Cornwall fire chief leaving

In this September 2019, file photo, Cornwall Fire Chief Pierre Voisine speaks to members of city council. Voisine is leaving to take the chief's position in his home municipality of Clarence-Rockland. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – After five years, Cornwall Fire Chief Pierre Voisine is leaving the City of Cornwall to take a similar job in his home town.

The City of Clarence-Rockland announced yesterday (May 20) that Voisine had been hired as director of protection and fire chief.

“I am extremely excited to be moving my career to the municipality where I live. The opportunity to work in Clarence-Rockland, one of the fastest growing municipalities in Ontario is exciting, and I look forward to working with municipal council and the excellent management group in place,” Voisine said in a statement.

The news caught some locally off guard, including Coun. Justin Towndale, who said in a Facebook post late Wednesday night that he found out after someone sent him a screenshot of the press release.

“I would have expected this sort of news from our administration, or (the) Chief himself, first. Mind you, I guess I learned about our previous Manager of Environmental Services leaving from another municipality through the media…so I’m not exactly surprised,” Towndale wrote.

He was referring to Danielle Watson, who exited in February to take a similar job with the Municipality of South Dundas.

Voisine will start his new job in Clarence-Rockland on June 23 to fill the position left vacant through retirement.

On Thursday afternoon, the City of Cornwall released a statement saying Voisine’s resignation will be effective June 19. “We are proud of the work Chief Voisine has accomplished in Cornwall during his five years of leadership,” CAO Maureen Adams said. “We wish him the best in his new role.”

Voisine was hired in April 2015 to replace the retiring Richard McCullough.

Deputy Chief Jeff Weber will be acting fire chief while the city finds a replacement.