No...I ain't singing the Prince song...oh wait..."I just can't believe all the things people say -- controversy Am I black or white? am I straight or gay? -- controversy Do I believe in god? do I believe in me? -- controversy" Ahem...back to our regularly scheduled crap out of Pam's mind... I woke up this morning still feeling a little bug in my tummy about things going on in my community. I feel the need to write it out of my head so that I can relax...chill out like I like to...I have enough on the brain in my own little world. The 'controversy' is ensuing over the plans to build a new fire hall on the island...a $4.3 million fire hall. A petition is going around for landowners only to sign as they say it only affects them. In reality, everyone who lives here is affected, as the increase in property taxes to allow more $$ to come in and help with the costs (as we the taxpayers are on the hook for it) are not only the property owners responsibility, but anyone who rents will get a rent increase because of it too. So therefore each and every island resident should have a say in what is going on with the building plans. We are a small community. Our firefighters are from this community...they are volunteers (for the most part), volunteering their time AND life to help those whose lives are being ruined by a mighty fire. Being a community fire hall...I believe the community has every right to have a say and a vote in the whole process. I am not wanting to sound repetitive about people having their say...but there seems to be a push against that.
On Wednesday while I was spending my day in downtown Gabriola, a petition table was set up for the residents to come by and get more information pertaining to the plans for the new building. I can completely understand the community wanting and needing more information when it comes to $$ being taken from them. As a FREE country, you know, Canada, we have a democratic right to oppose anything that affects us. And if people choose to want to fight the powers that be...more power to them I say. That is what freedom of thought is all about. I am proud to live in a country where that is the case. Vive le Canada!! :o) (Oh...I miss Chretien!) hee hee Because of this petition going around, it has caused some massive upset with the fire department. Instead of seeing it as simply a community wanting more answers and perhaps more discussion with them on the topic...the department took it all personally. Like an attack on their GoodWill. And I am 100% positive that that is truly not the case of this situation. I have never had the misfortune of a home or property fire (besides my big ass bonfires that I love to make and know how to control) but I do know people who have gone through it. And each and everyone of them is eternally grateful to the volunteers that have saved their belongings and or lives. Cheers to the courageous men and women that are on call to leave the warmth of their homes and families to go out into the night and help another family. It is quite an amazing thing. I know some of our firefighters and I dig them all...cool people they are. And selfless when it comes to the decision they made to be a 'saviour' of sorts. But, because they chose to take the communities need for answers to a big property tax hike personally...they felt attacked...and they attacked back. The Village parking lot was like a war zone on Wednesday. The negative vibes and bullying that were streaming out of it were too much to bear. Then, little ol' me got verbally attacked by a member of the fire department when he came into Artworks. I am not a part of any of this...I'm not a landowner so my signature wouldn't even count. But this guy was clearly feeling attacked prior to walking into the store and I was the one that got the brunt of his anger. When he left I was shaking...and confused. I am not a lover of conflict even though I have found myself smack dab in the middle of some heated conflict...at times even caused by me. Bad Pami!! But I have been trying hard to be a better person over the past few years. So when it is thrown in my face...me no likey. I do feel bad that this whole thing has gotten so many people upset that both sides feel the need to get angry and start bullying. We need to find a peaceful way to deal with things like this. And we clearly should not be in people's faces who are not even a part of the whole thing...like just innocent by-standing Pam. I hold nothing against this man who decided to lash out on me, but I do hope that he realizes it was wrong and he was out of place. Because I understand he was in pain too...forgiveness man...I forgive you.
That is my problem with this whole thing. Everyone is in pain on all sides. We should just all come together to figure out the best route for funding for a new hall. It is definitely needed...no doubt about that. But we are a community that lives together...let's work together too.Hugs all around...let's make peace and come to a solution that EVERYONE can feel good about. And again...Cheers to the mighty firefighters of Gabriola and thank you so very much for all that you do. Hip Hip Hooray!!