didn’t feel comfortable bringing people into the family home.

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