The Thimbleheads & I Love Garlic – OR Silly Clique Politics Strike Again in Cornwall by Jamie Gilcig

So I have a friend who is an amazing grower.   He has a maple sugar bush and grows many strains of amazing Organic Garlic.

He called asking if I was going to be at the fest Sunday.    I said nope.  I would be catching up on house work, catching up on Kat Denning’s show (gosh that girl is awesome and gorgeous!) , and chilling as this week was going to be really crazy.

He was perplexed and I told him about the clique politics and how the organizers of the 1st Garlic fest in Cornwall had not only snubbed me personally, but the largest market in the community.  As he’s been following CFN for years he totally got it.

With over half of Cornwall clicking at least once per month on CFN it’s weird to think why any group wouldn’t want that exposure?   And we should not have to chase after them either.  When someone snubs CFN they are not snubbing me personally; they’re snubbing our amazing viewers and I have no idea why someone would want to do that?

I had approached organizers months earlier when they appeared at council.  Looking at their sponsor list explains a lot.    You would think that anyone organizing an event owes it to sponsors and volunteers to do everything in their power to attract as many people as possible?

I, like many of you, wear multiple hats.  Ironically they wanted assistance of the other organization that I support and I stayed back and supported those efforts even though I felt personally that our organization was being exploited.   When you work in a group many times you have to let others lead and follow rather than prove a point.

Thus is life in a city that chooses to live as a small town.

And honestly I didn’t end up having to work on a Sunday and had a lovely day including a lovely afternoon glass of vino at my lovely neighbors who also hadn’t heard of the fest(and we live downtown).    Over half of the people I spoke with leading up to Sunday hadn’t even heard of the fest; likewise for some dining event that went on or even more bizarrely the street fest that hit Pitt Street the week before which while amazing seeing action on Pitt Street on a Saturday, wasn’t really that full.

Human nature is a funny thing too.   When I “trash” something or give it a bad review it garners more eyeballs than when I say it’s amazing.  It’s almost like people should pay me to be mean about them? 🙂

So I when I encounter these thimble brains that put politics ahead of the community or their own events I simply tend to ignore them.

Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.

The street fest proved that Cornwallites really do like a good party.    It wasn’t the ridiculously over priced food trucks, mediocre entertainment, or closed shops that brought people to Pitt Street that Saturday.

It was a chance to commune with each other and that’s amazing.  That gives me hope because I know that this town has more good people than bad and that one day maybe, the thimble heads will not be running events or being told what to do by some of the petty politicians and others that lead them by the nose.

I like to see the glass half full so I’m hoping that some of the seeds planted may take root, even accidently, but we’ve sadly seen events like Lift Off and Winterfest crash and burn because of the same petty politics that we have seen with the Street thingy and Garlic fest.

The recipe for success does not include that kind of stinking thinking.

And how was your weekend dear CFN viewers?  You can post your comments below.


  1. Cornwall just doesn,t get it, & prob never will.The will prefer to cut off their nose to spite their face…..sad really

  2. weekend was great, motorbiking the back roads, stopping at veggie booths, home to relax…oh and I helped one lady find/adopt a dog and another place her dog into rescue, ending the day with the grandchildren around a bonfire. Sunday was a lazy day, garlic festival where we purchased more veggies, soaps and an nice parachute hammock to carry on the motorcycle with us, then off again on the bike to Marlins apples…..I love this city, always something to do and see.

  3. mary bray….I think Cornwall gets it. It’s the clique, or thimble brains, that doesn’t get it.

  4. I was thrilled to see the artwork, the locally grown produce and folk spending time together. Cornwall is beautiful and has soooo much potential.
    Pitt Street reminds me of a small and budding Byward Market, but classier.

  5. Budding Byward Market , but classier? Potential by all means, beautiful, well it could be said to be in the eye of the beholder. Being an import to this community I can easily defend my reasons for coming here and my reasons for leaving prior to December 2019. One of my first observations of Cornwall was that its citizens were not well traveled as a rule. Narrow focus, mediocre expectations from leadership and a decided lack of planning and direction. 28 years later not much has changed except that there are a few less people now than then. The bench mark has still not been raised primarily, as stated many times by many individuals over the years, due to the same people doing the same thing expecting different results or simply not caring.

    Potential by all means. I wished that I had been able to stay and see it launch but there is so much happening in so many other places and well to be perfectly frank, only so much time. Really, people here need to confront the truth, find a leader with energy and vision and break the stereotype that holds this community in chains. It starts with admitting the truth, Cornwall has a major image and attitude problem but by all means it has potential. Dump the losers, hangers on, wannabees and social butterflies and just take a chance and soar. Never looking back and always to the horizon.

  6. The trouble is finding a leader with enough energy and vision to solve Cornwall’s issues.

  7. Ever wonder what is contained in the city’s forecast for the future (often a twenty year period)? Has the current mayor shared his vision for Cornwall or his opinion of the current forecast?

    In the late eighties when I moved to Cornwall from Ottawa I went into the Cornwall Public Library to view the official plan (public domain) The plan dated back to 1974 to the best of my recollection. Predictions included a population of 100,000 by the year 2000. I did not locate documentation of how that number was derived however.

    As with anything that is desired to have a meaningful conclusion, a plan (map) of how to achieve the desired results is mandatory. In my years here in Cornwall I have not witnessed the existence of a plan or any realistic vision of this communities intended direction. Things don’t usually just happen by chance they happen as a result of leadership, carefully reasoned expectations and the vision and determination to see them come to fruition.

    Ask your councilor of choice to view the current plan and how it matches up with their vision. After all they cannot state that they have no knowledge in this regard as it is the cornerstone on which councils build and make decisions. How do you get somewhere that you have never been to without some kind of map or associated tool?

  8. I have always called Cornwall a farm and that it is. The town has some potential but it won’t happen at all because people have no education except for a mighty few and those who want to improve the town are ostracized and people are kept in bondage and this is the truth. People are leaving Cornwall and the town is literally finished. Cornwall is a place that I would never go back to as a place to live – it is too far back for me and the mentality is something else. Jamie your paper and yourself are great but the people are to blame for what Cornwall has become because they have no balls nor guts to stand up to their oppressors.

  9. Mr. Oldham you are absolutely right on that the people of Cornwall are not well travelled and haven’t seen anything yet. I haven’t seen a town so backward in all my life. One very famous engineer (now deceased) who set up shop in Cornwall in the late 50’s called Cornwall “sticky town” where people are afraid to venture and see other things and the other was “stinky town” and yes it stunk to high heaven. The people remain on welfare as long as those cheques come in and don’t do something to get themselves ahead in life. Education is key. I have described Cornwall as a cocoon and that it is. People like Jamie and some others were not afraid to venture to make a business and the people of the town treat Jamie with contempt because that is the way their leader behaves. When people follow such an insane system then they have no future at all whatsoever. The entire town is being held in bondage”. There is no life left in Cornwall at all.

  10. So, I guess Cornwall is finished. It has been written by the sage or Cornwall past.

  11. Mr. Oldham I will put on my sunhat and tip it to you to say thank you for what you said. I remember very well when you said some time ago that you went to the public library in Cornwall and saw the plans from back in 1974 where the town of Cornwall planned to have 100,000 people and I am sitting here having a good laugh. Instead of people going to Cornwall they are leaving literally.

    Mr. Oldham just like you said nothing happens by chance and it was former US president Roosevelt who said that back in the 1930’s era when he said “nothing just happens by chance in politics and you can be well sure that it was well planned in advance. You cannot even get a war off at a spur of the moment. Everything that was done wars and all were well planned many years in advance. All people “sheeple” have to do also is to listen to retired General Wesley Clark to hear things that will waken them all up out of their stuper.

    Cornwall has been finished for a mighty long time and yes Hugger Cornwall is finished. People deserve the government they get and I can tell you that I come here for such a good laugh because Cornwall is literally finished. I just don’t come out and say those words unless I mean them – I mean everything that I say even stuff that you don’t get to read. Cornwall’s mayor and council have absolutely no vision at all and I will continue to keep on repeating the following:
    Proverbs 29:18

    Where there is no vision, the people perish.

    Hugger go out and walk around the town literally and I guarantee you that it is a mighty sorrowful site to look at. Cornwall is mighty depressing and it is a place that people leave and not want to go to. Some make the huge mistake of ever putting their feet in such a place and I for one along with my family suffered living in such a place but it sure is good to have some good laughs about that place.

    Mr. Oldham my husband’s nephew once said to us” “If you were going to Montréal or Toronto and such places from Ottawa then yes there would be a life but Cornwall? LOL LOL. Cornwall is a place for the dead and dying and nothing else because they are gone. Mr. Oldham you are an educated man and I can see that. There are some nice people who are in Cornwall like Dawn Ford and it is exceptionally difficult at her age to move on when she has lived in Cornwall her entire life. I left Cornwall at age 23 and it was difficult enough then but today I leave almost blindly because I know that there is nothing there and thank God we came back to Ottawa 11 years ago. Many people who reside in Cornwall laugh about the town. Under Lez’s so called leadership and his insane council makes me roar with laughter. You have to see me to believe it.

  12. Sorry Jules….but I like Cornwall. I don’t see the sorrowful sight that you see.

    I dare you to name one city, town, etc. that doesn’t have issues. And no, I do not feel like discussing Cornwall’s previous problems.

    The song remains the same and can be boring at times.

  13. Jules like Hugger1 I see that Cornwall is a world of possibilities. Our town has its share of issues true enough but I agree with others who have appropriately pointed out that we are not alone in shortcomings and challenges. So what separates us, or will set us apart from other struggling communities in Ontario? In a word , leadership.

    Leadership is our ticket to prosperity. Prosperity enough to go around. Enough to bring others here to join in. Enough that families will thrive and the furture will be by design and not merely by chance. Before I get to far ahead let us for now fixate on the leadership.

  14. Mr. Oldham you are so right about leadership and the present one is as dead as can be – absolutely no vision of any kind and he is laughable along with his council – the poorest and most pityful that I have run across so far. There re people out there who have the ability to lead and they don’t show themselves. If strong leadership and people with vision do not present themselves then Cornwall is mighty doomed. Would you believe that even BOB had more vision and coming from me of all people yes BOB had some professionalism in him but Lez has proven himself to be a complete and utter failure.

  15. If you believe it’s about leadership then stop knocking Cornwall and its residents. Is it our fault the politicians we vote for turn out to be duds?

  16. I agree Hugger1. We can analyze and identity problems all day long or we can move onto the solutions and finally onto the beyond (address our future). As far as the duds are concerned we opened the door for them to enter and now it is time to hold the door open for them to leave or get with the program. Decisions can be theirs or ours. Ultimately we are the voice.

  17. I will never forget the time that Jamie saw former mayor Poirier and the man was dying of cancer and took a few minutes to speak to Jamie on camera. Not one of the city officials nor the toilet papers of record or any business has treated Jamie with kindness and respect. You think that I want to say anything good about Cornwall HUH! you’ve got to be kidding. Cornwall is finished and has never had a decent leader at all and they were all there to feather their pockets – all of them. A leader has to be a real leader and the team has to be with vision and leadership as well or else throw in the towel and another municipality will take over. That is the only solution for Cornwall and it will never recover as long as you have blind leaders without any vision and be go getters in life you will remain “the city of idle men”.

  18. Author

    Jules there are people at City Hall that respect CFN quite a bit. Yes, there are issues that need to be resolved, but easy it does it and please don’t paint everyone with the same brush.

  19. Jules….pleassssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    You mention Phil Poirier. Then you say Cornwall “has never had a decent leader at all.” Which is it?

  20. Jamie….did we just agree AGAIN?? I’ve been trying to get that message across to Jules since I joined CFN…..don’t paint everyone with the same brush.

  21. Author

    Hugger some people need reminding and some need more reminding than others. Have a great weekend!

  22. Jamie and Hugger I can only think of a few good mayors in Cornwall and one was Jamie’s relative from back in the Seaway days and Phil was not bad unlike today with so much corruption and evilness. Today’s leaders are not leaders but nothing but fraud. Jamie you are more than lucky if a few people at the town hall agree with you and your paper. All I see are the worst kinds of people ever that came around as mayor and council and I am sating the truth. I am not hiding anything from anyone at all – I say what I feel. Most things that I have said are not published and I will say something here and Jamie you can correct me if you wish. Not once have I complained to Jamie about any one of you people not once. Jamie reads everything that we speak about and my beef has always been about the mayors and council and such matters but not about anyone of you folks. Things are very bad both in Cornwall and around the world and if this keeps up there will be no solutions to all the problems. The mayor is a dead pan mayor and has absolutely no vision and got in in a lie and I can’t stand people like that. The same with council which is another dead pan council with absolutely no vision and just a shameful and laughable bunch of idiots. I have to say what I think and what I see and I have lived in Cornwall (born and raised) and I know what is going on and even went back in 1990 and nothing went ahead for the better but instead crashed for the worst people of today. There are plenty of people in Cornwall who are mighty disgusted with the town but don’t come on to express themselves. I can say the entire system is mighty corrupt and I can say that I am always proud of Jamie and that is the truth folks.

  23. True, you haven’t complained about the people of Cornwall. But you have said we are “uneducated”, “on welfare”, “on bondage”, etc. And that was just in this thread. I know it’s in your nature to tell it as it is. But if you could, perhaps, tone down the insults just a tad you might get more people agreeing with you. I find it hard agreeing with you when I am constantly being insulted.

  24. Hugger do you know what I mean by being in “bondage” and this is the truth and you know yourself that you personally are not in that same category but many people are and let me try and explain this one. Many people are afraid to speak up and even comment on Jamie’s site or in the toilet papers of record. In a small tiny farm size town like Cornwall those who are at the top of the food chain hold the people in bondage and meaning that if they speak up they lose their jobs and are ostracized. This is the main problem in Cornwall is that those at the top have the people held in bondage and this is true Hugger I am not making any of what I say up.

    About people without an education yes that is true – the vast majority of Cornwall does not have an education and you would be surprised about that. Yes there are some educated people and they don’t show up for the mayor’s job nor for council and I think that after what they have seen who is getting in they are fed up and want nothing to do with the town. Those who were and are uneducated would work at Domtar and such places and making humoungous salaries and now those jobs are finished for good they are not coming back. I follow the economy and even more Yankees are losing those good jobs and are working in restaurants and such places. People with the education do not present themselves in Cornwall except for Jamie.

    About welfare this is so very true Hugger and one time mom and dad were reading the toilet paper of record that you call Standard Freeholder and they called it way back then “the town of idle men” and yes Cornwall is well known for the welfare and poverty and I even saw an article written up by someone blogging in one of Ottawa’s papers that they had family in Cornwall and it was a town of poverty, low education, etc. Hugger when I say things you take it personally. This isn’t for someone in particular because I aim it in a general sense and it is true. I am not one to hide anything from anybody. I don’t care if someone likes me or not (there are some who have come on and I don’t like them but I keep it to myself) and I do like you and l like Jamie very much and said that since day one, Mr. Oldham, Dawn such a lady and a lovely person and others. People have stuck in Cornwall their entire lives and haven’t ventured elsewhere and that is how Cornwall got its stigma. Way back in the mid 70’s era when I came to Ottawa I put up with the ridicule of being from Cornwall and nothing else just that I am from Cornwall. I had a very hard time with one particular woman who lives in SD&G but 45 minutes outside of Ottawa and she was something that you would have hated and when I left the unit and the government she became as nice as can be when I met her outside after I quit. She was a smart cookie and was top notch at her job in the unit and was jeolous that I was able to speak French. I got used to the treatment and it was hell in the unit with her so Hugger my skin is pretty thick. The people of Cornwall know nothing of what goes on the outside and how people think about them. Gee all I am hearing this evening are cars racing, police sirens on the go, etc. etc. etc. The gangs are out this evening.

  25. Okay, understood Jules. Still hard to take especially when you say “The people of Cornwall know nothing of what goes on the outside.”

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