Cornwall Ontario – Some Cornwallites can be hyper sensitive about any discussion of the reality of our community.    They don’t want to look at failures or miscues, but instead simply raise taxes and hope the issues go away, or simply bully those who point out that our many wannabee emperors are in fact wearing clothes from Wal Mart and not the finery that they want to exude.

Recently at the Team Cornwall Kool Aid drinking party a screen cap was projected with an image from a story by Veteran Journalist David Reevely of the Ottawa Citizen which referred to information that the Cornwall Sector had lost 5,000 residents during a period of time.      CITIZEN STORY LINK

It’s traditional in journalism, even Gonzo journalism, to back up your facts.   CFN reached out to Mr. Reevely who responded to a few of our questions.  A call out to Councilor Towndale and the rest of council led to zero responses.  Peter Gault, President of Team Cornwall still hasn’t returned our call from last week.

Then again, this newspaper, which has the highest amount of viewers in the market, and is locally owned, was not invited to the Team Cornwall AGM either.   Peter Gault and friends seem to be hypersensitive to any criticism or are too deeply up Bob Peter’s nether regions to hear their phone when it’s ringing?

The youthful Towndale, who while meaning well, sometimes seems to cater to the local establishment far too deeply for someone so young, also reached out to Editor Hugo Rodrigues as the Standard Freeholder is also owned by Post Media.

Of course, this is a now a city with no public art gallery or real tourism or cultural sector.  In other words we’re losing our youth and those that are most important to a vital successful community and becoming a senior’s residence.   Bragging about saving money on community agencies is shameful and something not to be proud of.  That $45K would have kept the Art Gallery in Cornwall alive for a year.

Even more oddly, sacred cow, Aultsville Theatre was moved from that envelope to Economic Development, and is now protected from the scrutiny of council directly.  Again, why is the city kicking in $100K to essentially subsidize the auditorium of St. Lawrence College?   This is again taxation without representation.    That amount of money could fund the purchase of, or help maintain a city owned facility as opposed to the weird failure and tax drain that Aultsville has been.    The same for the Woodhouse museum’s even larger budget.   The city has now apparently capped outside agency requests to $25K except for those entities.  Again, why?

Community Agencies Committee has finished it’s work. $45,000 under budget. Savings to be passed along to main budget. #cwlpoli


We asked Mr. Reevely four questions.  He answered all promptly, unlike all of our council which hadn’t responded as of publication time.


1)   Your wrote
“From 2011 to 2015, Cornwall’s population shrank by 5,000, or nearly 10 per cent. Four thousand more jobs disappeared.”
How did you come up with that number?  Is that the Cornwall number or Eastern Ontario?

1) The numbers are from Statistics Canada, based on the 2011 census and updated information from the Labour Force Survey. They’re Cornwall numbers but — importantly — they’re for the Cornwall “census agglomeration,” which includes South Stormont Township, not just the City of Cornwall. For anyone who doesn’t live in Cornwall, this is the area people think of as “Cornwall,” in the same way as the Montreal or Vancouver census areas include politically separate but obviously linked municipalities.


2) Cornwall itself isn’t on Hydro One, but actually gets its power from Quebec.   We actually have some of the cheapest power in the province and we should be doing better economically because of that.  Would that info factor into your story?


2) The point of the piece wasn’t to explore Cornwall’s economy in detail so I can’t speak to the specifics of hydro prices.



3) You touch on the losses for Cornwall, and your chart shows Eastern Ontario having he largest decline, but your story doesn’t give many specifics explaining those numbers.   Did your research show any factors or areas that could possibly lead to the negative results?


3) I imagine Cornwall is affected by the same factors that affect lots of smaller centres: a combination of automation and cheaper imports have made it really hard for the factories and resource-processing businesses that were the mainstays of their economies to survive. We see it in the mass closures of sawmills and related industries like pulp and paper plants all over Ontario. We see it in the closure of the Hershey plant in Smiths Falls. We see it in the death of domestic textiles and clothing manufacturing. Bigger cities have done well in service industries and high-tech and culture production, but except for some pockets of advanced manufacturing like in the auto industry in southwestern Ontario, industry in rural areas has taken a beating. This is true throughout the advanced industrial economies.


4)  Do you think you owe Councilor Towndale or Cornwall an apology for your story?  Do you think you erred at all?
Finally, feel free to add a quote for publication summing up the reaction and your opinion.


4) If I’d known how much the distinction between Cornwall-the-city and Cornwall-the-census-agglomeration would upset some people, I’d have made it clearer which I meant. Again, though, the piece wasn’t about Cornwall, and as written I think the worst thing you can reasonably say about it is it’s imprecise. But I used “Cornwall” the way Statistics Canada uses it.


Again, when silly people do silly things like post images like that and then have Team Cornwall President go all Stepford wives as he was quoted in other media as stating:

Chair of Team Cornwall Peter Gault ended the meeting by asking members of the community to help dispel rumours of a struggling Cornwall economy.

Gault said stories of job losses in the community are in contrast to what Peters had shared with the audience.

That silly quote is as goofy as Bob Kilger and Rick Shaver complaining about the Methodology of the Moneysense Entrepreneurial rankings which see a well deserved near bottom ranking for Cornwall yearly.

It’s epic fail 101.   In this day and age we all compete to succeed and technology makes the World a smaller and faster place.  You can’t hide and just circle jerk your economy any longer with good results.   And of course it gives experienced journalists at the Citizen, and the few that might notice this silliness a giggle as they shake their heads and laugh at Cornwall, again.

Mostly though it’s time to review why we simply don’t replace those that fail, like Bob Peter’s who clearly isn’t developing our Economy, with someone that might?     Giant Tiger just set up a distribution centre in Hydro One territory near Morrisburg.    Amazon just set up theirs in Quebec citing higher hydro rates in Ontario.   Yet Mr. Peters is on the home page of the Team Cornwall website and featured in its AGM.  If Mr. Peters is the best you have, or all you have, to pimp your best of year….well maybe it’s time to bring Gilles Latour back?  Think about that one for a moment…..

How did Cornwall miss out on both of those distribution centers when that’s supposed to be one of our key growth sectors?  Did Mr. Peters even reach out to either company?

When you have to raise water rates because you lose a factory doesn’t that truly echo what Mr. Reevely’s story was getting at, or was it simply Team Cornwall reacting to a single quote without reading a well written story?  When you’re looking at raising property taxes over 4% because your commercial real estate revenues drop is that economic growth?

Could it simply be that a riding that keeps not voting with the sitting government, mixed with a backwards local economic business community, and no real cultural economy simply can’t keep up with the rest of the Province?

Should we really be shooting the messengers or should we as a community take a sober look at what’s not working and come together to make the community grow?   Isn’t it time to stop celebrating failure?

Or is this some feeble attempt to get some outside attention for Cornwall as the clique made a fuss over a Chez FM meme about our city recently as well?

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

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