The Real Issue of People Retention in Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig 061119

It’s so charming to see the Seaway News hint at some of the core issues here in the River City. It really is, even if they miss the mark. Whether it’s on purpose for fear of losing support from City Hall or simply a lack of talent only the viewer can decide.

Shawna O’Neil recently wrote about youth retention. While critically important she misses the important fact that Cornwall at this stage is losing people across the board including seniors.

With insane taxes and higher hydro rates Cornwall has lost any advantage over Brockville or other actually attractive communities.

She hits on some areas of need, but her solutions are weak sauce. For example there really is no value in trying to attract any segment unless you have a landing pad for them. IE

If you build it they will come.

Why would they come otherwise?

The biggest issue in Cornwall are its people. The tolerance, acceptance, and seeming pride in Corruption and bullying. I know, that sounds crazy, but this is a town where those that bullied Ryan Gosling as kids are praised.

This is a town that just gave a free pass to a mayor that not only overspent on her personal campaign limit by 29%, but essentially rigged the process to give her the free pass by city hall.

This is a city that allows public art gallery and bereavement services to be lost.

It’s a city that brags about a narrow strip of water that essentially was artificially created and is full of mosquitoes and goose poop for the most part.

A city that does nothing about a toxic death dump at its core that has no membrane.

I could go on. As someone that came to this city by choice and built a newspaper here that has survived for ten years IN SPITE of the best efforts of City Hall to destroy it I have certain insights that Shawna will never have.

How do we change it? How do we attract people; not just young ones?

Well the forty thousand or so people that live here have to want it.

The culture of celebrating bullies and wife beaters has to end.

We need to develop a culture of merit. How many people have you met that left Cornwall after applying for jobs and then seeing friends or family of the clique get them instead?

Nothing says I’m moving faster than the feeling that you can never get a mediocre job that you’re overqualified for over some local that can barely spell their own name. Or as a business see yet another tender given to an out of town service because too many in Cornwall are prejudiced against those in Cornwall.

Crap menial jobs are just about everywhere. Jobs that you can own your own home and build a life…not so much.

Accountability. From our judges, police, crowns, and management there seems to be little to no accountability. If these folks aren’t accountable why should anyone else? When people see a Gilles Latour they seem to try to emulate him instead of shunning him.

Even though convicted of screwing people over including his own mother he’s still popular. That’s insane.

Reward good; punish bad. Most people get that unless you live in Cornwall, SD&G, and Akwesasne.

So Shawna, good start I guess and hope you don’t get a backlash for not drinking the Koolaid, but unless we as a community create an attractive place we will have more of the same.

When are you leaving?


  1. For a great many of years I was badly hurt in Cornhole and never ever again would I nor my family ever go through that again. I will go to other places or best to stay here in Ottawa but never ever again in Cornhole. People who have a choice don’t go to Cornhole and Jamie is too damn good to be pushed around the way that he has been. Jamie is tops in writing and news.

  2. Circle debate. All cities lose people. But small cities and towns, especially Cornwall, have trouble dealing with it.

  3. The last line of the article is golden.

  4. Author

    I know 🙂

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