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Bullying at council affects everyone
Dear residents of West Nipissing especially residents from my wonderful village of Verner,
My name is Josie-Anne Girard, a 19-year-old long time Verner resident. I have always loved my small village and have always been proud to tell people how wonderful it is to live in such a friendly warm kind-hearted community where everyone knows each other; where everyone is willing to help their neighbours and everyone greets you by your name.
I do have something I would like to share, something that over the last few years has affected me greatly. I am struggling with the social media slanders being more and more frequent towards certain politicians. The attacks towards characters, towards family members is becoming unbearable. I have recently been a target myself from an individual who indicated publicly to “not follow my family’s footsteps as I seemed to be smarter,” Here is what I have to say to you sir and the rest of council members who seem to feel attacking people’s character is acceptable.
I am the daughter of a mother whose mother just happens to be the mayor of West Nipissing. My grandmother is one of the kindest women I have known, a woman I have looked up to my entire life. I was born into politics, it was not a choice for me. Just so happens I always had a vested interest and I enjoyed following what goes on in our municipality, but more so my small village of Verner. I have always admired the years of dedication my grandmother has devoted to this municipality and the passion and drive she has had, the sacrifice and numerous hours of volunteering. She has taught me I can achieve whatever I want in life even as a young woman living in a male dominated world.
My message is simple…
Next time you feel like putting down someone’s character, someone’s integrity please think of everyone you will affect. Not only are you targeting the person, you are targeting the entire family including children.
Next time you feel like slandering please reverse the role and think about your own families and how it would make you feel constantly reading negativity and false opinions/accusations about someone you love.
Next time you want to bully or harass someone, think about your own children and about the kind of life lessons you want to teach them. Is it Ok to bully others? Would that behaviour be tolerated from them in the school yard or in the workplace? Because guess what, children will mimic your behaviour if that is what you’re teaching them.
As a young adult I may not have as much education as some councillors like to mention they have, however one thing is for sure, my parents taught me how to be kind to others, how to treat others as I want to be treated, and they taught me that it is never ok to put down others, humiliate and belittle. That saying goes “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”. I have also been taught how to deal with differences in opinions and was taught good ways to deal with conflict.
This has been the most challenging year dealing with Covid- 19 and it’s more important than ever that we are kind to one another and treat each other with respect and dignity, treat each other as human beings.
We cannot expect for the generations to come to do better if grown professionals cannot do better.
A very proud daughter and grand daughter
February 17, 2021