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There is a fifth, often untold, side to the story

By John Hardy, John's World
Columns
Mar 01, 2011

The Sachem

Last Monday was the fifth anniversary of good news/bad news for and about Caledonia.

The good news? Life in Caledonia is calm, mostly back to normal, good and despite the nasty winter weather, it’s enjoyable.

The bad news? There’s a lingering, negative PR-image problem outside Caledonia, mostly because outside media gropes to regurgitate old news and also because politicians, especially provincial and federal politicians, stubbornly refuse to do their job and do something about the most dragged out community and political standoff in Canadian history.

That is why some Caledonians are into the sixth frustrating year of doing whatever it takes to make sure Caledonia life goes on, working around the uniquely Caledonia frustration that there are five sides to the story.

The Six Nations side. Ottawa’s side. Ontario’s side. The truth. And outside perception and PR.

Of course, only Six Nations and politicians can deal with the 200+ year old land issue.

CHCH and The Spectator?

They blatantly ignore Caledonia unless it is time to dredge out the five year old picture to give outsiders a five year reminder about one nasty, five year old Caledonia-trouble incident.

The TV cameras and reporter recorders rarely, if ever, get pointed at Queen’s Park or Parliament Hill, where the legit media questions belong.

It seems the cameras weren’t pointing and the reporters weren’t reporting the exciting rodeo during Caledonia Stampede Days, or the summer fun of families coming from far away to enjoy the Caledonia good times on the shores of The Grand River. Or the humongous Caledonia town-wide garage sale in June. Or the Saturday night Jarvis Cornfest concert.

There’s so much Caledonia that CHCH and The Spectator choose to ignore, while stirring-up the negative Caledonia image with old news.   

By default, only time and, unfortunately, only local families, consumers, taxpayers and business people must deal with the most challenging issue: Caledonia’s image and awful PR in places like Hamilton, Burlington and beyond.

Outside, it’s not so much a “land issue” as much negative Caledonia perception issue.

The Sachem is the only local media that tells the true Caledonia stories: the new news like Grand River flooding, Council issues, about local people, community groups, special events and celebrating local award winners.

Local property values have stabilized and are on the way up. Gung-ho Caledonia boosters like Ken Parr and the dynamic Caledonia Marketing Collective and Suzanne Athanasiou, the president of the Caledonia Chamber of Commerce, are revved about doing first things first.
Pumping Caledonia’s image from within! Beating the drums for Caledonia residents to stay home!

Stay home and enjoy the year-round good times. Stay home to shop for meat, potatoes, cars, light bulbs, wings and a pitcher of suds, lawn mowers, banking, manicures and hot stone massages, Sunday brunches, mufflers, McHappy meals, dentist visits, brake jobs, lube and oils, yoga and aerobic classes and insurance.

Unfortunately, as an understandable but unfortunate consequence, neighboring communities like Cayuga, Jarvis and Hagersville get tainted by association.

Caledonia’s undeserved negative PR also impacts them. For people outside, it’s all the same, isn’t it? What a shame.