It all seems so un-Caledon’esque.
Normally a town where neighbours nod hello and smile, where people make that extra effort to support their local shops, where differences in opinion remain respectful.
But lately the relationships appear strained.
Many candidates have focussed on talking through issues and challenges, presenting their own accomplishments and merits, expressing ideas and solutions, and a desire for a unified front when it comes to defending Caledon.
Some have latched on to a strategy of blame. Some have even stooped to intimidation.
This week a downtown Bolton restaurant owner sent Just Sayin’ Caledon a copy of an email he received expressing displeasure that he had provided a testimonial for one of the mayoral candidate’s campaign page. The letter goes on to say that he might be “better to take it down and get it off her page.”
Another emailed us a recount of someone misrepresenting who they were when at his door.
A candidate on the west side of Caledon posted on social media that she had been “receiving calls and emails from residents regarding two photocopied pages being delivered by three men in a white pick-up truck…..aggressive behaviour challenging residents at their door regarding their candidate signs.” The candidate went on to say that one resident felt so intimidated she had removed all her support signs.
For the past few weeks here at Just Sayin’ Caledon we have been receiving notifications from Facebook regularly that someone was attempting to log in to our account. We have also become aware that comments on some of our posts were from fake accounts.
Accusations have been circulating on social media that JSC receives grants and other funding from the Town of Caledon, and that we accept money for publishing particular postings. Neither is true. JSC’s entire revenue stream is from ad sales alone.
We see information being presented that is partially-true, or out of context, or showing you carefully selected information while with-holding all the rest.
We are witnessing a toxic environment that is dividing a community and is not conducive to assessing what candidates most closely align with voters values. It is the kind of environment that breeds mistrust and eventually a distaste for politics that translates into voter apathy and ultimately lower turn-out at the polls.
And that, I think we can all agree, takes us further in the wrong direction.