Two letters from soldiers

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We’ve received a lot of letters recently. Often, people carbon-copy us into emails that they send to our mayor and our councillors. Here are two letters from soldiers (they gave us permission to post the letters, without identifying information), one serving in Afghanistan, the other a high school friend of Peter’s who works for the Canadian Forces and teaches cadets in Bowmanville (part of our municipality).

“Peter,

I know we haven’t talked in a long time, but catching the news about what your family is going through, I had to send you a message to tell you how I feel about the situation.

I feel ashamed. To think that something like this can happen in Canada…

In addition to my full time job, I go out to Bowmanville to teach teens things like seamanship skills, and citizenship. Occasionally, we give them lessons about WWII around Remembrance Day, and the Battle of Atlantic Sunday, including the evils of fascism and tyranny. It’s sad to see that despite our best lessons, these evil seeds are taking root in this rather nice community.

I hope that you get vindication in the end.

John”

Here’s the letter from Gilles in Afghanistan:

“To Your Honour the Mayor Jim Abernethy,

I am presently serving in Afghanistan and have read about the Gestapo like tactics of a certain bylaw officer who seems to have a personal vendetta against the Jaworski family and their bed and breakfast. As you may or may not be aware, this business is owned by former Polish democracy activists who fled communist Poland in 1984, only to find themselves in a bureaucratic Kafkaesque vendetta over a back yard BBQ. It also seems that your bylaw officers have been purposefully targeting this family as they were forced to abandon home cooking for catered food, which in turn was used as a reason to lay the recent fine associated with having an illegal commercial conference centre.

As I mentioned, I’m in Afghanistan, and I’ve been serving in the CF since 1984, and the support I’ve seen from the Canadian public over the recent years has been amazing. And seeing part of the 401 being renamed the Highway of Heroes has at times brought me to tears, especially when I’ve seen my fellow Canadians line the route for my fallen comrades.

I see the Clarington municipality is within Bowmanville, which recently was the destination of the planned route for last June’s Hero’s Highway Ride. But it seems to me now, that Bowmanville’s association with your municipality, and the type of actions you allow those who protect your community, has sullied this honourable route.

I’ve been defending our country for many years, but I never thought that what I was defending was the right of over-zealous bylaw enforcers to bully a family business over a backyard BBQ.

What if a similar Hero’s Ride were to be organized when I get back next spring from my tour, but instead of ending it at the Bowmanville exit on Hwy 401, some participants pulled into the Jaworskis’ Bed and Breakfast for a BBQ, would your Bylaw officers once again employ the same heartless uncommon anti-social tactics? Of course, no such event is planned, but the freedom to do so seems only natural, but not, it seems, in your most unfriendly municipality.

While I’m here in Afghanistan, or as I have been throughout my career, defending those freedoms Canadians enjoy, it appears the Jaworskis are not entitled to such freedom, regardless of how many heroes have died to ensure that those freedoms exist.

Remember that the next time you ride or drive on the 401.

Gilles.”

If you would like to phone our councillors, or send them a message, you can do so by clicking here.

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