Part of the solution or part of the problem?
by Karen Hirst
Surely we aren’t surprised by the anonymous letter written to the Municipal staff and Councilors — not once we get over the shock of seeing something of this nature in raw print?
What do we think is eventually going to happen when the continuous fault finding and confrontational interchange amongst opposing opinions, so often toxic in tone, is absorbed day in and day out by a willing recipient of other people’s messaging?
Can we innocently sit back and shake our heads in disbelief that someone carried out this shameful act of intimidation and threatening communication?
Haven’t some heard and maybe even spoken variations of this message in coffee shops, over shared meals and whispered in the corridors of public gatherings for over a year now? The ease of writing opinions on social and electronic media have given these sentiments a life — long before this anonymous letter came to print someone believed they were said with serious intent that warranted acting upon.
The imaginary lines drawn in the sand between competing opinions; the intimidating and threatening language used to express points of view, frustrations, personal passion and emotions; the confrontational choice of message delivery; a growing distrust bordering on paranoia; lack of civility and a display of poor manners emboldens those who may interpret their contribution as supportive of their ‘group’ and instead of hanging their head in shame — probably feel they warrant praise!
We’ve been travelling a slippery slope for a while now in Mississippi Mills towards this result. Now we’ve been alerted to the hurt and harm that these chosen methods can cause.
However, the good news is that the sleeping giant (majority) has once again been roused to speak out against such actions directed towards anyone, for any reason, at any time — we should have some reassurance this day that the morality of our town has only been at rest, not completely absent in its dissension.
There is no place for anonymous letters concerning the day to day business operation, the staff, Mayor or Councillors of the Municipality. Come forward and give voice privately or publicly to your issues, provide a signed letter or e-mails of discontent to whomever needs to receive your message, campaign and run in the next election and give the guidance and direction you wish to see for the Municipality but there is no place for the intimidation, threats and the spread of seeds that cause further divisiveness and discontent within the Municipality.
We are a town of friendly persuasion, not unfriendly coercion.
P.S. This post is intended to address characteristics of the methods employed by various parties on all sides of the presenting issues, not the substance of the issues themselves or the contributing factors to their controversy.