scuttlebutt, cornwall, ontario

MAC’S MUSINGS: Gay or straight – who cares?

Claude McIntosh

Claiming that two (unnamed) prominent local politicians are “closet” gays, an online scribbler recently raised the issue of gay folks serving as elected representatives.

The piece (it was emailed to me) seemed to suggest that perhaps they are not being honest with their constituents if they don’t come out of the proverbial closet and lay their sexuality upon the public altar.

Incredibly, Coun. Bernadette Clement got dragged into the article that asked the mindboggling, bizarre question: “Is Bernadette Clement for example a single gal or hiding a long-time relationship even when stumping for MP or council here in Cornwall?”

Wow! Where did that come from?

Yes, the popular councillor is single, but so are a lot of thritysomething people in this day and age.

But it doesn’t mean they are gay.

And if they are gay, so what?

(For the record, anybody who knows Bernadette Clement knows she is not gay. In fact, she thinks Ryan Gosling is an adorable hunk. My wife is a friend of Bernadette, which explains the Clement Liberal sign on my wife’s half of the front yard in the last federal election.)

Unfortunately, many outside the gay community confuse homosexuality with pedophilia. The mistaken assumption being that if you are gay, you are a pedophile. This might be the reason some keep their sexuality to themselves and close friends.

The Montreal professor quoted in the posting I received is right when he says that in this day and age it is pretty difficult for a gay politician to keep it a secret. Numerous politicians at all levels have chosen to go public. Good for them.

But if a politician, or anybody living in the public fish bowl, decides not to declare their gay preference, so what? It is their call. It has nothing to do with honesty or accountability. It has everything to do with privacy. No laws are being broken.

As a friend is fond of saying, “How does that affect the price of rhubarb?”

TRIVIA ANSWER Dean Hollingsworth, elected to city council at age 26, became the city’s youngest councillor, a mark that was broken by a teenager named Korey Kennedy.

TRIVIA Which chain had the first grocery store in Cornwall Square?

IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR The Top Dog hot dog stand circa 1987, at Second and Cumberland streets that had the shape of a giant hot dog. A city councillor thought it too “obsence” and tried (and failed) to have it removed. … Ricky Marvel recalls playing Little League baseball (along with this scribbler) on sandlots on Cumberland Street (next to the former silk factory) and at Sydney and Eight streets which later became the site for Sydney Street Public School. … One of the great things about growing up in the pre-1970s was that there were so many big empty fields around town to play in. One was the old “chair factory” at York and Third streets, now home to First Baptist Church.

HERE & THERE Hard to understand how finance ministers who oversee huge increases in the annual deficit and debt, to the brink of bankruptcy, end up with plum jobs with financial institutions on Bay Street. …. Jack Haines sends along a story re: Highway 407 (Ontario’s only toll highway, at least for now) being owned by a foreign conglomerate. Yup, just another of our assets sold off to foreign interests. Between foreign outfits buying Canadian institutions (beer companies, etc.) and native land claims, our grand kids will be left with something the size of Pelee Island. … When governments say they need more of our money, we should be asking what they did with all the money we’ve given them.

THIS’N’DAT I will be surprised (no, make that shocked) if the ridiculous consultant’s report ($$$$) on salary increases for city councillors is released and acted on before the October municipal election. Reason is pretty simple: it could become an election issue. And wonder how many incumbents would campaign on the alleged need to be paid more money? Break out the crying towels. … A headshaker: Few years back city council continued to use bottled water around the council table after million of dollars was spent upgrading the city filtration plant that was accompanied by a city hall public relations campaign to assure residents that their drinking water was better (and safer) than bottled water. … Instead of saying marijuana is no worse than cigarettes, shouldn’t it be said that smoking marijuana is just as bad (for your health) as smoking cigarettes?

SEEN & HEARD The Liberals and the NDP want everyone to overlook the scandal-ridden McGuinty reign and the incompetent Bob Rae government (when social assistance rolls skyrocketed to a record 500,000), but then they keep bringing up Mike Harris. … Seems that more people are texting and talking on cell phones than before the fines were jacked up. … A budget that calls for the closing of the Riverdale pool is passed then less than two months later two councillors who voted for the budget say they are against closing the pool. Ah, it must be the silly season (aka election year). … No, Coun. Andre Rivette wasn’t talking about the current council when he said “It’s old … it has to go.” He was talking about the Riverdale pool, as Coun. Denis Thibault astutely noted. … Rivette made a good point when he wondered why the city would hold off until fall to seek tenders on a used piece of summer construction equipment (packer). Why not put it on the market when the equipment is seasonal?, he reasoned.

ROUND’N’BOUT Is there a patio in town commanding a more scenic view than the one at RCAFA Wing 424 overlooking Lamoureux Park and the St. Lawrence River? It’s one of the city’s best kept secrets. … Let me get this straight. The Roman Catholic Church is vehemently opposed to abortion. It’s considered a sin. Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal party who has a good shot at being the next prime minister and is a practising Roman Catholic, has announced that he will block the nomination of new Liberal candidates for the 2015 federal election if they have non Pro Choice views. He said there is no place in the party for folks who don’t support Pro Choice. In other words, even those who might not oppose abortion in early stages but have reservation about late stage abortions need not apply. The condemnation from church leaders is deafening. The New Dems have a similiar “oath” which must have the party’s patron saint, Tommy Douglas, an evangelical preacher, spinning in his grave.

SPORTS STUFF One of Doug Gilmour’s first duties after receiving a lengthy contract extension as general manager of the Kingston Frontenacs was to fire his “good friend” and former Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Todd Gill, a native of Cardinal. One of the first things Gilmour did after being named GM in 2011 was to hire his “good friend” Gill as coach. The ex-Royals star called Gill’s firing the toughest decision he has made as GM of the Ontario Hockey League team. Gill’s termination was the club’s reaction to the Fronts blowing a 3-0 playoff series lead to the underdog Peterborough Petes. Gilmour might be placing a call to Kirk Muller, a Kingston native and the just-fired coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.

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Jenni MacDonald, Dominion Lending, Cornwall, Ontario