Death of Journalists in MD Shooting Highlights Needs of Free Press by Jamie Gilcig 062918

Cornwall Ontario –   This has been a very traumatizing week for a lot of people.   Being  a mere mortal myself we all only have so much endurance.

While getting ready to escape Cornwall to celebrate the Strawberry Moon at a very dear friends joint, the news hit of the five journalists shot dead in Maryland.   It was tragic, but not surprising.

After a generation or two of education cuts, and social engineering we live in a strange world, and in some places there are more weapons than others.   My cousin teaches University in Texas and has contemplated moving back to Canada as her students are actually allowed to carry concealed firearms to her classes.      I kid you not.

This piece isn’t about gun control.  Lord knows there have been enough columns about that after every shooting.

This is about societal justice and whether it’s possible to turn the pendulum back?

When you don’t have accountability at the top, you simply lose it at the bottom.

This week I endured covering a sexual assault case here in Cornwall.    It involved two developmentally delayed adults.  It should never have made it to the courtroom, and was an utter waste of tax dollars, but more importantly, watching Cornwall Crown Matthew Collins(why do short guys wear shoes that look twice the size of their feet?  Is it a hobbit thing? )  do his best Tom Cruise bit from a A Few Good Men was appalling.  IT was bullying. It was horrible to watch him grill a mentally delayed senior with diabetes in the manner that he did.

This man was no Jack Nicholson.   He’s diabetic, 65, and suffers other issues as well as his handicap.  If not for this journalist in that courtroom we’d never even know this type of behavior in a court happens other than whispers over drinks in dark places, and gossip.

That an actual judge, with her Judge Judy pencil bag,  extended a normal sexual assault gag order to include witnesses (you normally don’t reveal the name of the defendant or plaintiff to protect the victim)  appeared to be an action to stymie coverage of the case and protect the politician who clearly fumbled in his day job that he is scantily qualified to perform.

That this “justice” allowed a disabled ill senior to endure this abuse was appalling and obscene.  That he handled himself as well as he did clearly contributed to what appeared to be his innocence in this farce.

The problem is again, no accountability, or certainly not enough.   This judge will not be held accountable.   This crown will not be fired, nor his boss Jennifer Burke who in this writer’s opinion should’ve been removed from her position here in Cornwall long long ago.   And no case goes to trial without the consent of a Crown and in many cases their boss who happens to be Jennifer Burke in Cornwall.

As long as the public doesn’t demand accountability it will only get worse, and that will cost you and I, the taxpayer, more and more, and not just in money.

Hopefully a journalist never is killed again.   We know that simply won’t happen.   There will be more, especially involving our friends in the US of A sadly.

In this city right now our own local government is waging a fiscal and abusive legal war against this newspaper.  It’s brutal and ugly, and at the end of the day the only people that will pay will be you and I footing the bill for the losses and high priced lawyers.      Anytime you potentially are willing to spend $40K to defend a $3600 claim there’s something clearly wrong.

Anytime you boycott a newspaper where most of your community reads there are questions that should be raised.

When the tentacles from City Hall extend to health warnings or police alerts that puts people’s lives at risk.

And while an election is coming up this year municipally,  the needs to balance the justice spectrum in this part of Eastern Ontario have a long long way to go to get back to the middle.    The question is if the public actually want that to happen?

So let’s all take a deep breath and ask if we want to stand for truth, as ugly as that might be sometimes, or live in a world of lies and corruption.  The choice is ours to make as a community, but we will have to live with those results, because you really can’t polish a turd.  And we will have to push to make that happen.

You can of course still post your comments below.


  1. The journalist who were murdered, I feel so sorry for their families. It’s a tragedy. I really appreciate CFN, it’s the first thing I check every morning. I appreciate you too Jamie, and the real stories and articles you bring when no others will. I know it’s an uphill battle and a thankless job sometimes, but it’s not unnoticed that you have a real talent for writing and bringing the facts.

  2. Author

    Jerry it’s time that this community (not picking on you) step up and support this paper. In the online world moving is a lot easier than one would think.

    People need to stand up not only for themselves and their home towns, but also for the few resources they have against corruption. If 1% of our viewers contributed subscription donations we’d have three more writers.

    There’s no business model or reason not to advertise with us locally either as our ads end up costing less than social media or other digital ads.

    The silliness that is going on is hurting our entire community. Hopefully the by the next municipal election we’ll see more real positive change.

  3. I think that if Jamie didn’t care about Cornwall he would not have stayed all these years and would have moved on a long time ago. Jamie put up with all the BS being thrown at him and nobody would ever take such abuse but Jamie has something that connects him to Cornwall and that was a relative way back who made his home in Cornwall and was in the political field.

  4. Jamie the problem with Cornwall is that damn cursed clique and they run Cornwall into the ground. Cornwall could have been a prosperous town at one time but that damn cursed clique destroyed the town and the peoples mighty strange and backward mentality fell of it and followed them to the bottom. The people themselves have to wake up and throw the clique literally out of town. You are #1 Jamie.

  5. I agree with Ms Jules up to a certain point.

    And with that, “nuff said.”

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