I attended the candidates meet and greet at the Cornwall Public Library last week with the focus being on Arts and Culture, a cornerstone to the economic wellbeing of our city. At the end of the evening it was the Mayoral candidates turn to speak. First up was Jamie Gilcig. Apparently he feels there is too much money being spent on the library, and the books contained within the library, and that there was no need for two libraries in the downtown core.
Below please find an excerpt from one of his blogs on Cornwall Free News:
“The crowd was larger than expected at our beautiful library that I shared should become an even more beautiful downtown Art Centre as we have another library two blocks away which drew more support from the Library crowd than I expected.”
The next day I poised the question “Where is the second library located that you were referring to in Downtown Cornwall?” as a post on one of his Cornwall Free News Facebook pages. Within a matter of hours my first question was deleted so I posted it again and once again my question was deleted. Much to my surprise, I was also being blocked from posting any comments on this page.
The following day I posted the same question on his second CFN Facebook page with some additional information. The following is the exact wording that I had posted:
“So now two posts have disappeared from your other CFN page and now it appears that I am not able to post anything on that page, as well. Did you delete them by any chance, Jamie? My question was a valid one and I, and I am sure other residents, would like confirmation as to whether there is another library located in the downtown core. If you are mistaken you should acknowledge it all in the name of transparency. People need to know where you stand as your vision of revitalizing Downtown Cornwall seems to revolve around disbanding the Cornwall Public Library – I am guessing to avoid duplication – to save taxpayers money and to replace it with an Arts Centre.”
This post was also deleted.
I feel it is important to let people know that, in actual fact, there is no other library in the downtown core! The United Counties administration office is located in Downtown Cornwall but, lo and behold, there is no library to be found. To my knowledge, there is no other library located anywhere else within the city boundaries. I also have to say that a library is not just about the books contained within its walls as there are so many other facets to a library, and that libraries are one of the cornerstones of arts and culture in a community.
This is the heading of Jamie Gilcig’s first blog after the Library meet and greet: “Frost Flees Library Debate – I Rocked It Even Though TC Media Won’t Cover it by Jamie Gilcig”. Below are several paragraphs contained within that blog:
“Council candidate Brock Frost fled the debate running down a library row through books that I doubt he’d ever read. He appeared fine after the debate saying that he had blacked out. Butterflies? Bad reaction to ….? Does Justin Towndale exist? I jest, but the candidate still hasn’t shown his face at an event yet.
It was a motley mix at the library; part high school like running for class president; part running for issues. You could see jitters like Davey Bedard losing it or Greg Kielec fumbling as he filtered his message while gerrymandering some truths.
There were some low points; David Murphy totally fabricating a reality and clearly offering little to no substance; but sounding great; sugar coating a council record that frankly should be investigated by police and that he being a “rookie” is no excuse for.
I won’t even mention the odd weirdness that was Glen Grant’s speech. The crowd didn’t respond much either. Poor Pat Clarke ate up nearly all of his three minutes sharing his various groups and boards that he’s on (all that boycott this newspaper too!)”
Not once did he mention some of the inspiring presentations made by council hopefuls. His only comments were that there were some interesting speeches of note - I’m still not sure if he meant that in a good or bad way? - and that Claude McIntosh had the funniest line of the night. How very insightful.
He also panned TC Media (more commonly known as Cornwall Seaway News) for covering a local fire rather than the francophone debate held last Wednesday evening. That is very interesting as I have yet to see CFN’s coverage regarding the francophone debate.
This is an individual that is calling for transparency around the city council table; who is always claiming he is being bullied; who feels he is being left out of the advertising pie from the city and local businesses. This is an individual who is not transparent (remember that he won’t even admit that he made a mistake regarding a second library which begs the question - how much does he really know, or not know, about our community; who makes people feel bullied; claims CFN is reflective of gonzo journalism – in my humble opinion it is vindictive and mean spirited blogging as the majority of the blogs on CFN do nothing but ridicule people – mostly directed towards those who either don’t advertise, or have pulled their advertising from CFN, or that he obviously despises. Looking back on his comments regarding the Cornwall Public Library one has to wonder if his vision has anything to do with the fact that Dawn Kiddell chooses not to advertise with CFN? I believe an excerpt from one of his blogs says it all:
“A Library for example that boycotts the largest media in its city with an artist as chief owner? Why? Caving into City Hall demands from Mayor Kilger? I’m sure Ms. Kiddell can answer that better than I can imagine?”
He has nothing but negative and hurtful words to say about the other candidates that are running for city council which in my opinion takes a lot of fortitude and sheer guts to attempt; continuously refers to cliques in our community – I am not saying there are not cliques but I have a different take on the word “clique” – I call them friendships, business affiliations, people who band together because they are passionate about our community and want to see Cornwall grow and prosper. I gravitate towards cliques that consist of people who are influencing and making positive changes in our community, not to those that encourage people to voice their negativity regarding our city and dissatisfaction with our city leaders.
His disdain for Cornwall residents was never more apparent than when he recently blogged that a convenience store located nearby to where a fire broke out last week “apparently ran out of marshmallows”. His lack of respect in regard to the recent discovery of remains that were found in an east end dwelling is apparent in his words “Could the ghost possibly have nibbled at the wires” and reflects his lack of emotional boundaries.
This is an individual who is a mayoral candidate in our municipal election. This is an individual who claims that he is being excluded from local media coverage however his coverage revolves around his own campaign and maligning others, this even though he has purportedly stated that journalists should be impartial during an election. I suppose being a gonzo journalist makes him exempt from journalistic integrity. And now he is asking the public to help pay for his campaign via CFN.
I was born and raised in Cornwall, moved away for my formative years, and moved back in 1994 and have been fortunate to witness the renaissance of our city. I love our city and am proud at how far we have come. We still have much to do and I refuse to remain quiet anymore and let individuals like Jamie Gilcig belittle our city. Sure there have been some costly mistakes made and the lack of accountability and transparency has been well documented and must be dealt with. I don’t know of any city that does not have issues and they are all dealt with in different ways. Who is to say what is the right and wrong way? Everything is not black and white - there are many shades of grey.
The 2014 election is just around the corner and we still have much to learn about all the candidates, whether it be the good, the bad, or the ugly. I am doing my due diligence by attending the various meet and greet the candidates, debates and other meetings that will provide me with more insight as I prepare to make such important decisions. I am not basing my decisions on Jamie Gilcig’s personal diatribes. How can we allow one person to turn an election into a mockery? I have had enough with complaints about platforms being stolen – seriously, how much can a platform differ in a city our size- and media coverage being hijacked.
We all need to consider who is best suited to sit around that table as they will be there for four years. I have the beginnings of a dream team in my mind which includes candidates with different passions, visions, strengths, intelligence, creativity and who will represent our city well.
Everyone needs to do their part and vote. Those who vote have the right to be vocal after the election dust settles. For those who don’t vote, I don’t want to hear anything that you have to say as you chose to waive your right to democracy.
As I was writing this it occurred to me that I may be included on Jamie Gilcig’s next “naughty list”. If this should happen I will consider that to be a badge of honor as some of my good friends and people I admire are perennial favorites on his list. Time will tell.