Municipal Elections are taking place in October. As one of the main media outlets in the City of Cornwall, The Seeker is always eager to getting to know the candidates. As such, we send each candidate a questionnaire requesting for them to give their position on the most pressing issues near and dear to you, our readers. During the upcoming weeks, we will be publishing the answers from each candidate who choses to respond. Every candidate was sent 11 questions, penned by our own, Jason Setnyk. They can chose to answer as many as they want. We will post them online as they come in. Here are Claude McIntosh’s Questions and Answers. Click on any question to reveal the answer.
1 – Please give us a brief biography / tell the readers about yourself.
Born and raised in Cornwall. Spent 44 years as a full-time journalist, working in Cornwall, Chatham, Sarnia and Windsor before returning to Cornwall, a move I have never regretted. Retired 10 years ago but continue to write a weekly newspaper column. Married to Julie Lalonde-McIntosh. Have three adult children. Have served two terms.
2 – If you were on Council the previous term, tell us about your accomplishments during the past four years. If you were not on City Council this last term, please tell us why you are running and what you hope to accomplish.
This council has made great strides not because of individual accomplishments but because it has worked as a team in trying to make Cornwall a better place to live. To steal a line from 16th Century poet John Donne, “No man is an island”.
3 – With rents skyrocketing, what can City Council in Cornwall do to prevent renovictions like those at Cumberland Gardens that have impacted many in our community?
City council has limited power when it comes to preventing wholesale renovictions. However, it can lobby the provincial government through MPP Nolan Quinn and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to change the legislation.
4 – In 2018, the City of Cornwall purchased the old Bank of Montreal building in our downtown for $450,000 as the future home of Cornwall’s Art Centre. In 2019, Council heard a report that renovations would cost an additional $4 to $6 million dollars. In addition to the fundraising already being done, will you support some public tax dollars going towards a Cornwall Art Centre, or should the municipality pause any additional financial support?
Five years ago council acted on its long-standing commitment to establish an arts centre. It was determined the best site was the lower floor of the Cornwall Civic Complex. The projected cost was $11 million. However, when the Bank of Montreal on Pitt Street became available this council decided that it would be a cheaper option and benefit the downtown core. At this point, not in favour of putting the project on hold.
5 – Post-pandemic, what can Council do to improve Economic Development for the city and support existing businesses?
Council took several positive steps to assist local small businesses battered by the pandemic, the most progressive was an interest-free loan program. Going forward, the city has never been in a better place when it comes to economic development. The recent announcement that Devcore plans to spent $1 billion re-developing the former Nav Centre over the next 10 years and plans by Great Wolf Lodge to build in Cornwall will have a huge impact on the local economy. The last piece of property in the industrial park has been sold. The challenge now is to find workers to fill positions.
6 – What are your thoughts on the McConnell Medical Clinic closure? Although health care is a provincial issue, is there anything Council can do to attract more doctors and nurses to our city?
The McConnell Medical Clinic closure exacerbated the shortage of front-line medical care in the city. City council continues to fund a medical recruitment program while working closely with Queen’s University medical school. In recent months, the program secured the future services of two family doctors, one a native of Cornwall. Cornwall Community Hospital announced that three specialists have joined its medical team.
7 – While climate change is a global issue, what can the City do locally to keep our neighborhoods cool and protect natural resources like the St. Lawrence River?
The climate change committee and Transition Cornwall have been active in making Cornwall a more eco-friendly community. The city has a progressive tree-planting program. The next council should consider a tree-cutting policy.
8 – Many City businesses are open on Sundays, and many events happen on Sundays. Do you support Sunday service for Cornwall Transit?
Short answer is no. Surveys have shown that the limited demand does not justify the thousands of dollars it would take to provide the service. Cornwall Transit is attempting to recover lost ridership (and revenue) from the pandemic.
9 – What can we do to improve social services in Cornwall? Examples include but are not limited to Cornwall Transit, childcare spaces, or LTR spaces.
One of the biggest social challenges facing the city is affordable housing for modest income families. Two major Cornwall Housing projects – Ninth Street and Pitt Street North – will provide some 84 affordable housing units. Cornwall Housing also provides a rent supplement program.
10 – Do you support keeping tax increases to a bare minimum? If yes, where would the savings come from, and would you support reducing some services? If you do not support keeping tax increases to a minimum, explain your reasoning why.
Council always tries to keep property tax increases to a minimum without reducing or cutting services. Two years ago the property tax increase would have been less than 1% without a huge increase in the cost of insurance and higher borrowing costs.
11 – How can candidates contact you? Please provide a phone number and/or email and/or one website (or one social media link).
Home phone number 613-937-3906, [email protected]