Editorial an ‘attack’

Dear Editor:

RE: Time for a change, June 16.

The editorial of June 16 is an attack on Centre Wellington councillor Neil Dunsmore dressed up as an argument of how the Chamber of Commerce’s process of selection for Citizen of the Year is flawed. 

The editorial goes on to build a flawed argument to support the idea that a person who is a councillor that has been nominated for the chamber’s citizen of the year can be susceptible to undue influence from supporters.

The facts used to support the argument are flawed, or in the current political scene “alternative facts.” In this editorial the following actions create a set of alternative facts to support the argument.

The editorial equates the Chamber of Commerce with an elected body. The editorial uses the example of the City of Brampton’s process; Brampton selects a citizen of the year and their rules disqualify anybody who is an elected official or will be running for office in the next election. As an elected body, this rule is appropriate. However, the Chamber of Commerce is a private body where members must be pay a fee to join, it’s not subject to the polices of a municipal government body. 

The editorial also mentions that a nominee can self-nominate for the award. The editorial goes on to suggest this can be used to further the political interests of an individual, yet it is not clarified whether Dunsmore was nominated or is self-nominated. As the chamber’s process is confidential, we will not know how he was nominated, however, it is the support and record of the individual that is reviewed in the selection process, not how one was nominated. The use of incomplete information leads the reader to believe the councillor was self-nominated. 

If this was a discussion about how a citizen of the year is selected for Centre Wellington, the discussion should be about: why the local government of Centre Wellington should be the one recognizing an individual as citizen of the year; not how a private organization’s rules should be changed to meet the needs of an elected local government. 

Since this was not the case, I can only conclude it was an attack on the political goals of councillor Dunsmore.

Merv McLeod,

*Editor’s note: Candidates can’t nominate themselves for Citizen of the Year. The editorial in question was a commentary on why elected officials should not receive the award. It was not an attack on any winner, past or present, and it had nothing to do with the aspirations, political or otherwise, of anyone involved.