If you were one of the five people left in attendance late last Monday evening at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium you might have noticed the little speech Mayor Peary made, at the very, very end of the council meeting. If the matter slipped your notice don’t blame yourself; even for those who were waiting hopefully the “apology” held all the satisfaction as receiving a pair of used socks from Santa.
It all started with that announcement from Ed Fast and his well-televised “potential” delivery of wads of our federal tax dollars into the hands of Mr. Peary. That we are being forced to watch our own money pass from one political pocket to another in a silly ploy to try to distract us – much like a slow-motion shell game > sigh … it’s just so painful watching them salivate at our supposed stupidity … < is plenty enough fodder for another subject. For this matter the subject is the quote the Mayor made, on national television, regarding the P3 opposition and how they are “being more than a little mendacious”.
M … men … nope, must be the next page … ah, there it is, m-e-n-d-a-c-i-o-u-s … “untruthful”; “false”; “lying”. Ah, so Mr. Peary wants the world to know that anyone opposed to the P3 is a liar. Oh! Ahem. My mistake – more than a little … lying. Oooh, that’s so much better.
How does that sit with you? If you’ve managed to read a bit about the P3 issue and maybe even perused some of the data, and found the city stance lacking in substance and even opined such, then Congratulations! Your city leader, for whom you pay generously, wants this country to know that you are MORE THAN A LIAR!
Sit well with you? You’re not alone. And so, with that insult under her skin one faithful and unassuming grandmother took her hurt and concern to the Mayor’s office where, after a brief meeting, she left with the promise of a forthcoming apology at the very next 7 pm city council meeting. And the rest is history. The weak apology that reiterated the “mendacious”ness of the P3 opposition, the lack of any sincere regret in slamming those who would exercise their right to free opinion on the matter, the blatant P3 promotion overtaking what little “apology” was offered. Yep, it was all there.
And you missed it. Either you left the crowded auditorium after the three excellent delegations had spoken and were on your way to de-stressing at home with a large bottle and a novel, or you had long since turned off Shaw and doffed your bunny slippers for bed. And that was exactly what our esteemed leader was aiming for, no?
So, what now? Well, there is still the matter of a sincere apology to be delivered. Perhaps it is futile to continue along that path but efforts are being made to try to right that wrong. More accurately, however, it is incorrect for the Mayor to make an apology locally when the … act … was perpetrated on national television. This is a matter for the CTV to amend, with an airing of an apology on their network. And repeated requests have been made to that effect, with, so far, no calls returned.
Is this important to you? Is it right that an official representative feels free to brand constituents with derogatory and slanderous statements with impunity? How do you feel about this official, and his administration, if neither believes they must even pretend to respect the people they represent?
Will you let this lay, as acceptable, or will you make your outrage known to those who are responsible? Or, more succinctly, will you expect respect in the next term even if you do nothing to earn it at the end of this one?
Democracy and free speech are not ours to have because they are written down on some piece of paper over in Ottawa. They are maintained ONLY through action and are very easily finished off by apathy. The veterans and war-torn know that truth very well; their sacrifices give me the freedom to live my life as a relative coward, and my relief knows no bounds. But for that I hold a debt and must honour it with using my voice loudly and often. How else can I repay, regain, and maintain what has been so dearly given? How else can you?