Cornwall land negotiating committee will stay

(Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – The city’s Land Acquisition Committee, charged with working to secure waterfront land from the federal government, is spared the axe.

In a 10-1 vote, the committee was spared with Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy the only one to vote against keeping it. “Sometimes it’s tough to stand alone,” he said with a chuckle.

With federal government poised to divest land in the next few years, Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy says such a file should be done by the people elected by the citizens of Cornwall.

“It is us relinquishing our accountability,” the mayor stated.

Coun. Bernadette Clement says the committee hasn’t been working effectively in the status quo. She says the committee hasn’t been in consultation with council as much as it should. “This is an important file,” she stated.

“Either we have a committee and we give it teeth…or we don’t,” she added.

Coun. Mark MacDonald agreed with Coun. Clement. “We tell them (the feds) the pecking order,” suggesting the committee should take an active role with the federal government on buying waterfront land.

The issue of the powers of the committee and its vision will likely come up at a future city planning session.

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