Enough is enough – Morris, MB

An open letter to Gordon Sinclair:

Thanks for the article Gordon. Appreciate you stepping up here. Maybe I can share why there is a siege mentality in our community:

– A wingnut paper publisher does something stupid. The entire Town is accused of racism and makes the national news, even though this was one idiot’s opinion, and he himself had only been a resident for two years

– The community is accused of homophobia when a restaurant fails, even though this is the fourth restaurant to fail in four years in the same space. As part of the coverage, the WFP interviews local citizens, and publishes the opinions of an elderly senile gentleman, and someone who has lived on a Hutterite colony almost all of their life. Of course, the people who had no issue weren’t published. Oh yeah, let’s also quote George out of context.

– Even when the restaurant “turns around”, the owners decide to leave. If the community has shown visible support for the restaurant, and an intolerance for homophobia, then why are you closing?

– Now we have another with the fifth failure in the same location in five years. Now it’s racism. I have yet to see any facts (remember when journalists used to go looking for those) showing any member of the community acted racist towards Thea. But yet again, we now make the national news despite:
a) Facts indicating the high rent/small seating capacity/specialty cuisine model is not working in this location or this size of community
b) Other ethnic business owners thriving in the community, and stating they have not experienced racism
c) Other visible minority citizens making public statements through Facebook how much they enjoy our community. See WFP, this is what a fact looks like.

– Nothing like sensationalizing headlines as well…..”Restaurant Owner Flees Morris”…..seriously? Maybe talk to the RCMP too about reported hate crimes and crime overall in the community. I’ve see the crime reports quarterly, and cannot think of any place where I’d rather raise my family.

– Hey let’s criticise the Mayor for doing his job too. His job is to represent the community, not placate the WFP.

Mr. Sinclair, imagine I was working with you and accused you of sexually harassing me. The WFP then comes in, does no research, publishes a headline like “Journalist Flees Sexual Advances of Gordon Sinclair”, then you make the national news for something that is allegation. I’ll then do this three times, and each time the WFP will go after you like a terrier on a rat. Think you might have a siege mentality then?

My word, be a journalist for a change. Interview those who are of a visible ethnic minority who live in Morris, and ask them about racism. Ask them how Morris compares to other places they’ve lived – I’m pretty sure I know the answer, as I’ve seen nothing in Morris to equal the racism and homophobia I saw growing up in Winnipeg. Maybe talk to a restauranteur, show them the seating capacity, give them the rent and utility bills, and ask them how they could make this space work. I’m pretty sure they couldn’t. Maybe throw on that the average plate prep time is 1hr, and limit their menu to specialty cuisine. I’m a professional finance person, and I can’t make the math work.

So, I think we’re pretty justified in having a siege mentality, 100% created by an sensationalist media. Equally unfortunate how far the journalistic standards of the WFP have fallen, where selling papers and getting web hits are more important than facts or the truth.

This isn’t a siege mentality. It’s fighting back against character assassination.

Have a nice day,

Scott Crick
Town Councillor
Morris, MB

For anyone reading this, please share this post. Maybe Mr. Sinclair might actually read it. If you subscribe to the Winnipeg Free Press, maybe make a few calls and let their advertisers know how you feel about their coverage of this (and previous) stories, and how you feel about their business if they continue to support the WFP. If you have friends in other rural communities, warn them they could be next, and ask them if they would continue to buy or support the WFP if they did the same to them.

I am personally tired of lazy, irresponsible, and sensationalistic journalism. However, they will not stop until stood up to. It is time to stand up.