Local Impact for Cornwall Ontario Tenders & Why Isn’t Ed Lumley Buying the Complex New Seats by Jamie Gilcig

I know.  What an odd picture to header a column, but then, this is an odd town with an ever odder City Council.

The problem is the old adage, “You get the politicians you deserve.”

After all, this is a town that over 4,000 people voted for Robert Brock Frost, and hardly anyone voted for Mike O’Neill.   Utterly insane.    Of course Frost advertised a lot more than O’Neill which puts me in a moral quandary on this issue….

I have a hunch Mike wouldn’t have thought up the feeble attempt by a feeble council to have a 5% cushion for local tenders and contracts.  It’s so dumb it reeks of David Murphy.

It’s kinda illegal in the first place, or at least hinky.  It also is kinda corrupt, but to council’s credit it would be open and transparent corruption as compared to the business as usual kind.

The issue drew a lot of attention after the city raped Medical Arts, and totally shafted their local work force by giving a very very large contract to a distant mobile drug service for Glen Stor Dun Lodge.   Not many who work at the Lodge actually supported not giving the contract to Medical Arts, but politics can be strange and weird, and this is after all, the town that Ed Lumley helped build.

Speaking of Ed, and taking a momentary tangent, one wonders two things, a) how does he feel about having an arena named after himself that has such poor seating with condition issues, and b) why doesn’t the rich bastige cough up some cold hard cash and buy some new seating for the arena?   I mean, the man is richer than almost the big guy upstairs.

Departing on an even wider tangent, why is it the richest people in this community give the least?  First off they flee to the townships so as not to pay their fair share of taxes, and then leverage expensive wastes of money like the Benson Centre or the monies the poorest victims in Cornwall are asked to pay like the silly Benson University studies or the $100K per year we’ve kicked in to rent the college’s auditorium so Paul Fitzpatrick could have his seat on the board of St. Lawrence College long ago?  (Ok not that so long ago)

It’s interesting how the college has slowly distanced itself from the cesspool of monkeys that were there at that time.

With Fitzpatrick off the board and now Don Fairweather gone they might even stop boycotting CFN?

Dr. Rachel Navaleenan wants the city to kick in about $300K for her latest project for Rachel’s Kids.  Surely a vanity charity that does good work should have its namesake write the cheque or at least a bigger chunk of the money?

No, the local impact factor is something that should be considered in all RFP’s and tenders in the city of Cornwall.

These documents are filled with other loosey goosey scoring areas.  Having a local impact one would address this issue in an intelligent and progressive manner, which means with this bunch of cronyism and nepotism none of us should hold our breaths.

An example.

For the GSDL contract    price should have been a good size percentage of the scoring, say 40%.

Ability to deliver and performance is a good one too.   Let’s give that one 30%.

Local impact, which can be factors like if the company is in fact locally owned, hires more local people, owns more local property (tax dollars to pay for RFP), etc should account for between 5-15% of any contract.

It’s common sense dontcha know and do we really have to legislate common sense for what we pay some of our city management?  Honestly?

Many in the community take their lead from City Hall which is sad and scary, but if the top doesn’t buy local why should the bottom?   We all should support local when we can.  It’s really not that hard, but people have to break the concept that local isn’t as good as outside.    One local lawyer for example told a local charity to jam it and refused to donate to them after finding out they were using an expensive legal firm instead of keeping the cash in the family.

What do you think dear CFN viewers?   You can post your comments below.


  1. Lately, the Standard-Freeholder has been filling their otherwise empty classified section with “Shop Locally” ad copy, and they recently ran an article about favouring local businesses.

    This all seems a little hypocritical from “Cornwall’s” Standard-Freeholder newspaper, that is actually printed in another city (Brockville), and whose customer service issues are handled by an offshore call centre (Carribean), and who turn a blind eye to the illegal intimidation and boycott against the city’s on-line news source, the Cornwall Free News.

  2. If they’re going with the lowest bid +- 5% and giving it to a local proposal is going to open them up to legal action, the same kind that happened with the GSDL situation. Do we really need to go down that road AGAIN?? I agree local bidders should be given a chance. But do they really have a chance when bidding against much larger, not local, companies?

    As for the seats at the Lumley…..I read awhile back that the city was hoping to tap into senior government programs to do this. so it wouldn’t cost them as much. Why not do what they’re doing with the conversion of the street lights to LED? Pay for it over five years or whatever.

  3. Author

    Hugger the Brockville Arts Centre needed new seats. The money was raised privately. The reason the current seats are in was a typical clusterpuck.

    Surely Ed, with his love for Cornwall could scratch a cheque and get the tax write off?

    Again, LOCAL IMPACT should be a facet in any government RFP or tender. The big question is why it’s not. These issues are not always about the lowest bid because it depends what’s in the bid. Value counts, even in a Wal-Mart world.

  4. I agree. But the Brockville Arts Centre is just a little smaller (710) than the Ed Lumley Arena (4800). Ther condition of the seats at the Ed Lumley Arena is one reason I do not attend more events there. As well, the Ed Lumley Arena reminds me of the old Montreal Forum and current Bell Centre, a very steep incline in the seating areas. I’m not thrilled at the incline. And the spacing between rows is next to non-existent unless you are a small person. Raising the money privately in Cornwall would be a challenge. But, perhaps it’s a challenge the city needs to step up and do. Even at $100 per seat (and I’m being generous as they cost more) we’re looking at $500,000.

    Again I agree that local bidders should be given a chance. If it is then it’s time to rewrite the rules so they can’t be challenged that govern how contracts are handed out in Cornwall so local bidders have a chance. But the way it has been proposed now opens the city up to another go round like we had with the GSDL fiasco.

  5. Author

    Hugger it’s about making sense and looking at real value. Investing in our community by giving value in the process for local impact isn’t giving an advantage and will encourage outside companies to support more local initiatives. Make the rules clear and let the best bid win, but make the terms fair and in the best interest of Cornwall.

  6. Agreed. If they do it do it so we don’t have a repeat of the GSDL fiasco.

  7. Since when does Cornwall make any sense whatsoever. About Ed Lumley he is originally from Windsor Ontario and like all rich people they keep their money in their pockets and nothing leaves their pockets unless it is absolutely necessary. The Benson Centre is a polluted joke and their university stinks to high heaven along with Caroline Hébert. Cornwall will never change – the same backward town

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