**Mac’s Musings column was submitted and printed prior to the election**
Perhaps it is pandemic burnout, but whatever it was, this provincial election, in Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry at least, was a numbingly slow snoozer.
It had all the hype and excitement of a belch from the front pew of a prayer meeting.
Except for Liberal standard-bearer Kirsten Gardner, deputy mayor of South Dundas, none of the hopefuls arrived on the scene with much of a political resume. Oddly, if history continues, Gardner will not do well in her backyard. Dundas is a Blue fortress.
While he is a political tenderfoot, Nolan Quinn has a strong business background and, more importantly, is supported by a well-oiled, well-financed campaign machine that has campaigner extra-ordinaire, Eric Duncan, lending a hand.
If the Ford guys and gals reclaim another majority, it will be lights out for NDP leader Andrea Horwath.
Both Liberal leader Steven Del Duca and Horwath say they will hire thousands more personal support workers. The NDP would hire 30,000 more nurses and 10,000 more PSWs. One question: Where are they coming from?
One dilemma facing businesses – small and large – in the province has been side-stepped by all the parties: how to solve the worker shortage.
IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRRORA long-standing rule that forced city welfare recipients to give up their driving privileges was thrown out by council on June 12, 1970.
The backflip came after Dr. Morton Shulman of the NDP called out the policy in the legislature and created a national media storm. Cornwall was the only municipality in Ontario that had such a policy, labelled by Shulman as draconian.
The next day driver’s licences, vehicle ownerships and plates were returned to 26 male recipients.
It was a victory for Ald. Francis Guindon who for months had argued that the policy should be overturned. The policy was condemned by the Cornwall and District Building and Trades Council.
City social services administrator Frances Flanigan said the rule had caused much heartache in her department.
In the 1950s and 60s, two police sergeants stood out on the local law enforcement landscape.
Davey McCracken, a First World War veteran, was a fixture in the downtown area with Pitt and Second his de facto command post. The crusty McCracken didn’t hold back on chastising motorists and pedestrians for even the slightest infraction. He treated an illegal left turn as a capital offence.
In east Cornwall, it was a far more passive Donat Tessier, a gentle bear of a man, who worked for the old township force that was absorbed by the city upon amalgamation. He patrolled east Cornwall for 45 years.
After he retired in July 1968, he spent two nights a week as a parking lot attendant at Nativity Hall bingos to help augment his small police pension.
On June 20, 1970 a crowded Nativity Church said farewell to Tessier who died at age 70.
East enders had christened Tessier the “Mayor of East Cornwall”.Tessier didn’t have far to go to work. He spent his entire life at 250 Louisa St., in the heart of the area he patrolled on foot.
In June 1970 Ald. Roy Brunet stepped up his one-person campaign to replace some of the full-time fire fighters with part-time help.
When asked why he wanted to use volunteers to augment full-time fire fighters, Brunet had a short, sharp reply: “They (full-time) cost too much damn money.”
Fire Chief Lucien Carriere, who crossed swords with the combative alderman on the issue, told council that many of Brunet’s money-saving claims were misleading or false. He warned that employing part-timers would harm response times.
In the end, council sided with the fire chief.
ALSO IN 1970 – Magistrate P. C. Bergeron told an Al-Anon meeting jail was no place for an alcoholic but a few days in the slammer could give “habitual drunkards” charged with being drunk in a public place a chance to think about cleaning up their act. … After giving out suspended sentences to several persons convicted of shoplifting, Judge Michael Fitzpatrick said he would consider jail sentences in the future. The list of offenders included a 34-year-old mother of 10 who was convicted for the third time. … A provincial report showed that Cornwall had climbed into fourth place on the provincial welfare rolls for municipalities with fewer than 100,000 residents. … Telephone monthly rates were going up for Bell Telephone customers in the Cornwall exchange. Residential rates were set to go up 30 cents to $4.95, while the business rates would go to $11.15, a 65 cents hike. … A city police traffic map showed that Cumberland and Eleventh had more vehicle accidents than any other city intersection. Brookdale and Second was second, while Fourth and Marlborough was third. … Council put its stamp of approval on a 10-storey, 105-unit seniors building at Sixth and Adolphus. Another project approved by council was construction of 60 row houses to be erected by Cornwall United Builders Ltd., a consortium of Brunet Brothers, Menard Brothers, R. Bourbonnais and Robert Bourgon. …. Minimum hourly wage in the province was increased to $1.65
AND IN SPORTS Rookie Gilles Viau nailed an over-the-clubhouse home run to give Cornwall Motor Sales a 1-0 win over Vankleek Hill in North End Fastball League play at King George Park. Winning pitcher Gord Beaupre allowed two base hits. … Royals’ general manager Norm Baril denied a claim by Ottawa 67’s coach/general manager Bill Long that the Cornwall team was trying to sign three players in the Ottawa junior B system. The players were Bryan Barker, Nick and Mike Haramis, all from the Cornwall area. … In an effort to attract more race cars, Cornwall Speedway switched to Friday nights from Sunday afternoons. … The Los Angeles Kings drafted Royals’ goaltender Billy Smith in the fifth round.
TRIVIA In the 1974 provincial election, this Cornwall lawyer was the Liberal candidate in Cornwall. He finished third behind George Samis of the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives Guy Leger. Later he was appointed a judge to the federal court of Canada, trial division.
TRIVIA ANSWER Erik Nielsen, brother of actor Leslie Nielsen, was the long-time Member of Parliament for the Yukon (1957-1987). He served as deputy prime minister in the Brian Mulroney government.
QUOTED “If it’s OK to register cars and license drivers, why is it not OK to impose similar legal responsibilities on gun owners.” – Novelist Stephen King