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LETTER: Community character

"Personally, I don’t agree with anyone’s decision to travel during these times, but I do appreciate Ms. Hughes valuable role on St. Albert City Council. All governments work best with a variety of members that have a diversity of ideas, opinions and perspectives, all contributing to healthy democracy and more informed decision-making."
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It’s hard to believe the public shaming and lashing-out that is being directed toward Councillor Sheena Hughes, related to her recent travel.

Some people on “The Original St. Albert Chat” Facebook page are posting and spewing outright hatred and obscenities. Also, the public comments made by some people in the Gazette and other media outlets, including by some elected officials, are troubling. For those concerned with ethics, reviewing the process and protocol on the “Original St. Albert Chat” would be a good start.

You may feel like “blowing off some steam”, but piling-on the insults and vitriol on Facebook, in the Gazette and other public forums, and attacking her as a human being, won’t make things any better, and only shows the true snarl and character of the commenters. Is this the community we want to be?

We now hear that there’s a recently initiated complaint process on this matter. It may let council allow the public to direct comments toward Councillor Hughes. Isn’t this potentially allowing a parade of people another round of opinion, gossip and mean-spirited put-downs? Is this another easy way to use the event as a political tool? 

You may not like what Councillor Hughes did, and you can disagree with her behaviour. While this won’t change the travel decision she made, Councillor Hughes did provide a genuine apology. Human to human, I accept her apology. You may never vote for her again, and that’s everyone’s personal choice.  Personally, I don’t agree with anyone’s decision to travel during these times, but I do appreciate Ms. Hughes valuable role on St. Albert city council. All governments work best with a variety of members that have a diversity of ideas, opinions and perspectives, all contributing to healthy democracy and more informed decision-making. That’s what Councillor Hughes brings to the council table. She is also always well-prepared, diligent, and cares about our city. The municipal election is about eight months from now, and isn’t that the time to ultimately cast your vote, rather than conduct a “trial by social media”?  

If she is on the ballot, I will be voting for Ms. Hughes. 

Don Ladner, St. Albert