Cornwall should ‘become a leader once again,’ new mayor says

Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement beams after the chain of office is placed around her neck during an inauguration ceremony at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The new mayor of Cornwall believes the next four years will be a “unique moment” and an “extraordinary opportunity” to partner with Akwesasne.

In her inaugural address, Bernadette Clement told around 200 people at the Cornwall Civic Complex Monday night that it’s time to work closely with Akwesasne to develop the waterfront port land.

“Yes. It’s time. It’s time to move forward purposefully to seize the hour, in celebration of our history and more particularly, of our future,” she said. “This area has been a leader in so many fields of endeavour and progress and it is time to renew this spirit and become a leader once again.”

Her speech, which focused heavily on partnerships and cooperation, also recognized the gathering at the civic complex as the traditional territory of the Mohawks.

Clement also described the Franco-Ontarian population as a community that needs respect.

“There is great energy in our francophones…a good ability to innovate. A francophone community that not only brings a positive economic spinoff, but you are mobilized in a peaceful way with tenacity and dignity. I am proud of you, of us,” she said in French.

While the city has challenges, she said it has “been dealt a far better hand than some may think,” when it comes to waterfront development, the future arts center and economic and social progress.

You can read Clement’s entire inaugural address here. (Opens a PDF file)

The two hour ceremony was heavy on the performing arts while devoid of religion. There were musical performances, including the Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School and Cornwall Sea Cadets, and recitations of poetry.

The 10 council members were also sworn in. It’s a mix of old and new with former councillors Maurice Dupelle, Syd Gardiner, Glen Grant, Carilyne Hebert, Dean Hollingsworth, Elaine MacDonald, Claude McIntosh and Justin Towndale joined by political newcomers Todd Bennett and Eric Bergeron.

Half of the new Cornwall city council get ready for the inauguration ceremony. Pictured are councillors Maurice Dupelle, Glen Grant, Todd Bennett, Justin Towndale and Eric Bergeron. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Half of the new Cornwall city council get ready for the inauguration ceremony. Pictured are councillors Claude McIntosh, Elaine MacDonald, Syd Gardiner, Dean Hollingsworth and Carilyne Hebert. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

The first regular council meeting will be Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 at 7 p.m. Before that, the new council will meet Thursday afternoon for a special budget meeting.

Cornwall Coun. Todd Bennett recites the oath of office during an inauguration ceremony on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Also shown are Mayor Bernadette Clement, left, and Clerk Manon Levesque. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Cornwall Coun. Eric Bergeron raises his right hand as he recites the oath of office during an inauguration ceremony at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Bergeron is one of two newcomers to municipal politics. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
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