On Monday, I went down by the water front to speak to the protesters and to learn why they were standing out in such a cold, snowy day. I had a lovely conversation with Denis Thibault, a city councillor when he explained to me plainly that the construction company wasn’t doing the right thing for our city; that the city wants to put a park there, much like the one closer to the bridge, with a nice scenic bike path.
I spoke with the councillor after a short attempt at a conversation with a rather closed-off construction worker who refused to answer any of my questions and stated misleadingly that the City Mayor was aware of the situation. Oh, yes, the Mayor was aware of the situation, and as Councillor Thibault stated to me, the Mayor was unhappy with said circumstances.
The dutiful councillor informed me that the city council would be meeting to discuss the situation of the chemical tank construction on federal waterfront lands, later that evening.
I looked into this whole affair at the Cornwall.ca website to see what else I could learn. The handy web page stated that, “The federal government can proceed to construction without any approval from the municipality, and has done so.” To my understanding, that basically means we have no say over what happens to that land, because it is not technically owned by Cornwall.
I was also informed that originally the funds had come from Cornwall taxpayer’s to remove large tanks of chemicals- that had been there before, and now we will have that ghastly sight once again on our beautiful waterfront. Hopefully this situation can be resolved for Cornwall’s best interest.
“The project is clearly inconsistent with the Waterfront Plan, with the Official Plan, with the long term vision of our community, with recent developments and efforts in the area, and we are very disappointed with this outcome,” said Mayor Bob Kilger. “We are also very concerned about the lack of dialogue and public consultation.” –direct quote taken from http://www.cornwall.ca/en/newslist/index.aspx?deptId=I82X5exjK422E8HPlUsqZdAJgeQuAleQuAl
A public forum specific to the issue of the storage tank installation on Cornwall’s waterfront will take place on Wednesday, December 11 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. in Salon B of the Civic Complex.