Cornwall council: out with four old, in with five new

Coun. David Murphy (left) shakes hands with a supporter along with councillor-elect Justin Towndale (center). Coun. Bernadette Clement (right, in blue) gets a hug from a supporter. (Cornwall Newswatch)

CORNWALL – Voters have given Cornwall city council a major shakeup for the next four years, bringing in four fresh faces.

With 21 of 22 polls reporting, there were four newcomers – Claude McIntosh, Justin Towndale, Carilyne Hebert and Brock Frost.

McIntosh finished second with 4,884 votes. “Big surprise. Never expected this. Didn’t expect this many incumbents to go down. Major learning curve on the horizon,” he said. And the journalist was being conservative with his chances. “I was shooting for tenth.” McIntosh says the first issue he will tackle in the pay raise. “It’s going down. The pay raise is gone.”

Councillor-elect Claude McIntosh (right) speaks with a member of the public. (Cornwall Newswatch)
Councillor-elect Claude McIntosh (right) speaks with a member of the public. (Cornwall Newswatch)

Councillor-elect Hebert finished seventh with 4,373 votes. “I had people that believed in me and worked day in and day out so I knew I’d be proud of our results. But is above and beyond what I was expecting,” she said. At 26 years of age, Hebert is one of the youngest city councillors in the city’s history. “I think I can bring energy and perspective some of the others might not be able to,” she said.

Councillor-elect Carilyne Hebert (right) speaks with supporters. (Cornwall Newswatch)
Councillor-elect Carilyne Hebert (right) speaks with supporters. (Cornwall Newswatch)

Justin Towndale came in fourth with 4,481 votes. “Five new councillors were elected. That shows how the people were thinking in the city. As I went door to door, that’s what I kept hearing at the door, that it was time for change and I think the people followed through on what they were saying tonight,” said Towndale.

Towndale says once of his first goals on city council is to rescind the 40 per cent raise for council. “It’s something simple that can get done at the first meeting if need be.”

Brock Frost finished eighth with 3,969 votes. “Obviously I’m ecstatic. It’s been a nine-and-a-half month race. I would have been happy with tenth place but I got eighth so, I’m overwhelmed really.” Frost, who missed a number of public appearances due to health issues, questions whether it hurt his campaign. “I definitely know that I was penalized for not showing up at some of the debates but on the other hand I think people realized that, at the end of the day, I’m a human being for working so hard so a lot of them could sympathize with what I was going through.” The 33-year-old says he’s taking some more personal time and getting some rest plus he’s hired a management team to oversee his rental properties in Cornwall.

Returning to council are Bernadette Clement, Elaine MacDonald, Maurice Dupelle, David Murphy and Andre Rivette.

This is the third election Bernadette Clement has come in first – this time take 6,900 votes. But she says navigating the message of change was tough. “It was a little difficult for me as an incumbent because you want project that you’re going to work with a team but don’t necessarily want to change you off that team, so it was a difficult election for that.”

Elaine MacDonald finished third with 4,819 votes. She says it’s hard to lose some veteran councillors. “Believe it or not, even tough I disagree with people like Glen Grant almost every time we had a debate and a vote, I really respected him. And Denis Carr too, especially coming into budget because he led us through it,” she said.

Mark MacDonald is also back as a councillor. He sat out the last term after he was defeated by Bob Kilger in the mayoral race.

Councillors Denis Carr, Glen Grant, Syd Gardiner and Gerry Samson were sent packing by voters.

Here is the list of the new council and their vote totals:

Bernadette Clement 6,900
Claude E. McIntosh 4,884
Elaine MacDonald 4,819
Justin Towndale 4,481
Maurice Dupelle 4,455
David Murphy 4,397
Carilyne Hebert 4,373
Brock Frost 3,969
Mark A MacDonald 3,888
Andre Rivette 3,794

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