Cornwall Ontario City Council Trying to Skirt In Camera Rules – by Jamie Gilcig 040418

Cornwall Ontario – There are rules for In Camera meetings for a reason.    Past councils of Cornwall, including many current members have been sanctioned for violating them in the past.

Now apparently they simply are trying to rewrite their rule book putting all the pressure on Clerk Manon Levesque which sadly will only lead to a dark and disturbing place.

It’s not that there’s an issue with Madame Clerk.  On the contrary.  The problem is we have an utter hypocrite for a mayor in Leslie O’Shaugnessy who ran on the backs of Whistleblower Diane Shay and others and then essentially abandoned her and the issue once he got elected.    That’s some dark sauce.  This weak and impotent man clearly has the backbone and integrity of a lesser mortal.

Right now in  closed meetings under the new rules, which might not pass a legal test, it’s up to Manon to say yes or no if Council wants to add to the in camera agenda instead of simply waiting for the next session.    That’s not good government.  In fact it’s weak government if councilors have their heads up their posteriors to the point that they can’t bring their important issues to the table ahead of time.  That’s changing the rules to make up for their failings.

It also has the potential to hide information from the public that they normally would have access too as apathetic as many in the public are, and this is a time in our city’s history where we need things out of the shadows as taxes explode and our waterfront development is at stake.

If Madame Clerk ruled against some of these petty thin skinned ignorant politicians, some of whom clearly have ties to other entities,  like David Murphy, Elaine Macdonald, Bernadette Clement, Andre Rivette, Claude McIntosh, and others her very job can be on the line.

Again, this is mostly the same council that dumped a perfectly good HR manager in Robert Menagh without cause and at nearly $500K in expense to hire someone alleged to have a personal relationship with CAO Maureen Adams and only see labour unrest, unchecked rises in Emergency service costs, and having to add a Labour Negotiator to the payroll.   It also literally spent millions muzzling at least three whistleblowers and attacking this  newspaper that exposed much of what occurred.

These folks really shouldn’t be rewriting the playbook at City Hall.  And certainly not in this manner.


While Manon Levesque might have final say in a meeting, council and Maureen Adams might have final say over her career and it’d be an interesting legal question whether what happens during an in camera meeting could be used as evidence and testimony if ever a court case arose and if those present could even testify?

This latest farce, in they dying moments of an utter disaster of a term of council, needs to be reversed.    Especially in the current labour climate at City Hall.   We’ve lost enough good people at the hands of corruption and petty idiocy.

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


  1. A very weak and self interested collection of seat warmers (at best) continues to preside over this municipality in decline… stagnant population count, falling revenue (outside of taxes), no credible or coordinated policies to encourage growth nor even slow the downward spiral… my, my, my, my, my.

  2. I don’t agree 100% with Admin on his articles very often. But in this case he has hit it spot on. The rules for closed door meetings in Ontario are spotty and iffy at the best of times. Adding this little nugget where items can be added on a whim just adds to the insanity that is closed door meetings and Cornwall city council. Hopefully Manon Levesque will keep the monkeys in line.

  3. Author

    Hugger the rules are actually not iffy nor spotty on in camera meetings. The ability to enforce them is.

  4. It’s a matter of how the rules are interpreted. That’s why I say they are iffy and spotty. And that’s why they’re in such a mess for Cornwall city council. I’ve read the rules and some are so general, in most cases, they could theoretically, have a closed door meeting to discuss buying a light bulb.

  5. Author

    Again Hugger, while in some circumstances you’re right, the big issue is oversight. Look at the Conflict of Interest and Brock Frost situations. How can a council have an alleged police informant as a councilor without the police board, which consists of two of council not being aware?

  6. I agree. IMHO it comes down to this council being very inept in every aspect of being councilors. I never thought there could be a council worse than the last bunch we had. But, somehow, this group has managed to surpass them and by a very large margin.

  7. Author

    Hugger maybe the problem is that there still are half of the last bunch on council including the Mayor who clearly has not had an impact after being raised up by CFN viewers from his council chair that he quit on when he didn’t get his way?

  8. This council has to go! It’s as easy as that! Have they even settled on a budget yet? These relics that occupy the council are crooked, corrupt and incompetent! How many councilors live in Cornwall?

  9. Heads up Manon, protect yourself at all costs on this issue, don’t become “another under the bus casualty” ! Get legal precedence, from the Ministry , if unsure ? Dot all I’s & DOT the T’s, because they will blame you for giving the wrong info ! You are IMO, one of the best at City Hall. Better days ahead, the “BIG SWEEP” will arrive in November.

  10. I agree with Simon. This council is very weak and uninterested. I would be very surprised to see anyone of them to run again this year.

  11. titan – I see most of the current group of city council clowns running in November. I even see a few of them taking on Leslie O’Shaughnessy for the big chair. Whether any are reelected is another story. And no the budget still hasn’t been finalized. They keep playing pass the buck, something they excel at. GAMES UP CITY COUNCIL CLOWNS!!!

  12. Jamie,

    You are correct about the Whistleblowers, and yes they spent millions on us, but they did not muzzle anyone. We all continue to speak out and I am writing a book. There is more than one way to get justice. I am returning to Cornwall and with a group of like minded taxpayers to run for council we could provide the much needed transparancy this community has needed for years.

  13. Author

    Hope to see you at my seminar on running for council Diane. CFN will be supporting candidates that want to be a part of Brampton 2.0 and clean out corrupt and incompetent city managers. We’ll need at least 6 good people elected to make that happen.

  14. Who’s the Clerk’s Boss? Geoff Clarke, the same HR manager who has Failed the city so bad with collective agreements and HR in general the CAO Mayor and council is hiring him his second labor relations manager. Many will agree he is not qualified for HR yet the CAO promoted him to be in Charge of corporate services too. She designated fire chief tight pants as CAO a few weeks ago, she feeling heat?

  15. Jamie,

    I have already take the clerk and treasurers course which teaches how all level of government are suppose to work. Yet, to actually see it but every little bit helps.

    Take Care,


  16. Jamie,

    I would also like to add that Mr. Menaugh was not a good Manager at any time during his time with the City. A good Manager would have enforced the law. He chose not to and was rewarded hansomely for his so called loyalty to Mr. Fitzpatrick. Whistleblowers only spend money to defend themselves from people like them.

    Take Care,


  17. Diane Shay,

    Delighted to see you running for Council ! My prediction is you’ll be in the top three ! My crystal ball , also sees, all new faces among the Councillors. As “HUGGER” so eloquently stated, ” I never thought there could be a council worse than the last bunch we had. But, somehow, this group has managed to surpass them and by a very large margin”.

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