“Bullies use fear as a tool. They feed off of people’s insecurities and manipulate others to believe they are good.”
“Bullies may use a variety of threats, particularly when they themselves are feeling threatened: they will openly suggest that anyone who stands up to them will have to pay dearly for opposing their wishes.”
“Bullies don’t care about the common good, or a greater good, they care about one thing: themselves and their own personal interests.”
“The good news is, we don’t have to put up with bullies. And a first step to combating them is to recognize their tactics, and call out the strategies they use to intimidate, undermine and fear monger.” – Betty Disero, Lord Mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Early in the last term of Niagara Regional Council, the Region’s then-chair, Al Caslin, appears in a photo op after a community group came to the council to promote a public campaign against bullying. The group’s message didn’t appear to get through to many members of that council.
(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper, journalist and publisher, Niagara At Large – March 18th, 2019
I wish to thank a resident in Niagara-on-the-Lake for bringing what I consider to be this very timely and important message from one of Niagara’s political leaders to my attention because I may have missed it.
I say timely because, unfortunately, in the age we now live in, there is far too much of this bad behaviour around. And there are individuals in high places, like the current U.S. president Donald Trump, who personify bullying and embolden others to behave the same way.
As a journalist who covered the last term of Niagara Regional Council under the helm of then-chair Al Caslin, I had a regular front-row seat to this kind of behaviour and, fortunately, most of those on that council who engaged in it were defeated in last October’s municipal elections, or they did us a favour and decided not to run again.
The good news is that the current Regional Council with Jim Bradley sitting in the Chair’s seat and individuals like Betty Disero (who is serving her first term as NOTL’s Lord Mayor and Regional Council member) sitting around the horseshoe, any and all signs of that ugly behaviour is virtually gone. And let’s hope it stays that way.
What a difference an election can make. The new Niagara Regional Council, sworn in last December, and chaired by Jim Bradley (with NOTL Lord Mayor Betty Disero as one of its members), seems a world away from the bad conduct so frequently witnessed on the Caslin council.
That is not to say that there aren’t still many bullies out there among us, in public office, in places of employment, out there on the school yard and, most certainly, on social media where many of us who cared to share our views on a topic have become targets of cyber bullies at one time or another. Continue reading