Metro Closing in Cornwall Ontario Highlights Poor Economic Development in Community by Jamie Gilcig MARCH 28, 2016

As council fiddles and sells the community’s future with its shady Harbor Front deal with the Feds and Akwesasne Metro has announced that it will be shutting its doors in a few months.  About 75 people will lose their jobs, about a third of those full time employment where it’s becoming more difficult to find steady full time work.   Cornwall will also lose one of its finest grocers.

Cornwall Square still hasn’t replaced its anchor grocery store and the entire mall’s future is being talked about with one person stating that security staff fear that they will be losing their jobs soon and rumor mongering that the reason the escalators have not been fixed have been due to costs.

While many have pointed fingers at the impact of Wal Mart selling groceries in its new store, the reality is that the economy in Cornwall has been spiraling since the closure of Domtar, and crack down on illegal cigarette sales.  Cornwall in fact apparently had to give Corporate Welfare for Wal Mart to open its new store when many communities have opposed such stores opening.

For ever small opening large employers like Star Tek have left town.

It clearly points to a lack of Economic Development from City Hall under Mark Boileau and Bob Peters.   In fact Giant Tiger is opening its spanking new distribution centre down the road instead of in our own Industrial Park in spite of rumblings about Cornwall being a “hub”.

The “closed shop” mentality and inability to draw business to the community due to abusive permit processes and boycotts of local businesses seem to be scaring people from investing in our community.   The backwards “Old Boy” practices and abuse also retard natural business growth which clearly shows in the Moneysense magazine yearly rankings of communities across Canada.

An utterly useless Chamber of Commerce that most likely won’t change until the retirement of Lezlie Strasser and Mike Metcalfe, a moribund Team Cornwall that doesn’t even do the little it did under former President Gilles Latour who has been charged for fraud, including ripping off his own mom, and one scandal after another such as the attacks on kids selling worms last Summer.

The big question is if the residents of Cornwall and the area will demand more of its local government while taxes keep rising and the economy keeps shrinking?

Now we’ll have to travel to Casselman or Quebec to get some of the great offerings that Metro had in town.

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


  1. Reality is stores close all the time. With Metro’s lease expiring and the store not meeting targets this is not unexpected. Metro refused to answer questions about the Cornwall store a few months ago. That should have been a hint. As for the Square not having a replacement for No Frills it shows the state of doing business, not just in Cornwall, but everywhere. Is Mike Dean’s an option?

  2. Author

    Hugger I like Mike Deans, but when I stopped in Morrisburg a few weeks ago it was empty. Apparently to be replaced by Foodlan

  3. My husband said just a while ago that it is the fault of the town’s council, mayor and management and not one business lasts for very long. With such a record that Cornwall has and they want a Chrysler Plant that made me laugh like crazy – what a bunch of stupid idiots who can’t even keep a grocery store in operation for very long. Car companies are in big trouble and no way to Cornwall at all.

  4. Too bad for Cornwall. The Metro store in Gananoque is still going strong, and is way superior to the local No Frills store.

  5. Furtz you are right about Metro being superior to No Frills and we shop there sometimes and we were there yesterday. Metro’s prices are higher than other stores but we go for quality. We buy only a few things over at Food Basics which are canned goods only when we go there and meat and veggies over at Metro and Your Independent. No more Farm Boy after the insults given to Jamie.

  6. Metro had announced in Aug. 2013 that restructuring would affect stores in various Ontario locations. Not a good day for our struggling community.

    Is Cornwall one of the 12 special regions in Canada that will get enhanced E.I. benefits? Anyone?

  7. Author

    Jules Farm Boy has not insulted CFN or myself. I shop there myself occasionally.

  8. There’s a reason Metro and YIG (Loblaws owned) are superior to No Frills (Loblaws owned) and Food Basics (Metro owned). Metro and YIG are full service grocery stores (deli, bakery, etc.). Whereas No Frills and Food Basics stores do not have deli counters and bakeries. thus the higher prices at Metro and YIG.

  9. Author

    Hi David, Cornwall is not a designated region. We tend to get lopped into Ottawa.

  10. Jamie the son of one of the owners of Farm Boy did put you down as well as your paper in a Facebook page and I remember you posting it and since that time I boycotted Farm Boy. We used to spend big money at Farm Boy but no more after that happened. The mayor’s daughter did the same thing as well and I commented on both when you posted that.

  11. Author

    Ah, I didn’t realize they were related to Farmboy.

  12. Jamie if you have kept my postings from way back you would fall on that particular posting(s) and I have mentioned way back then that I was boycotting Farm Boy and I remember you and Hugger and possibly some others saying well the son had nothing to do with the parents business or something to that effect and I said I am boycotting Farm Boy. The mayor’s daughter did the same thing on Facebook.

  13. Jamie the children do reflect on the parents business and what they say reflects on what the parents are saying in their household – not always but most times. I will not step my feet in Farm Boy at all and I made that promise to you and everyone here on CFN when all that hell broke loose on Facebook. I do keep my promises.

  14. Jamie I went to high school for a short while with one of the Belmare boys and this man is a very good person but has a nasty relative. The Bellemare family is well known in Cornwall from way back when the old man started off with a tiny grocery store in the east end of Cornwall. I used to run in sometimes with the man who went to high school with me in downtown Ottawa.

  15. Businesses close because of the taxes being way too high as well as utllities and people demanding higher and higher wages so businesses say the hell with all of that and take themselves overseas to where business is done at a fraction of the price. Taxes in tiny Cornwall are way way too high.

  16. What is there to pay for in Cornwall. A hockey arena built on a carcenogen dump of Domtar, a dump in the middle of town that the sheeple are crazy enough to ski on in the winter, high taxes and a council and mayor who spend money like as if it fell from heaven for them to waste and an incompetent management at town hall, etc.

  17. It is going to be a very long time before the mayor can get out his scissors and cut ribbons for businesses. Who wants to pay gigantic taxes in business, mighty high rents, mighty high utility bills, etc. We as consumers get the shaft every time we go to buy something and we are paying for the ransom that they call taxes just to exist.

  18. Jamie from now to ten years you will see people having to check out their own groceries and other items on a computerized system like what we do here in Ottawa for books at the libraries. When Target existed that was the way things were checked out and they had a few cashiers for cash only. Many jobs are going to be eliminated and people have to get educated and go into other careers.

  19. Jules, sorry to disappoint you but the self-serve checkout is here already. I know Home Depot has them as well as some of the Loblaws stores in Ottawa.

  20. Hugger I have been to a few places that have the self service check out and the cashiers are very furious because technology is going to replace their jobs. My daughter chose the right area to go into in college and is almost finished. My daughter did the job of cashier for 2 years and is not working now but is still employed as cashier until she gets a better job in her line of study.

  21. My daughter is the top in her class and we are mighty proud of her. She will eventually find something in her area and she has one more week of class and a month of co-op and can’t wait to finish this course.

  22. Oh the joys of co-op….unpaid slave labour.

  23. Hugger I did unpaid slave labor for 5 years in Cornwall’s hospitals as a teenager and it was dirty and disgusting but I did it and it made me shy away from going into nursing. All professions and careers today demand co-op and this includes university but my daughter thinks that students who go to university get paid for co-op.

  24. Jules, have you stopped quilting, or going outside for a bit?

  25. Apparently the city failed to tell the taxpayers , that if they go ahead with the harbour deal, it will cost the city over 40 million dollars to clean up the site.

  26. Author

    Roger that has not been reported anywhere. Can you cite where you got those numbers or are you just making them up?

  27. Furtz I was going to ask you the same thing. I go early in the mornings outside on our walks. About quilting I am going slowly because I have arthritis pretty bad and I have pain in my left arm for a month now. I don’t give a rat’s keester about my health anymore. Everything is going down the tubes financially in this world. There must be a gas station somewhere for work.

  28. I was at Metro this morning with my daughter here in Ottawa and yes prices are high and there were very few people in the store this morning. Usually the store has a lot more customers than today. Metro is not a place to be put in Cornwall since too many of the people are of low income. We like Metro and we like Your Independent.

  29. There’s a reason Metro prices are higher. Metro, YIG and Loblaws are full service grocery stores (deli, bakery, etc.). Whereas No Frills and Food Basics stores do not have deli counters and bakeries. thus the higher prices at Metro, YIG and Loblaws. And I find on nice, warm days people tend to mput off shopping and being indoors. Today was an example of that.

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