Councillor suggests disconnect part of CCT demise

Mayor says a 'different story' coming from townships about future city partnerships

CORNWALL – A Cornwall councillor believes the dissolution of Cornwall and the Counties Tourism is a product of not meeting with their elected counterparts.

“I’m not going to argue bringing it in house,” Coun. Bernadette Clement said Monday night.

She said it makes the tourism “less fragile” but she was “really saddened” that CCT will dissolve at the end of the year, which has been around since 1992.

“It came to me that we don’t meet with our counties colleagues…ever,” Clement said in trying to figure out why the relationship with Cornwall and the Counties Tourism fell apart.

The county announced in May it was severing ties and it’s $80,000 support for CCT.

“(This is) simply a symptom of not talking to our partners. It feels like a defeat,” Clement said.

Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy said the lower tier municipalities, which hold the balance of political power in SD&G, are about bringing the region together and not the county.

The mayor explained that there has been logistical problems with getting a mayor’s conference together but it would probably happen in September.

The city-county joint services committee meets four times a year, the mayor said.

Coun. Clement also cleared the air with the mayor, saying it wasn’t a criticism or a personal attack on O’Shaughnessy.

“There’s a lot to regret here especially when the province has established regions of tourism and we are being fragmented,” Coun. Elaine MacDonald said.

MacDonald said the proposed locations for tourism information, like the Benson Center and Aquatic Center, are not on the main route and tourist would have to go looking for them.

Given the massive geographic area of SD&G, MacDonald didn’t agree with the mayor and believed the city should be working with the county.

The mayor says there’s “a different story” coming out that lower-tier municipalities in SD&G are wanting to work with the city on tourism.

The county recently held public information sessions in three townships to gauge feedback on future tourism marketing.

“We didn’t ask to lose the partnership,” Coun. Andre Rivette said.

The future tourism department under economic development with a $238,000 budget would be run with one coordinator with a $70,000 salary and one or two summer students.

CCT Executive Director Linda Wilson was sitting in the gallery for the discussion Monday night.