I am not one who spends time composing letters to the editor and I forward this letter with great
reluctance and some fear.
The political climate of our city has seriously deteriorated, not because of our politicians, but
because of our attitude towards our politicians, as exemplified by a well-read local blog,
Abbotsford Today. To hear many people write and speak, the election of one mayoralty
candidate or the other will set Abbotsford back into the stone age, depending on which candidate
the speaker hates most. Both men seem to me to be honest individuals who have the best interest
of Abbotsford at heart, and the City will go forward fine with either.
I have recently been reading Abbotsford Today to ensure that, because of my involvement with a
variety of local organizations, that I am not the victim of character assassination in the same way
as several fellow ADBA directors, as well as numerous local politicians and candidates have
been. Fortunately, my low profile and general irrelevance in the community have saved me, but I
did delay writing this letter for fear of being a target.
People who enter community organizations and local politics do so because they care about the
community. They should not be attacked by bloggers and commenters who are able to post
vicious and negative posts with anonymous email or Facebook names. Attacks on other people
is not a contribution to the community. Imagine an article in Abbotsford Today that attacks one
council candidate by making light of the death of his wife? Is this journalism? Of course not. Is
it civilized? No. Obviously I will not be voting for Abbotsford Today co-owner Vince Dimanno
or any of those associated with him.
This unfortunate, lamentable situation has arisen because of a gap in our local media. We have
gone from three newspapers- The News, The Times and The Post to one, The News. The News,
in its effort to be a community partner with most organizations and government bodies, has done
stellar service to community events and fundraising, but by virtue of being tied into everything
Abbotsford has lost its voice as a constructive critic. Hence, the need has been filed in other
places, such as Abbotsford Today, which lacks respect for both facts and individuals in our
community. They make Fox News look balanced.
What a sad state of affairs for people who have a positive attitude towards their community. If
only we could have a discourse without attacking the motives and honesty of the people with
whom we do not share the same opinion. But I have little hope. There are too many people in
Abbotsford that wish to attack and say, “I told you so”. This doesn’t work in marriages and it
does not work in building a healthy community.