- Our Town
Stop playing the divide
I can understand that the directors of BIIA are upset and angry about the "shut up" incident and the attention it attracted. Between them they contributed considerable time, money, heart and energy to Mr Adelaar's election campaign and I'm sure they feel invested in his success as mayor. And in the scale of things the 'shut up' incident, while shocking and outrageous, was not really headline worthy beyond our small island, and in itself, it shouldn't define Mr Adelaar's tenure as mayor.
Having said that, BIIA dragging the whole sorry incident up again threatens to do just that. But that is for BIIA to worry about. My concern is this: Setting aside the absurdity of the suggestion that I control the mayor's behaviour, and further, that I can influence the national news cycle, I am deeply concerned about the insinuation that I have conspired to undermine Mr Adelaar's reputation in the community and thrown him under the bus to raise my own 'profile'...nationally? For what? For the record, I have always taken care to speak respectfully to and about all councillors, including Mr Adelaar, especially when disagreeing. This principle is important to me and I am dismayed that my personal integrity should be publicly questioned to serve BIIA's purpose of justifying Mayor Adelaar's incivility.
So here I am, breaking my long silence to object. I let the 'shut up' incident pass without comment. I let the subsequent slander and cyber-bullying pass without comment. I let the non-apology letter pass without comment. I let the BIIA mailer pass without comment. But now Mr Long bragging about the reach of BIIA's defamatory claims, and alluding to the substance of their accusations in our local paper is just too much.
Have the members of BIIA forgotten that they are also members of a tiny community on a tiny island, and that publishing these baseless accusations impacts, not some distant politician in Ottawa, but a real person within our community? That the mistrust and contempt that they sow will likely find its way to the ears of my children at school? That playing divide and conquer negatively impacts us all? As a community, we must be committed to treating our neighbours with respect and hold each other to that standard. Discuss issues, don't attack individuals. BIIA, please desist.