Independent consultant needed to look at tourism, airport funding: MPP

The 2015 Cornwall Regional Airport budget. The document calls for $123,800 from Cornwall and $10,000 from South Glengarry to operate the air strip in Summerstown. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

CORNWALL – MPP Jim McDonell says an independent consultant will be the only way to settle the dispute over funding for Cornwall and the Counties Tourism and the Cornwall Regional Airport.

During a news conference at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce AGM at Nav Center, McDonell was asked about the current disputes.

The city is not happy with the 85-15 funding split between it and South Glengarry for the Cornwall Regional Airport and the lopsided funding for Cornwall and the Counties Tourism, which Coun. Andre Rivette claims is a nearly 69 per cent funding share for Cornwall.

McDonell, who has been following the disputes “for years,” says Cornwall has most of the restaurants and hotels/motels while the counties have most of the attractions.

“Get an independent consultant in here to look at the benefits and then split the cost up appropriately. That’s the only way you’re going to settle the argument,” McDonell tells Cornwall Newswatch.

“There’s no question that the counties depend on a strong Cornwall and the business in Cornwall and vice versa the city depends on the marketing in the counties,” the MPP and former mayor of South Glengarry said.

The city is sending a letter to South Glengarry to ask for a meeting ASAP on the airport funding while SD&G Warden Eric Duncan has indicated the tourism portfolio including its portion of funding is going through a review this year.

“Share those costs and everybody will benefit,” McDonell added. “A strong region is better than two weak partners.”

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