We are always talking about how bullying needs to stop in Canada. We see brave women standing up to the accused CBC host Jian Ghomeshi and saying “enough!” after what may have been years of serial abuse, bullying, and rape. While the courts will decide the truth of it all, we feel pride that these women have stood up to this bully and exposed his alleged actions for the vile crime that they are. It takes just one brave soul to stand up to a bully and then they crumble. But all too often, the victim does not report the crime. All too often, the victim is vilified as someone whose actions have provoked or even deserved the bullying. All too often victims of bullying stand alone unsupported while the bully receives no punishment and repeats his crimes for years unchecked until that first brave soul, in this case Air Force Captain Lucy DeCoutere, decided to speak publicly about her ordeal and put a stop to the abuse by saying “Enough!” to the Bullies!
With the CBC Ghomeshi story fresh in our minds, I read about another case of serial bullying right here in White Rock. I read how that Mayoral Candidate David Bradshaw had been dragged through the mud for political gain by Mayor Baldwin in a “moment of anger and outrage”. It is clear that David Bradshaw worked in a toxic work environment at the BCTF. It is clear that he had trouble dealing with that stress resulting in depression and anxiety. But as in the case of Captain Lucy DeCoutere, he deserves our support and understanding, not a smear campaign.
Once again, we saw a victim of bullying is being dragged through the mud, this time by our own Mayor and perhaps others who were eager to discredit him. That someone would provide his personal and confidential work and health report to the CBC speaks volumes about how toxic that work environment must have been.
Having worked in High Tech through the good years and bad, I have seen hundreds of people, myself included, work through years of such a toxic work environment. I have seen grown men cry, employees burst out in anger, and much worse. You cannot judge them without having first lived in their shoes. I have. I was strong, but many are not. What defines character is not how we choose to deal with the emotional impact of an unjust firing, what defines our character is how we pick up the pieces and move on. In David’s case, he choose to stand up to the bullies in City Hall by saying “Enough!”. As with DeCoutere, we should be proud of David for standing up to the bullies and support him. David has my support and he deserves yours.
Read about it in the Peace Arch News here. The Mayor apologized for his a “moment of anger and outrage” but was it sincere? Was it a mistake or a well thought out and deliberate smear campaign? Decide for yourself if our Mayor has the true integrity to admit when he was wrong, or is he is just another bully with power who said that he was sorry, not because of what he did, but because he got caught?
The Mayor has his election Victory, but we all lose whenever a bully wins.