Not Running for Office Isn’t Always a Bad Thing – by Jamie Gilcig 050318

Cornwall Ontario –  Running for office isn’t the only way to help a community.  For many it’s a vain ego thing.  I just turned down a new provincial party looking for a local candidate.   Looking around the table here in Council there really are only 1 or 2 that truly get what being a councilor is and have some aptitude for it.

One timers like Justin Towndale and Carilyne Hebert clearly are not cut out or really understand the role of a member of council.   Towndale has used it successfully to get a few gigs and earn a few shekels.   Hebert, the Wondrous Zucchini Girl, essentially rubber stamps votes for her mentor Elaine MacDonald while working her way up government NGO type jobs.   Vapid would be a compliment when considering her vision and leadership qualities.

Maurice Dupelle wanted to be a councilor so badly and eventually made it, but sadly turned to the dark side,  listening to the likes of Bernadette Clement.

Clement, is the worst of what a councilor can be; simply trying to leverage her well bought seat into a better gig, but her failures across the board show that as you rise in the game the powers that be can see through saccharine veneers.    She’s also refusing to answer questions regarding a Human Rights Tribunal case she’s using tax dollars for involving a person that’s admitted to making about 3 times the threshold for legal aid.  That person worked directly for…Maurice Dupelle who sits next to her at the council table.

David Murphy also represents the worst of stoogedom .

Claude McIntosh turned years of hacking into a seat at the table with the help of Labour, but he seems to have used this term to settle up old scores rather than move anything positive forward.

Some councilors clearly have been frustrated that they can’t make magic happen this term because of the makeup of council.  I’ve always said that if that were the case then it’s up to them to communicate to the public about where they stand.

For example Mark A MacDonald showed leadership on the budget issue and was the only councilor visibly willing to tackle the true cost of the 20% tax levy hikes for this term and last.  His reward was attack columns in the Freeholder and a total lack of public support of his council.

The longest serving councilor, Denis Carr, focused on his projects, but made a point at the last meeting to suggest that we scribblers should be talking about what MPAC did, but the problem is that this council and city management knew what MPAC was doing and simply didn’t respond or prepare for the worst.  The result was this years budget and probably 3-4 more budgets of epic messes.

And then there’s our conflicted mayor who may have less integrity than the former one that he rode into the mayors seat because of.    The thing about most politicians is they love being in power once they get there and now Leslie O’Shaugnessy seems to be giving up a life of being a Conservative to embracing Labour to try and save his chains.

That probably won’t work, and he certainly has lost the support he had last election from CFN viewers and those that thought he might be able to be a positive  change, which he hasn’t.

Again, they say you get the government you deserve and the public is mostly accountable for the future of this community, but we in the media have a large role to play too.

There’s a huge issue of bias.  Bill Kingston, “The Queen of Mean” at Cornwall Newswatch during the last election essentially refused to interview yours truly when I ran for mayor.  In fact if you search his “blog”  (doesn’t that sound stupid? lol) you’ll see the about all of the content he’s written that includes me are essentially negative attack pieces.

Nick Seebruch and the Seaway News?   Nada, but then again nada is better than the petty hatchet job of Todd Lihou.  If you’re going to chop don’t go small.   Go big or go home.

While the Freeholder essentially gave my campaign enough coverage to not be tarred; maned Hugo Rodrigues refused to interview me or include my budget comments even though I ran my campaign to cut taxes using actual examples.  Hugo likes  examples attacking Mark MacDonald for example for not offering more details etc.

There were actually media outlets that refused my campaign ads last election which is about as unDemocratic as you can get.   And the chamber debate farce essentially rode roughshod over the Charter of Rights without the candidates making a peep.

I have been pushed to run in this election, and if I did it would be to win and not simply to try and effect change on council.     Clearly these last years have shown the cancer in Cornwall lies deeper than its weak elected officials, but in its management team and culture.

Cornwall essentially needs to be Brampton 2.0 where they chopped 25 city managers in one fell sweep and cleaned house.   That is clearly needed here in the River City, and it’s a growing opinion.

While I have been urged and promised all sorts of support if I run again,  the last time I ran I saw myself brutalized publicly, from my false police arrest led by Chief Dan Parkinson who needed a new close to $800K contract while Mayor Kilger and his campaign manager Pat Finucan were on the police board making the decision to give him that contract; to the way I was smeared by media over the false arrest, and of course crown Jennifer Burke who refused to drop clearly proven fake charges.  When Bell says you didn’t make ANY calls period as per police disclosure, how can you keep someone on conditions through an election?

I sincerely hope to support change. I’m hosting a seminar for municipal candidates with two amazing special guests, and more coming, on Thursday May 24th at the Best Western.  LINK.

CFN wants to support positive people that will move our city forward especially at this time with the waterfront in play and Domtar coming into play soon too.    We may never have a chance to fix the damage that will happen unless the people of Cornwall make sure the right people are there for leadership and guidance rather than relying on questionable CAO’s and expensive out of town consultants.

We accomplished huge change last election.  Now it’s time to learn from that experience and move forward again to make this city more inclusive and actually open for business because more business means lower taxes and more going on right here.  And that’s important.

As I’ve shared, nobody comes to Cornwall to seek attention.   I don’t need to be mayor like my distant relative, Mr. Horowitz 🙂     I’m fine supporting good people.     And we have until July for good people to step forward.  It will only take 5 or 6 to change how things work at City Hall and that’s doable.

So if you’re thinking about running for office, whether it be municipally or in the region, make sure it’s for the right reasons and if you come to that conclusion we’re here to help at CFN and myself personally.

Sometimes we can do more by NOT running for office than being tied to a position.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.



  1. Jamie you nailed it in everything that you said. People look at yourselves in the mirror and some of you are very capable of changing things for the better if you really want to. I worked for 5 straight years as a volunteer in the hospitals in Cornwall and it changed me for the better since I got out and did something. The same goes for everyone. I loved that about Caroline Hebert the zucchini

  2. Jamie the way you were treated in Cornwall was horrific. To be thrown in jail for something that you didn’t do is unbelievable. Cornwalls cops are not qualified for anything and they wouldn’t know about spoofing at all maybe only snooping. LOL LOL. ROLF! I think that Cornwall owes you quite an apology as well as thousands of dollars in your pocket for the hell that you went through.

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    Jules one of the reasons I’ve never brought in the heavy legal guns, and I know a few, is simply because the bad guys wouldn’t pay the money, but taxpayers and those that suffer under the abuse, corruption, and illegal actions would have to pay via taxes. That’s not justice, but a further abuse that they simply don’t deserve.

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