When it comes to Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, the New Democratic Party and Liberals need a miracle of biblical proportion to take the seat away from the Conservatives who have had a firm grip on the provincial jurisdiction since 2011.
The numbers just aren’t there for the NDP and Libs, despite fielding good candidates.
Jim McDonell, former mayor of South Glengarry, made his debut in 2011, taking a 55.25% slice of the vote, far ahead of the runner-up Liberal candidate who managed just 21.16%, a couple of hundred more votes than the NDP standard-bearer.
The Liberals made a slight improvement in 2014 but McDonell remained in the landslide zone with 51.72% of votes.
The Liberals took it on the chops in 2018 despite fielding a good candidate in Heather Megill, but she had to lug around the Kathleen Wynne baggage. The NDP shot into second place with 21.60% of the vote, while the Libs plunged to third place with just 12.37%. It was another landslide win for Gentleman Jim who gobbled up 61.51% of the votes.
With McDonell putting himself out to pasture, the torch has been passed to entrepreneur Nolan Quinn, a political novice.
Quinn will not squander his political inheritance. The real fight, just as it is across the province, is between the NDP and Liberals for second place. It’s a toss-up.
IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR
There was good news and bad news for city property owners as city council rolled out its 1975 budget on May 14. Property taxes were going up for the first time in three years with the average home owner paying an additional $14 (add another $14 for school taxes). The good news was that Cornwall’s average residential property tax bill of $325 was still below the Ontario average of $365.
Several Grade 12 and 13 La Citadelle male students were sent home on May 12, 1975 after wearing walking shorts to school. They were told to wear “something more decent and respectable.”
The students said the dress code that required male students to wear trousers made sitting in un-air conditioned classrooms during a heat wave too uncomfortable.
When they returned wearing skirts (as a protest), they were sent home again.
Ontario Provincial Police were seeking to identify a woman found floating in the Nation River with her hands and feet bound on May 8, 1975. An autopsy showed that she had been strangled. The woman was described as about 30-35 years old, 5-feet-4, 130 pounds with long reddish-blonde hair. Police believed she may have come from Ottawa or the Cornwall area. To this day her identity remains a mystery. She became known as the Nation River Lady.
ALSO THIS MONTH IN 1975 – When it came to the quintessential “junkers” on its streets, a ministry of transport three-day safety blitz in the city found Cornwall had more than its fair share. Of the 362 vehicles tested, pulled over by police for the safety check, only 32 were deemed to be in good condition and did not require repairs. Inspectors pulled 20 plates. … Rev. Rudy Villeneuve, nominated by the Progressive Conservative riding association to run against incumbent George Samis, said he would not leave the priesthood if elected. He was granted a leave of absence by his boss, Bishop Eugene Larocque, to run in the June provincial election. … High school teacher Andy Trasuk was the new president of Glen Theatre. … William Roddy was named principal of Cornwall Collegiate. He was recruited from the Elgin County Board of Education. … A $4.3 million expansion of St. Lawrence College’s Cornwall campus was announced. It would include a theatre, classrooms, a library and cafeteria. Principal Louis Tremblay said the theatre would be used by both the campus and community. … A survey by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) showed that most Cornwall councillors supported moving to three or four-year terms from two-year terms. In favour were Angelo Lebano, Brian Lynch, Dick Aubry, Matt Holden, Gerald Samson Sr., Francis Guindon and Mayor Gerald Parisien. … Lottery fever was sweeping Cornwall and area with 20,000 tickets for the first ever provincial lottery – Wintario – sold. First prize was $100,000. … The city’s planning board approved a 357-lot subdivision to be built in east Cornwall by Heavenly Homes Ltd. The board was given a draft plan for a housing development in the north-end of the city. The developers were Newell Brown and Hazen Meldrum. And two miles north of the city, in Cornwall Township on Headline Road, a 218 lot development was proposed by Richard Abraham of Ric Abra Estates. … Mohawk Lacrosse Manufacturing Co., once the largest supplier of hickory lacrosse sticks, filed for bankruptcy. Cheaper plastic sticks had taken over the market.
SPORTS STUFF CIRCA 1975 – Gerald “Jock” Dalbec was named winner of the Jacques Richard Memorial Trophy as Cornwall’s outstanding sports personality. … Cornwall Royals traded forward Ron Davidson to the Kingston Canadians. Davidson asked for the trade so he could attend Queen’s University. At the Ontario Hockey League draft, the Royals made goaltender Tim Bernhardt of Sarnia their No. 1 selection. Defenceman Graeme Nicholson of North Bay was taken in the second round. Bernhardt played three seasons with the Royals, winning the Quebec Junior Hockey League outstanding goaltender award each of the three seasons… Cornwall Paquette Glass Rams downed Kingston Kings 15-9 in an Inter-provincial Junior Lacrosse League game. Alex Herrington and Simon Chretien had three apiece. Gary Brisson, Dek Denneny and Butch St. John notched two apiece.
TRIVIA ANSWER In April 1974 Cornwall annexed 60 acres of Cornwall Township (South Stormont) for construction of the Combustion Engineering plant. The city extended water and sewer services to the property on Lake St. Lawrence. Plans called for a plant that would employ 1,000 mostly trades persons. It never materialized. Instead, a scaled-down version was built. The plant and property is now home to Laframboise Mechanical.
TRIVIA This well-known Canadian actor/comedian was a native of Regina where his father was posted to an RCMP detachment. His brother was a long-time MP who served in Brian Mulroney’s cabinet and spent two years as deputy prime minister.
QUOTED “I came from a real rough neighbourhood. Once a guy pulled a knife on me. I knew he wasn’t a professional, the knife had butter on it.” – Rodney Dangerfield.