Thursday, June 13, 2024
Letters to the Editor

Insensitive and uncaring

Dear Editor,
While as a family we understand the restrictions on “cottagers” accessing their properties, the publicity around this to this group has been insensitive and uncaring from certain members of the community and especially spokesperson Warden Jane Toller.
Our family and many like us have been coming to our properties for 7 to 8 months of the year for decades. There is deep emotional attachment to these properties, which are often in a fragile state, especially in the spring. Over those years we have made friends in Shawville, paid taxes, supported churches, and actually felt a contributing part of this community. We are told frequently by local business owners that cottagers such as us are of great value to the local economy. Yet, with this pandemic, there has been a fairly rude awakening that we have never really been accepted or appreciated in our attempts to support and help sustain this wonderful area. It has been made clear from comments on social media and in person when the travel restriction initially came out that we as cottagers were “you people” as one mayor put it. I do not say this of everyone in the community but there has been no effort by the local government to try to reach out to this group with understanding and the idea of working together for the good of all. Such insensitivity will have a lasting effect on us once the restrictions are lifted. This could have been avoided with some proactive, considerate and helpful communication from Jane Toller and local mayors, not just talk of roadblocks and illegal trips to Tim Hortons.
I imagine as cottagers we are thought of as privileged. I cannot speak for all, but our family does feel privileged to share with you the beautiful area called the Pontiac. We have tried to give back in ways that we can. It is unfortunate that we now feel so unwelcome. This could have been at least mitigated with some thoughtful and understanding communication from your political leaders.

Pamela Sheehan RN
Emergency, TOH
Richardson Lake, Clarendon

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