An attempt by the Coalition for Unity, Respect and Equality for All (CUREA) to block Glen Grant from succeeding Sen. Bernadette Clement as mayor fell flat on its face, as it should have.
Grant, the group charged, is a poor example of leadership when it comes to the diversity file; he was painted as a poor fit to fill the mayoral vacancy left by Clement’s departure. Based on some weak arguments, he scored a D-minus on the organization’s diversity scorecard.
Council disagreed. Six of the eight councillors charged with making the decision voted to have Grant succeed Clement as mayor until the next council takes the reins in December 2022.
The two councillors who supported Justin Towndale never mentioned the concerns raised by CUREA. In his pitch to his colleagues, Towndale, who could appear on the 2022 mayoral ballot, didn’t suggest Grant was a diversity liability.
So, is Grant a diversity misfit, as claimed by the organization, and should be burned at the proverbial stake?
Let’s take a look at his record when it comes to diversity.
Grant supported and campaigned for Clement in her historic run for mayor. Would somebody who did not support diversity work to elect the city’s first female mayor and Ontario’s first Black female mayor?
Grant was a close friend of Eric Duncan before he became MP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. He helped manage Duncan’s federal election campaign. Duncan is openly gay. The MP has no trouble with Grant as mayor.
As chair of the Cornwall Police Service Board, Grant supported the history-making appointment of Shawna Spowart as Cornwall’s first female police chief. She is gay.
Coun. Elaine MacDonald, a former NDP candidate who has championed gay rights and diversity, backed Grant. She made the motion to pass the chain of office to Grant.
The city’s new mayor supports a diversity training session for members of city council and supported the diversity mural at the clock tower in Lamoureux Park and the raising of the Pride flag.
And while she didn’t openly support him, Sen. Clement, in private, has no trouble with Grant succeeding her. If she had a vote, it would have gone to Grant. As mayor, Clement named Grant to the police board and voted to have him named chair.
I rest my case.
IN THE RE-VIEW MIRROR – 1932
When two men pleaded guilty in United Counties court on July 12, 1932 to a cruel assault on a 22-year-old farm hand, the judge and Crown attorney did everything but apologize to the convicted assailants.
The victim was walking along a township road in the Summerstown area at night when he was grabbed by the two men who proceeded to tar and feather him. He required hospital treatment for burns. It was a pre-meditated assault.
Judge J. C. Milligan bestowed a charitable $25 fine, with time to pay, on each assailant. He acknowledge that under “different” circumstances, the two would have faced heavy penitentiary terms.
The judge referred to a “private meeting” in his chambers prior to the trial that revealed some “peculiar circumstances” in the case that he was not going to make public.
“The less said the better,” the judge told the packed court room.
Crown attorney J. G. Harkness, who had a tough-on-crime reputation, agreed and went one step further with a warning to the victim.
“Your actions in the past have not been commendable,” he said without identifying the “actions.”
In a vague and downright weird announcement, the prosecutor warned the victim, “I have a certain letter you wrote and it might be used against you in the future.”
To say it was a strange day for justice would be an understatement.
ALSO THIS MONTH IN 1932 – The sailing vessel “City of New York” that took explorer Richard Byrd on his epic Antarctic voyage in 1928 attracted large crowds as it passed through Cornwall Canal on its way to Chicago and the Century of Progress Exposition. The ship was towed by a tug. … Romeo Dumond was recommended for a Royal Humane Society Award after he saved the life of 12-year-old Hector Geoffrion from drowning in Cornwall Canal near Silver Bridge. Dumond, who saw the boy in trouble, jump fully clothed into the water and pulled the youngster to shore then applied artificial respiration. … An eight-foot cross was set ablaze in Nativity Cemetery. Police believed it was a prank by youths. It had been wrapped in cloth then doused with gasoline. … With life expectancy far below what it is today, dying at 92 was front-page news. The Standard-Freeholder reported that John Denny, dead at age 92, was one of the oldest Cornwall Township residents on record. … Just seconds after locking up an unruly drunk, Chesterville village police constable David Craig dropped dead of a heart attack. A report said the officer struggled to subdue the young man. … Munro Service Station, 232 Water St., held its official opening. … The Cornwall chapter of Sons of Italy held its 19th anniversary picnic at St. Lawrence Park. The evening finished off with a fireworks display staged by Joe Lebano and Son. … Rose Martin was named winner of the St. Baptiste Society’s 50th anniversary popularity contest. She received a gold watch. Runner-up was Eva Leroux. A total of 4,500 votes were cast. … Convicted of operating a still in his Summerstown, a 33-year-old man was given a 30-day sentence when he was unable to come up with the $200 fine.
SEEN AND HEARD It took 160 years, but Belleville has its first female fire chief. Monique Belair comes to the department with 30 years experience in the Canadian Armed Forces. At one time, she was just one of five female Armed Forces firefighters. Cornwall recently broke the proverbial glass ceiling with the hiring of its first female fire fighter. The number is up to five. … When the National Hockey League 2021-22 schedule comes out, circle the Tampa Bay vs Montreal game at the Bell Centre. After his drunken rant about Les Canadiens and their fans, Lightning star Nikita Kucherov should get a boisterous reception.
TRIVIA ANSWER The first house in Cornwall outfitted with double windows (for the winter) was that of Guy C. Wood on First Street West in 1830. In the 1950s, double windows were still quite common.
TRIVIA Several years after Our Citizens of Tomorrow (OCOT) was formed, this organization also geared to working with young people was formed in 1948. Its base of operation was King George Park.
QUOTED – “Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are driving cab or cutting hair.” – George Burns