COLUMN: The best of the worst of 2015

Every year, media outlets and columnists will comprise lists of the best stories, the top stories of the year. Most run through the top events, but in writing the list, there were two distinct flavours for Cornwall and the counties, best and worst. In part one of this column, sit back, relax and enjoy a run through of the best of the worst stories of 2015, from the headlines of Cornwall Newswatch.

#3 – Cornwall’s bridge has been taken down

Many would consider the high-level bridge across the St. Lawrence River being torn down a good thing.  The bridge was an eye-sore, a symbol of the broken promises of the St. Lawrence-Seaway project, built for a “what-if” that never came. Taking down the bridge is a negative though. The connection to the past, a visible landmark that most Cornwallites have never seen the city without. The bridge is gone, and again there is another scar on Cornwall’s industrial and waterfront lands. A 10 year process of renewal, that hasn’t started yet. At least before, there was something to look at.

#2 – Frost saga concludes

Something was missing around the Cornwall city council table for the final two months of 2015, drama. Reporters and columnists love drama as it makes our jobs easy to fill the page. Taxpayers, not so much. From council’s inauguration until Frost’s resignation at the end of October, nary a week would go by without something involving Frost hitting the legitimate media circles. Frost served as a distraction to the governance of the city, perhaps that is what the voters wanted when they cast their ballots. Next time around, those voters should consider a subscription to Netflix.

#1 – Rinks and worms

Writer Oscar Wilde is often quoted that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. If so, then Cornwall’s two stints in the national news media should have been a blessing to the city’s marketing department. The first stint saw Canadians debate the merits of municipal bylaws and the traditional backyard hockey rink. It was the story that wouldn’t go away for many, until the summer. That is when the next big story to put Cornwall in the national headlines, the city’s bylaw department clamping down on kids selling worms. Yes, this was fueled by the city’s usual suspects that cry foul whenever actual laws and bylaws exist and the authorities try to enforce them. But the media attention did city a world of possible good. At least people know not to sell worms or build hockey rinks in their back yards. The one positive of it all, is that councillor Justin Towndale has successfully donned a Team Cornwall jersey and become Captain Cornwall. Hopefully his GPS instructions will be useful in navigating the city’s one-way streets.

Columnist’s note – Thursday’s column will conclude with the Best of the Best stories of 2015

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