Cornwall Mayor & Garlic Fest Brenda Norman Trash Maclean’s Story in Seaway News 083117

Cornwall Ontario – The impact of the Maclean’s story about racism at the Cornwall Garlic Fest went viral locally after CFN wrote about it.  The Mayor, Councilor Bernadette “Flipper” Clement and event organizer Brenda Norman spread some shady vibes in the Seaway News whose Editor Nick Sebruch did not respond to questions prior to publication.

From the Seaway News story:

“The Mayor of Cornwall and Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects (which organizes the Garlic Festival) both feel that the article is a misrepresentation of the situation in Cornwall and at the Nav Centre.”

“I’ve never seen an article like it in my life,” said Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy.”

Our Mayor has in fact seen stories like that as he’s a long time viewer of this newspaper, and has personally discussed a few of them with this writer.

“Clement also said the article’s characterization of the bus pass issue was not accurate and feels that the motion failed not because of a desire to withhold access to public transportation to asylum seekers, but because they were already being given bus tickets from the province. She said that if there was any negative reaction from the public in Cornwall that it mostly came from a lack of information and answers to their questions.  “What was missing was the proper flow of information at the end of the day,” she said. “I felt that people were either positive or they were concerned in terms of the availability of information.””

Of course if Flipper and the motion’s supporters had done their homework, rather than perhaps hen party it at NAV they might have had the answers before trying to run the motion?

The worst quotes were from organizer Brenda Norman who’s response to have an opportunity to respond to this story was to block yours truly on facebook.  We sent an email after.

“Brenda Norman of Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects (KCEP) said that she and her fellow board members feel that they were misled as to the intention of the MacLean’s article. They wish to make it clear that the Eastern Ontario Garlic Festival and KCEP has always been about community and inclusion and that not a single person or vendor choose to be absent from this year’s event because of the presence of the asylum seekers.”

That dear CFN viewers would be defined as a lie.    Ms Norman and her group for example boycott this newspaper which has more traffic than any other media in the region.   Surely if she wanted to be inclusive she’d want to communicate with more people, not less?   I mean, we’re talking no press releases even which cost them nothing.

“The KCEP board is going as far as saying that MacLean’s misrepresented them.

“We consider this to be a very discredited piece of journalism based on all the errors and obvious sensationalism,” said Sylvie Paquette KCEP Vice-President and Communications Officer.”
Who gives a quote like that without citing an example and why did the TC owned Seaway News allow a quote like that which could very well be interpreted as defamatory?  And where was Ms Paquette when Maclean’s journalist Meagan Campbell was working her story?
CFN reached out to Maclean’s and received the following:

We are satisfied the story is accurate, and a fair representation of the interviews Meagan conducted in Cornwall.


Elisa Barbaro 
Communications Specialist


So now the community has yet another PR Black Eye.  It’s now at the very least insulted the Maclean’s team, and embarrassed the community nationally.    Oddly enough this isn’t the first time City Hall has acted in such a juvenile and unprofessional manner.
Ironically the refugees have left NAV Can who pocketed a bunch of tax dollars.  Apparently the tent camp (even though the refugees stayed in the hotel)  and racism locally weren’t great optics to the Federal government.
CFN covered the Moneysense rankings back in 2012 when Cornwall dropped like a rock.    LINK
Chamber Prez at the time, Rick Shaver was quoted with this whopper:
The Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce is surprised and somewhat suspect of  the results of the recent MoneySense showing Cornwall dropping to 167 th position in the Best Places to Live report. “The Chamber has reviewed the findings of the survey and will continue to study the methodology used in determining the decline in our rating.” States President Shaver.
CFN reached out to Moneysense and its Managing Editor, Sara Efron responded to comments from Rick and the mayor at that time.

MoneySense is Canada’s top personal finance magazine, and this is the seventh year we’ve put out the Best Places to Live list. It’s a great tool for city governments and citizens to use to address areas where the city needs improvement, and see how their city is changing over time. 

The source of our unemployment data is Statistics Canada and Canadian Demographics. Unemployment makes up 10 out of our 105 points. 

Sometimes Local Politicians use our score as a way to show solidarity with their constituents as a positive tool to promote growth.

It was embarrassing then, but oddly enough who’s the manager at the Seaway News now?   Rick Shaver! Apparently Mr. Shaver isn’t a quick study….

The reality is that the Garlic Fest in Cornwall under Ms Norman is a poorly run and even more poorly promoted event.  That she capitulated completely to the whims of the City Hall clique and has now embarrassed the city by giving out ridiculous quotes about racism and exposing how she runs her business (IE threatening vendors).

The optics of conflict of interest for Flipper and Councilor Justin Towndale who has a financial relationship with NAV Can may explain why so many events are being pushed to the edge of town that makes it harder for the “poor” to make it out and makes them more exclusive for the Clique.   Seaway News for example unveiled this years farcical “Cornwall Living” mag at NAV.

The truth hurts, but frankly spinning it in the manner that the Seaway News truly defines the oft used term in 2017; “Fake News”.

What do you think dear CFN viewers, and Garlic Fest supporter Doug Stewart?  You can post your comments below, but please try not to make an utter dink of yourself like Mr. Stewart did.



  1. Utterly unbelievable.

  2. It sounds just like the government alright. I remember it all so well. LOL LOL. Lots of things went on when one department would know about something and the other nothing and then all hell would erupt sometimes. The tickets were given by the provincial government and they didn’t notify Cornwalls bunch of misfits about what they did and all that time was lost for nothing. What a bunch.

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