I know a bit about bullying as I myself have been bullied. I know. I’m not a wee person; but Bullying comes in many shapes or sizes.
As a child my family moved around a lot. It seemed I was always the new kid.
Bullies thrive only when they have the support of those around them. You don’t see too many successful lone wolf bullies. They need a pack of friends around them; some actively helping or others silently allowing the behavior and just hoping that they aren’t next.
All are guilty. Sometimes even the victims are guilty too.
What I do know is that the only way to change society is from the top. Can we ask a child to not be a bully when their parents or grand-parents are bullies themselves? Kids aren’t stupid. They know BS when they see it. And that’s where our world is today.
When we see our leaders bully their way through life; from our Prime Minister to your boss at work; and right across society those are the messages we send.
Since moving to Cornwall I have never seen such staggeringly systemic bullying. My first experience job wise was with our MP having me wrongfully terminated from my job at Habitat for Humanity. When I stood up for myself and fought the result was a cowardly leak that I’d stolen on the job and had to be let go. When I was completely cleared of that rumor publicly our MP threatened me with the Minister of Justice of Canada.
Now that’s bad enough. What was worse was the silence of those around him once they knew the truth. It was after all a Conservative and one of those that supported him that cleared me.
When I started the Cornwall Free News what I experienced most was bullying. First from certain rival media, and then from certain Chamber of Commerce honchos.
You see my paternal grand-father was a Pro boxer. My dad was a wrestler and Jr. Aloutette. I was taught at a very young age that when someone bullies you that you have to identify the leader and smack them as hard as you can because bullies are cowards.
They really are. And they tend to prey on the weak. On New Years there was a hold up at a local convenience store. The scum bag waited until the two men that work there left and then preyed on the teen age daughter. That’s how bullies work.
They also love to work in the shadows. Since CFN gained traction I’ve seen countless emails to my clients telling them that they’d be boycotted if they continued to advertise on The Cornwall Free News. Only one up until recently ever succumbed to those threats.
Of course there were others that didn’t advertise with us because of similar sentiments spread by the two major cliques in Cornwall.
Last week one of my favorite sponsors and someone I consider a friend pulled their ads with me. When I asked why he stated Economic Development and the Kinsmen of Cornwall. I told him I would have to go public with this even if it meant further injury to our relationship and he understood.
Those are grave charges and I have initiated a conversation with the City to resolve this. Of course when intimidation like this occurs it doesn’t arrive on City Hall stationery. But its ugly to see a gentleman of this caliber not only be told where to advertise; but to capitulate. The bottom line is that in this financial time nobody can afford to artificially lose large amounts of money.
The thing about my business; news; is that I see so much more than I can report on. We do report more than most media; but we pay a heavy price. I personally pay a heavy price. My former wife to be would actually voice her fears about something happening to me or our home because of the way some people are in this town.
Is it unique to Cornwall? I would like to think not; but the concentration and the culture of bullying is horrific and needs to be addressed.
Yesterday another journalist and myself interviewed another victim of City Hall Management. She’s 38 and is devastated. Her crime seems to simply have been hurt on the job. Not being allowed to heal and then harassed and cheated. For someone that young to feel desperate and that her life is over is a sin.
This isn’t the first case. Diane Shay, Mary Anne Pilon, a city staffer currently going through arbitration, and now this new case, and a few others.
Patterns can clearly be seen, and it’s a toxic combination of bullying and lack of empathy for staff combined with Unions completely dropping the ball. As I said to one of the victims CUPE is Poopie. Heck even this current issue with Bilingual Nursing at the Community Hospital reeks of fear of retribution.
Frankly the bad guys seem to always win. They keep getting their paychecks and golden parachutes.
I myself was ready to pack it in last week. There are easier ways to make money. It’d be so easy to put the Cornwall Free News up for sale and do just about anything else. That’s how beaten up and at times demoralized it can be working with and having to deal with this corruption and bullying.
But then I get that one email. That one cry for help. I get in my car and listen to someone that nobody will listen to and know that I can help, and like Popeye eating his can of Spinach I’m back and ready to tangle with these godless blood suckers that are bleeding tax payers dry.
Isn’t it time; especially on a day like this for us to speak up and say no to the bullies? Isn’t it time that they pay for their actions. Should they continue to get golden hand shakes when they finally get turfed after hurting countless people.
And isn’t it time that we live our lives so that when we look at children in the eye that what they see in ours is as innocent as theirs?
I really don’t know the future for The Cornwall Free News. I can’t do this alone. We can’t run this paper without sponsors and funding. And I’m human. Either I’ll burn out or have a heart attack at some point.
But for today I’m here and willing to continue to mirror to the world the issues that matter.
For today we are INTENSELY LOCAL.
If you can do one thing today if you really care about anti-bullying it’s to stand up for someone that you know is being bullied. Give them a hug. Talk to them. Let them know they aren’t alone. Because one day it might be you surrounded by howling slathering, corrupt hyenas.
Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News
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