CORNWALL, Ontario – Former Mayor of Cornwall Bob Kilger passed away on the night of Monday, Nov. 29. He was 77-years-old.
“He was a loyal friend,” remembered Pat Finucan, who served as campaign chairman for Kilger. “He cared about this community very much. He talked a lot about community building and he wanted to see this community be better in every way.”
Kilger was a prominent member of the Cornwall community for much of his life, having served as Mayor from 2006 to 2014, and as MP for Stormont-Dundas, then later Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry from 1988 to 2004.
Kilger was also involved in the local sports scene. He coached the Cornwall Royals to a Memorial Cup victory in 1981. He himself refereed in the NHL and his son, Chad, had a decade long NHL career playing for the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. Bob Kilger was inducted into the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
As Mayor of Cornwall, Kilger was heavily involved in the modernization of the city’s sewer treatment facilities and the creation of the Benson Centre.
Paul Fitzpatrick was the City of Cornwall’s Chief Administration Officer (CAO) during Kilger’s tenure as Mayor and remembered him as someone who was proud of Cornwall and who was dedicated to public service.
“He was a dream to work with and was very supportive of administration,” Fitzpatrick said. “He always tried to look for consensus around the council table.”
“He often said ‘Cornwall is one of the best cities in Canada,’” added Fitzpatrick. “He saw himself as the chief ambassador of the city.”
Fitzpatrick remembered that during Kilger’s time as Mayor, the city received an unprecedented level of investment which made projects like the Benson Centre, the sewer treatment facilities upgrade and the new Emergency Medical Services building possible.
Kilger had battled cancer for more than a decade and ultimately succumbed to the illness.
“He never complained. He was always positive,” said Finucan. “He never complained about his illness or a political loss. He let it roll off him and he moved on to the next thing.”