LETTER: Council has spoken on Macdonald matter

 I read a story on the internet about Ants in a Jar that goes as follows: “If you get 100 red fire ants and 100 large black ants and put them in a jar, at first, nothing will happen but, if you shake the jar and dump them back on the ground, the ants will fight until they kill each other The thing is, the red ants think the black ants are the enemy, and vice versa, when in reality, the real enemy is the person who shook the jar.  In my opinion this is what’s happening today all over the world”.
I think this is the perfect analogy about what is happening in The County concerning the controversy surrounding the Sir John A. Macdonald statue.  Now in this case, we know full well who is shaking the jar and, unfortunately, it is merely a handful of vocal individuals striving to strike events in the history of this great nation that do not suit their fancy.  These are people who chose to overlook the great things that Sir John A. did to unite this country, only to dwell on the mistakes made by his administration.
When leaders are chosen to lead, it is impossible to think that they will do so with complete perfection and that they will always be in the good graces of those they represent.  Although the intent may be genuine, some decisions inevitably encounter flaws and obstacles thereby not achieving the intended results.  And yes, sometimes, they can lead to unfortunate and even  disasterous events.
I had the pleasure of sitting on the previous Council when the Sir John A. Macdonald project was brought before us.  The efforts of the group proved thorough and after plenty of public consultation, including a discussion with Chief Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, the project was approved with the full support of all Council members.
I watched the Council meeting online last week and was impressed with the time and effort put into the deputations.  Equally impressive was Council’s willingness to support leaving the statue where it was intended to stand.  The majority of people that I have spoken with over the last few weeks have been of the opinion that “the statue should stay where it is”.  The unfortunate thing within our community, is that the majority of people simply feel that sharing their ideas amongst one another in coffee shops, bars, around the kitchen table and so on is adequate, and they do not take the time to share their view of the issues with their local elected representative.
Now that the issue has been voted on, there are people amongst us who aren’t willing to accept Council’s decision without defaming Council’s character with libellous comments and accusations of them being a racist.  I find it shameful that people are allowed to accuse others of being racist, simply because of a differing opinion. These actions and this type of behaviour is wrong and should not be tolerated by any of us.  Council has spoken, let them move on and deal with the order of business that lies ahead.
I conclude with a quote I read some time ago that reads: “Oh yes the past can hurt.  But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.”
Kevin Gale
Spohiasburgh