Bullies Abound

It’s been an interesting week on Twitter and elsewhere online this past week (and it’s not even Friday yet!).

When David Suzuki declined to appear at a public policy debate if Sun Media news reporters and cameramen were in attendance, Jessica Hume and her cameraman were asked to leave the premises. When Jessica Hume insisted on staying (in her own words: “[quote] After much debate and my reiterating I would be staying to ask a question ... [end quote]” ) and refused to leave, she was escorted off the premises.

Dr. Suzuki has good reason to refuse to take questions from Sun Media reporters. In a statement made by David Suzuki Foundation Communications Director Jim Boothroyd in April 2012, he stated that David Suzuki was resigning from the David Suzuki Foundation because he was being subjected to “increasingly vicious attacks from our opponents in the media” … specifically naming Postmedia and Sun Media as repeat offenders.

One of the many things that David Suzuki has done in the past (and continues to do) is encourage his readers to act on matters he feels are of importance. He puts out calls to action, asking his readers to make their voices heard. Yes, he even encourages them to contact Members of the Senate and Members of Parliament to speak out against decisions they feel are potentially harmful to those living in Canada.

Jessica Hume’s final parting shot against David Suzuki in her blog article published by Sun Media on Pink Shirt Day was: “David Suzuki encourages curiosity, critical thinking, questioning the world around you. Just don’t question him.”

Verdict on David Suzuki

David Suzuki is accused of being a bully (something his detractors have alleged in the past).

Also in the news this week is Ian Campeau aka Dee Jay NDN and his opinion about Ottawa’s new professional basketball team garnered him some extra attention from his detractors as well. It’s not that he is the only one who feels the team name is inappropriate but rather that he’s been an obvious target to go after ever since he made his opinion public on Twitter.

This isn’t Dee Jay NDN’s first time at the rodeo, so to speak. He’s been known to issue calls to action among his social media asking his tweeple to make their voices heard. Yes, he even encourages them to boycott businesses and to contact sports team owners to speak out against decisions they feel are inappropriate and could prove harmful to those in his community.

It didn’t seem to matter to Dee Jay NDN’s detractors that Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson had warned Bytown Sports and Entertainment president Gus Takkale that the name was controversial.

It didn’t seem to matter to Dee Jay NDN’s detractors that Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson had advised Bytown Sports and Entertainment president Gus Takkale to consult with the First Nations community before going forward with TomaHawks.

It didn’t seem to matter to Dee Jay NDN’s detractors that Gus Takkale decided to rename the team, and that Dee Jay NDN stated publicly that he applauded that decision.

The fact is that the CBC poll on the matter claims that 60% of their readership don’t agree with changing the new team’s name. And based on the comments in the Comments Section on the CBC website as well as comments being made on Twitter, all this brouhaha is supposedly Dee Jay NDN’s fault.

And on Pink Shirt Day, Dee Jay NDN was subjected to bullying online on Twitter, the CBC website, the CTV website and more for daring to take a stand and speak out.

Verdict on Ian Campeau

Dee Jay NDN is accused of being a bully (something his detractors have alleged in the past).

Earlier this week, an article was posted to this blog about Category 17 for the upcoming Peter Tweeter awards. Unlike other categories that were “Best” this or “Best” that, this was “Barfiest Couple.”

Now, in this town (as in other towns), some people “jokingly” use words like “retarded” in their every day conversations. Some organizations have no problem when their CEO uses the word publicly while wearing a t-shirt that clearly identifies where he or she is the CEO. It doesn’t make using the word any more acceptable. It only makes the people using that term appear ignorant.

The word “barfiest” in the context in which it was used, and coupled with the write-in open concept of said category, created a window of opportunity (more like a double car garage door opportunity) for bullies. And just like the way some people misuse the word “retarded” the word “barfiest” rarely has positive connotations. To those who aren’t “in the know” when it comes to Peterborough’s “in” jokes, use of the word in the context of an awards show makes the people using that term appear ignorant.

I wrote an article on Monday that included a call to action, asking my readers to make their voices heard on the matter.

The Peter Tweeter Award committee chose to rename the category, Peter Pair.

The change was acknowledged on this blog on Monday when the change was announced, and the change was acknowledged in subsequent tweets (Twitter) and status updates (Facebook).

And on Pink Shirt Day, I was subjected to bullying online on Twitter and Facebook for the third day in a row, all because I dared to take a stand and speak out.  Why even the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber being one of the event sponsors) President and CEO, Stuart Harrison (and Peter Tweeter nominee @stoosnews) came out swinging in his own special way … on Pink Shirt Day.

Stuart Harrison_flame comment_image

Humorously, the tweets and retweets claiming that I was a terrorist because the committee chose to change the category name was a whole lot of over-reacting on the part of the offended parties.

Verdict On This Matter

Peter Tweeter nominees and supporters are falsely alleging that I am a bully.

Upswing To This Week’s Events In Peterborough

My detractors (the small group that they have shown themselves to be), however, appear to have a lot of trouble with anyone who dares to exercise their legal rights if the opinions held are different from their own.

Being falsely accused of being a bully isn’t so bad when the same allegations are also being leveled against Ian Campeau aka Dee Jay NDN, and David Suzuki for taking a stand and voicing their opinions. It would seem I’m in very good company, and I have no problem with that.

Elyse Bruce

Related articles can be found via this LINK or by clicking on the Article Series TAB and scrolling down to Peter Tweeter News.

UPDATE on 1 March 2013Peter Tweeter Bullies (PDF)


4 Responses to “Bullies Abound”

  1. Totally agree Says:

    I completely agree with you. This whole “Peter Tweeter” thing is ridiculous, not to mention a little pretentious. This group of “professionals” are acting like children, and it is really ridiculous to watch play out. “Movers and shakers of Peterborough”? How humble. I have to say, I am really disappointed in some of these people, some of whom I know personally. It seems a little childish to rally around and make a big scene over the fact that someone disagrees with you. Grow up, people. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I am just in shock over this whole thing, and it is ABSOLUTELY cyber-bullying. Elyse, I don’t know you personally, but I am sorry for the way these adults have behaved. Not a great example for kids, and certainly not a representation of Peterborough!

  2. frogsinatree Says:

    As a former Peterborough resident now living abroad, one of the many distasteful things about Peterborough is the ignorance of the local people and their blatant discrimination of anyone who is different. Whether it was the summer my International friends were sprayed with Bear Spray because they are African, or the continuous use of the words “retarded” or “gay” as ways to describe negative experiences, or, in this case, as someone has called attention to the potential for bullying to take place (awareness is what the Expose – https://elysebruce.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/peter-tweeters-expose/ – is about, not finger-pointing or name calling or anything more… simply awareness of what is right and what is, well, not wrong but certainly questionable), and Elyse, herself ends up being the victim of bullying. How shameful and unfortunate. Peterborough is a place I continue to visit every time I am in Ontario, and is a place that holds many fond and wonderful memories for me. Certainly a cherished place, however, it is not without its faults. And, it is time the residents of Peterborough started to do better. Awareness, compassion, understanding of differences. Come on, #petertweeters. You can do better. You have to do better.

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