What Does Hugo Rodrigues Have Against Cornwall Councilor Mark MacDonald by Jamie Gilcig 080418

Media can be a bewildering thing.    We are flooded with content through the day.  Local, regional, National, happy stories, tragedies, tales of injustice, and crime.

Yet at the end of the day we filter all that down to a few stories on a good day.

With 4 utterly pointless candidates for mayor and 32 running for council,  dear Hugo decided to take another run at Cornwall City Councilor Mark MacDonald.

Mark’s crime apparently is that because he’s acting mayor for this month he’s trying to actually get something done.   In this case call a meeting of the Fire Master Plan committee which mysteriously couldn’t form quorum according to the city clerk.   While I would never suggest anyone’s lying perhaps we need new committee members as we just had a major fire that led to at least three buildings being no more.

The facts are that most likely the damage was exacerbated because of union pressure to not comply with the real options that the City has to implement the FMP.  IE, not wanting part time or volunteer firefighters.   With an estimated 75% of the force not living in Cornwall the need, which would be legal, for part time firefighters and/or volunteers is needed and great.

For example, it was originally a single building fire which requires 4 firefighters to attend last week.   The City’s release said that they sent 10.  Apparently there were some issues and the fire blew up big time.

According to the city’s own release another 27 were called in.  Of course the city never stated how many showed up.  Likewise, no other nearby fire services were reported having been asked to attend.

Essentially the Cornwall Fire Service did not meet what was clearly identified in the FMP for a fire of this size and could possibly facing negligence lawsuits once the insurance investigations are over.  And of course more people were put at risk by the size of the fire and the clean up and recovery will be larger as well as damage to buildings not totalled in the blaze.

Was this expensive mess something that should’ve happened?  If the City had part time firefighters or volunteers could the fire have been stemmed?

Is it really crazy for Mark MacDonald to have tried to call a meeting of the FMP committee in this situation or simply doing what Mayor Leslie O’Shaugnessy should have done immediately after the blaze, especially as police have deemed it suspicious?

The real issue is that these fires all seem to happen in the East End.   The building this fire originated in was on fire two years before as well.   Again, more questions than answers.

But to attack one of the few elected officials brave enough to ask some of those questions, and a retired firefighter as well?   Does that warrant a nasty editorial from Hugo?   His limp argument that we need a Deputy Mayor doesn’t hold water.   For generations Cornwall has chosen to have councilors act as Mayor.  The issue isn’t that we don’t have a DM, but that perhaps more training should be given to council.   Or maybe we should follow Premier Doug Ford’s lead and reduce Cornwall to a Mayor, a DM, and 5 councilors rather than the dysfunctional mess we currently have and will still have after this upcoming election.

We need more Mark MacDonald’s on Cornwall City Council rather than those that sit and hide while rubber stamping odd positions from a management team that has failed this community again and again.

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


  1. Duck and weave, duck and weave!!

  2. No emergency personnel should live outside of the town Cornwall and should be ready and able to get to work on time. This is completely ridiculous to live inside of Ottawa or just near Ottawa and have to travel an hour or more depending on the traffic. No sane and intelligent place accepts any of this. This isn’t the Federal and Provincial Government when you can do this. Makes no sense.

  3. Author

    Jules a line is just a line. You can live on Cornwall Centre Road and technically be in South Stormont. But emergency workers should be able to show up within a certain time frame, especially a firefighter that is on call.

  4. The Cornwall building inspector should be going into the dilapidated buildings for fire safety assessments. Many of our children of poverty live in these buildings!
    The real issue is that these fires all seem to happen in the East End. The building this fire originated in was on fire two years before as well. Again, more questions than answers.

  5. Not really hard to figure out why most fires are in the east end. Mostly all wood structures and built far too close to one another. And most don’t follow today’s building codes. It’s not an easy fix.

    Children of poverty? That should be children who live in poverty. Though I guess it’s the same. It’s time for generations of welfare families to stop. Get off their collective rear ends.

  6. Jamie there is no way at all for someone who lives in Ottawa or just outside the city can arrive in Cornwall on time to combat a fire or whatever the emergency. Normal driving from Ottawa to Cornwall takes at least 1 hour or more and by then people could be dead or dying and buildings gone long before arrival. Toll Gate Road is still Cornwall even though it is on a boundary area.

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