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 Cory Dixon’s Questions and Answers. Click on any question to reveal the answer.
1 – Please give us a brief biography / tell the readers about yourself.
I am born and raised in Cornwall. I’ve been on my own since 15, it was me and two bags of laundry sleeping on a floor. I’ve worked everyday since, and my hard work ethic has been rewarded by a handful of local business owners. The last 15+ years I’ve been working at local truck dealerships and have excelled in various management roles. Currently I am a Service Manager at one of our local dealers. I’m a proud Husband and Father of 5. My professional success has brought me a certain level of financial freedom.
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.
I believe you need to be the change you want to see. Nothing changes if you sit around waiting for it. I’m hoping that between my life and business experience, I bring a level of fiscal responsibility to Council that I believe hasn’t always been. With that said, you cannot cut your way to growth and profitability, so I’d like to also to be part of attracting additional sources of revenue that helps ease the burden on our tax payers. In the end, I want to improve our City while building trust and confidence in the community.
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?
On one hand I don’t believe politics have any place dictating what we do with our properties. In most cases we’ve paid hundred of thousands of dollars and pay thousands to tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes. They’re are supposed to belong to us. I’m not in favour of giving away our freedoms in the name of “the greater good”. However, that does not stop the City from being a landlord themselves, that generates modest revenues, while encouraging a competitive market. While also being able to offer subsidized rent to residents in need.
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?
I support and encourage local Arts & Culture, it’s a vital part to our growth. I’d like to start with reviewing the 4-6 million dollars in quotes. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that those expenses seem too high. Once those costs are justified, Council could and should look at any and all sources of income, before levying this on tax payers. The amount of community support should be a strong indicator of what the residents want.
5 – Post-pandemic, what can Council do to improve Economic Development for the city and support existing businesses?
My personal experience has been painful, if I’m being honest. There are too many fees, inspections and wait times for local small businesses. This is counterproductive to our growth. We should look at ways to expediting these requirements and reducing the financial burden on entrepreneurs, willing to risk it all and bring additional jobs and services to our City. The end of the day we need to take steps that entice people to want to be here. This is multifaceted and can’t be answered in 100 words or less but it’s something I’m passionate about improving.
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?
I’m very disappointed by this and while it’s a provincial issue. We need to advocate for better health care. We need to be relentless. We do have amazing medical staff that have not had the support from our Provincial and Federal politicians. Mentioned previously, attracting people to our City is complexed. We need jobs, local attractions, affordable living and College courses that compliment the available careers in and around our City are just a few objectives I have in mind.
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?
8 – Many City businesses are open on Sundays, and many events happen on Sundays. Do you support Sunday service for Cornwall Transit?
I do support additional transit services. I’d like to review all options and not just simply suggest having full size buses running 7 days a week. Could we look at a solution that also includes storage options to encourage shoppers to use transit?
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.
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.
I support keeping taxes to a bare minimum but no matter what we do, everything goes up. Taxes will inevitably continue to rise with inflation. Much like our personal lives, we cannot spend beyond our means. We all have to budget in our personal lives. Plenty of us have had to make personal sacrifices to feed our families. Our City is no different. We need to look at other ways to generate revenue for the City, to help keep taxes to a minimum while also being able to improve our services and if we fail, common sense says services will suffer.