Sections

OPINION: The year that was 2018

By Nick Seebruch

Published on December 27, 2018

Christmas is behind us now and we are staring down the end of 2018. Let’s take a moment and look back, take stock and learn from the past year.

Municipal strike

Cornwall employees were on strike for three weeks this summer. This is a situation that should have never happened in the first place.

To start, the striking unions had been working without a contract for two or three years, then, behind closed doors, Cornwall City Council decided that they would offer no pay increase on a one-year contract.

So, not only did the City let their contracts lapse for a long period of time, Council also decided to respond to the situation by offering nothing. What a slap in the face. It is a wonder that the strike only lasted three weeks.

Marijuana

The legalization of marijuana has affected municipal policing, by-laws, regulations and workplace practices. By and large the adjustment to the legalization of this drug has been smooth, but that didn’t stop it becoming an election issue, and things are still being felt out.

Just this month, the Ford Government changed its mind on the number of private vendors it will allow in the province. Even so, in this uncertain landscape, municipalities are expected to decide whether or not to opt-in and allow private vendors in their jurisdiction.

Even with the changing rules, I think opting in is a no-brainer. Even if the Ford Government said that they were only allowing one private vendor in the province, does any municipality want to be the ones to say they don’t want it?

Municipal election

The municipal election this year was quite the ride.

Not only did Bernadette Clement win the mayoral race in a landslide, an outcome that even she did not predict, but also, she has become the first black female mayor in the province of Ontario.

As for the rest of Council. We saw a lot of returning faces, with the only freshmen councillors being Todd Bennett and Eric Bergeron.

The most disappointing outcome of the municipal election in Cornwall was the voter turnout, which was only 38 percent. I was really surprised at that low number given all of the comments I see on different municipal stories on social media. If you don’t like the council, then get out and vote. Some said that there were no good candidates, but I can’t believe that out of 35 people running for Council and Mayor that some eligible voters couldn’t even find one that they liked.

This was what the year looked like to me on my side of the camera. What did you think of 2018? What were the big issues to you? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nicholas.seebruch@tc.tc