The community wants to know.
I have been and continued to be approached/contacted by numerous people from the community as to why the Service Dog Monument was rejected. I don’t have an answer. I would like to “thank” the community for your continued concern and support. We are as perplexed as you are.
It has become pointedly clear that many people have been affected by Mayor and three Councillors decisions to axe the intentions of a group of Veterans to place an honouring/educational Service Dog statue in the Veteran Memorial Park that they designed and constructed. That they continue to maintain, officiate Remembrance Day Services, and other Acts of Remembrance Services including anniversaries, deaths, recognitions, educate and ongoing respect and honouring events for all who have come before them and those who have and are still serving. Veterans within the community and beyond are suffering with feeling this is an assault on their democracy. “I went to other places to support the pillars of democracy only to come home and see ours eroded,” is a quote from a concerned Veteran. I can say that I have seen the effects this has had, first hand,on our Veterans at Military Ames, some of who courageously attended the two Council meetings. Like the community, they just ‘don’t get it.’ The Service Dog Monument is the tip of the issue here but what I am hearing is that this is much bigger than that. People are feeling like their rights have been trampled on and they want answers. It is obvious that this has affected many people. I wonder about the Council members, who took the time to meet with us and/or ask questions and ultimately see the importance of this monument, how they are impacted by the actions of their counterparts and the complete dismissal of this motion. Mayor McCormic did not accept our invitations to meet and discuss our proposal, nor were we given any opportunity to discuss it at either of the Council meetings.
In a comment in the Daily Bulletin on January 17, 2023, Mayor McCormic voiced a desire to sit down with Military Ames. When? Here’s our response in kind – we are waiting to hear from you. We accept your invitation as ambiguous as it was.
“Transparency is necessary for healthy democracy. Unity and solidarity are the product of openness. Military Ames represents veterans who secure this democracy, both the lost, those living, and those with operational injuries. This very moment, Canadian troops are actively engaged in defense of real threats.
Yesterday, for the first time since its inception, NORAD twice downed flying objects of unknown origin over central Yukon and Lake Huron. Canadian F18s were scrambled from 4 Wing at CFB Cold Lake, which is my birthplace, the place my Dad worked on the complex technology in the nose cones of our fighter jets.
CFB Cold Lake is where I first learned fear, stress, anxiety, how to make myself small, invisible, and so quiet the “enemy” would not hear me breathe or be able to find me. My child’s mind was terrified by the various drills we practiced, running home from school to cower in the basement among racks of rations stored, “just in case” of attack, and waiting for the “all clear” siren. To help us find solace and tenderness, my parents eventually got us a puppy.
Military Ames wants to add a sculpture of Phelan to the veteran’s memorial park. It’s a comforting thing, the love of a dog. Why would Mayor McCormick say no to the community who have asked for this addition? Who is whispering division in the Mayor’s ear and why is he listening? This is not transparency and goes against the very grain of democracy. Will Mayor McCormick step up and give voice to the whispers? We need to understand what’s going on in the private domain.”