Port Moody is in the midst of a political crisis. But it doesn't have to be this way.
The last two years has seen political discourse in our city take a turn for the worse. Dialogue on issues by both members of the public and city council has become so polarized - so toxic - it feels like there is no longer room for genuine debate or progress.
Take a quick scroll through some local Facebook groups or watch a council meeting and you will know what I mean.
Why does online discussion on local issues have to descend into disrespect and intimidation? Why are character assassinations being used freely to distract from actual issues? Why has city politics become so divisive?
When I see important ideas to be discussed around the council table dismissed with insults or accusations, I feel discouraged and I know others do too. Our community deserves better. Being passionate about an issue does not give you a free pass to treat others badly.
Fortunately, the diversionary tactics many of us are witnessing only seem to be coming from a few loud people.
I know the majority of us care deeply about our community and are respectful. This does not mean that we will always - or ever - agree. It means that how we speak to each other about these disagreements matters. And we need to be speaking to each other now more than ever.
Port Moody is at a critical juncture when it comes to decision-making around park space, traffic, growth and development.
I'd like to see our city doing everything possible to reach out to each and every resident - to encourage participation and engagement. We can discuss any issue our city is facing as individuals and as a community, whether online or in-person, in a civilized and respectful way.
We live in one of the most amazing communities in BC. Let's talk about our future.
And if some people are actually intending to silence discussion - it will not work. The people of Port Moody will always come together.