It has been an interesting couple of days.
On Monday, Cheryl & I met with John Davis and Lisa McGuire from Public Works of New Tecumseth. They agreed to meet with us and have always answered our emails; unlike the members of our town council and the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit. So, we met for about 45 minutes and talked about different areas of concern regarding Tottenham's water issue. We really appreciated that they listened and took the time to meet.
The things we chatted about included: the town water Master Plan, water supply vs. water quality, that we appreciate all that the town workers dealing with the water are doing - which is the best they can with what they've got, the lack of agreement we have with Collingwood for more water, the new well in Alliston being dug into the same aquifer we use, the lack of conversation from members of our town council and that residents were never personally notified about the dangers of the levels of trihalomethanes in our tap water. But most importantly we explained that we are mothers. Mothers who, of course, have the health of our children to worry about. The town is filled with mothers. If you aren't one, you certainly have one. As mothers it is our responsibility to our children and children everywhere to ensure the water we so desperately need is safe to use and consume. It is the centre of our being to protect children and those around us. So as mothers, our responsibility is to life and not to money and corporations, and we should be able to at least meet in the middle. I'm sure the mothers of New Tecumseth will agree that they want the safest, cleanest water for their children. And as the town has a monopoly on our water supply, it is up to them to ensure this. We are consumers that have elected officials to represent our best interests. And everyone's best interest is first and foremost clean, safe water. Let this be our priority and the rest will fall into place.
The other interesting thing that happened over the last couple of days was an incident yesterday that mirrored what Cheryl and I have had to deal with over the past year. There is another water Facebook group that exists. I joined this group when I first learned about the trihalomethane problem a year ago. The leader of that group did not agree with us that the information should be made available to everyone in the town and that awareness should be a priority. I believed, as did Cheryl, that the more people made aware of the real issue meant that the likelihood was greater that a solution could be presented that made the most sense economically as well as quality wise when it came to our water problem. I did not agree with the idea that there was only one solution possible. At the time that solution was presented as reverse osmosis. Cheryl and I decided to make spreading awareness our focus and tried to include all members of the town. Since that time, there are those that began to attack us because of our difference of opinion. We felt that if we joined forces we could accomplish more. The others did not agree and began to attack us on Facebook. I have explained myself repeatedly and asked to meet personally with the attackers, but they have declined. Only one man in this town met with me and chatted about the issue and he wasn't even one of the attackers; we just didn't always agree with each other! And that meeting was totally enlightening and rewarding. I thank him for that. The others began their "keyboard warrior" attack. The ladies were more like rabid dogs than anything else. A self proclaimed journalist did nothing but make jokes about my lack of ability to comprehend the issue and claimed that I believed there was a second JFK shooter etc. It became ridiculous. As a result we blocked them all. And we wear our designer tin foil hats with pride. But then...my child tried to defend my water actions on the other group and she was attacked by the fight dogs as well. These trolls are disgusting and hurtful. It has taken me a while to figure out the whole Facebook thing, the idea about keyboard warriors, and "haters".
By reaching out to other water focused groups, we have realized that the trolls just try to take our focus away from the important things like family, friends, water and the environment. So the learning curve has resulted in finally ignoring the negative and focussing on the positive. It has been a long, tough road, but I hope that I can pass this information to my children and they learn it a lot sooner that I did! As far as I am concerned, those that do not have the well being of others as their primary focus in the fight for clean, safe water don't exist. And we welcome everyone else with open arms!