Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Guest Post: Ageism and Abuse

Posted by auroracitizen on September 19, 2009

“A senior in this town” left the following comment on the post Notice of Reconsideration. We thought it was worth repeating here for its own separate discussion.

This comment does not altogether pertain directly to the topic but I have had something on my mind for quite some time now and Tuesday’s council meeting was a blatant illustration of my concern.

What I observed on Tuesday night and have seen occur with increasing frequency is ageism and abuse. It is insidious and sometimes disguised more heavily than at other times but it IS abuse and ageism.

I have witnessed bullying, particularly by Mayor Morris and Councillor MacEachern. The ageism is displayed as sneering, smirking, condescension and patronizing toward Councillor Buck.

The Mayor and Councillor MacEachern use all methods; Councillors Gaertner, Wilson, Granger and Gallo primarily resort to the non-verbal methods but Wilson and Gaertner are not averse to chipping in with comments too.

I have studied and written papers about ageism in today’s society and it may be the precursor or may often go hand in hand with elder abuse. Ageism refers to discrimination against any age group. I think it is clear that I am specifically referring to the elder age group.

The behaviour on Tuesday night was particularly shameful. Society used to respect, revere and protect the elders of the community generations. It was very clear that six of the leaders of Aurora have thrown their hats in with the modern view and treatment of our elders. How they disgust me when they have the gall to talk about respect and integrity.

Use the envelope and pencil icons immediately below to forward this post to friends or leave a comment.

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56 Responses to “Guest Post: Ageism and Abuse”

  1. Heather said

    Someone above said the following:

    "Sisman gets a free pass because her family has the roots < snip > That concerns me personally.
    Why did no one save Sher St. Kitts and her husband from the vitriol lavished on them?"

    Apples and oranges. I haven't got a free pass to do anything different than you have, anonymous. We're both commenting here.

    I don't recall being 'lavished with vitriol' – or being saved from the same. My family does have lots of history in Aurora – that's true, and I have a keen interest in all things Aurora because of said history.

    Are you discriminating against me because I'm a transplanted Auroran? 🙂

  2. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    Heather,

    I have a 1926 panoramic shot of the Sisman Shoe factory picnic at Bond Laketaken by the Toronto panoramic company. It is an amazing artifact and I have no plans in promising it (or anything) to the Historical society.

    It belongs to the Banbury family and I am having my great aunt, who was 6 when this shot was taken) work to fill in some of the details.

    When I know more I will approach you with it, I'm sure it can be loaned out for a short period to be put on display somewhere in town
    so everyone can appreciate what Sisman shoes represented to Aurora.

    As for Anonymous September 22, 2009 7:48 AM,

    Please explain what abuse Sher (and her husband)need saving from.

    If anything the town needs to be saved from being covered in the tears of the town's crier.

    I don't have any St. Kitts artifacts, nor do I expect there will be any that stands the test of time. If they are I'm sure they will reside in the Snowball Historical Society.

  3. a senior in Aurora said

    As the guest poster of this topic all I can say is that abuse is not only rampant at council meetings but here on this blog too. Just listen to (or read) yourselves. Shame on you.

  4. Heather said

    Off topic (but Anonymous started it !)

    Speaking of which:

    "Advertisements for Sisman shoes carried the name of Aurora across this country"

    I'm always on the lookout for more Sisman swag if anyone has any – whether they're advertisements from old magazines, papers, etc. If you've got anything like that (which hasn't already been promised to the Aurora Historical Society!) please do let me know.

    Thanks!!

  5. Anonymous said

    Just remember many leave the community due to high taxes and Aurora is not a cheap place to live .
    I am not saying the Sisman family did that however many have left this town and some of great businees success .
    Just ask Mayor Morris why Mr.Vic Priestlay left town .
    That is one question I would like to know as he put alot support ,other than business into our community .

  6. Anonymous said

    I guess that the lesson is that the St. Kitts family was fair game because they don't have deep historical roots in Aurora.

    Sisman gets a free pass because her family has the roots.
    I know neither family, being one of the unwashed newbies to this small town,
    But
    the argument rendered here smacks of intolerance.

    That concerns me personally.
    Why did no one save Sher St. Kitts and her husband
    from the vitriol lavished on them?
    Abuse is abuse.

  7. Longtime Auroran said

    Anonymous said (along with other snide comments)…

    "Yikes Heather relax.
    Doesn't Newmarket, where you live, deserve your attention?

    Why not leave Aurora to sort out its problems without the intervention of Newmarket?

    You know what was said about Sher St. Kitts.
    I know you know, so why would it be different for you?

    Don't let the door hit you on your way out of Aurora politics ( a direct quote from this blog)."

    I do not know Heather Sisman. But I do know that someone bearing her surname does not need to defend an interest in – or affection for – Aurora.

    The Sisman family contributed greatly to this town for decades. Not the least by employing generations of Aurorans. Advertisements for Sisman shoes carried the name of Aurora across this country. A street in town bears the Sisman name.

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you're either not a longtime resident or merely ignorant of local history. An Auroran of long-standing wouldn't embarrass themself by disparaging a member of such a once-prominent Aurora family.

    The Sismans' Aurora bona fides can not be questioned so save your snarky remarks for someone else. Or better yet, please spare us your vitriol.

    p.s. My apologies to Heather if my comments make her uncomfortable.

  8. Heather's Fan Club Prez said

    Heather's family has a long history in this town, so I welcome her continued interest in the town her family served so well.
    But Heather can speak well enough for herself. I'm just a fan too.

  9. Heather said

    "Does it suggest that someone whose views Heather does not accept have no friends?"

    Nah, I just wondered who picked me for the target today. That's all. Evelyn is my friend. Nothing unusual there.

    And to whomever commented on the timing of my posted comments , I agree, the Mod must have been online at the same time as we were posting.

  10. Anonymous said

    Yikes Heather relax.
    Doesn't Newmarket, where you live, deserve your attention?

    Why not leave Aurora to sort out its problems without the intervention of Newmarket?

    You know what was said about Sher St. Kitts.
    I know you know, so why would it be different for you?

    Don't let the door hit you on your way out of Aurora politics ( a direct quote from this blog).

  11. Anonymous said

    Heather wrote, "Haven't you got any friends? "

    What does that mean?
    Does it suggest that someone whose views Heather does not accept have no friends?

    And what does that say about Heather's willingness to accept different views?

    Hmmmm?

  12. Anonymous said

    Who cares about Heather Sisman?
    She doesn't pay taxes in Aurora.
    Why she she have a say?

  13. A Fan of Heather said

    Hey, Anonymous 8:09.
    My post was written three minutes after Heather's because I happened to be on line when Heather's entry was posted, and it would seem the moderator was also moderating.
    Just good luck I guess!
    And good luck for you that the moderator posted yours so soon after mine, and so on and so on…
    I'm logging off now so have a nice evening.

  14. Anonymous said

    Sure makes sense: Evelyn Buck, Heather Sisman, this blog.
    People, connect the dots.
    Check out the whole blog.
    What do you notice about the involvement of Heather, Councilor Buck, this blog, and accusations of censorship.

  15. Anonymous said

    Hey A Fan Of Heather,
    Strange how 3 minutes after someone questions her participation on this blog there is a defence.

    Easy to see how some question the workings of this blog.

    But hey I say no need to question what is on this blog, its slant, what appears and what some silly folk claim is censored, I just marvel at the coincidence that a comment about Heather Sisman is defended # minutes after it was written… not posted mind you but WRITTEN.

    Wow!

  16. Council Cop said

    To Anonymous": September 20, 2009 12:27 PM

    "Nobody is right when everyone is wrong."

    I ask this respectfully: do you honestly feel that "all is well" at Aurora Council and that anyone that questions the highly questionable behaviour of elected officials are actually being abusive ?

    I personally think that the facts speak for themselves and if the facts do not paint a nice picture then those responsible must be held accountable. I appreciate that it does come down to perspective but we should be able to debate and agree to disagree based on our understanding of the facts as we see them; that's what democracy and free speech are all about.

    Council needs to be held to a higher standard or we are destined to be subjected to more of the same substandard and unprofessional behaviour. That's the way I see it.

  17. Anonymous said

    I didn't realize Heather's connection to Evelyn Buck.
    Now a lot more makes sense.

  18. Heather said

    "Wow I notice that Heather Sisman the Buck apologizer is back in full force."

    Haven't you got any friends? What do you figure I'm apologizing for? Whatever it was, you'd best read it again.

    Have a lovely evening. Shalom, Namaste, and "Semper ubi sub ubi."

  19. A Fan of Heather said

    Right on, Heather!
    It is just past 7:00 on Monday, and the Newmarket Town Council meeting is on Rogers 10.
    What a civil and orderly meeting it is. Why can't we have the same at our council meetings?

  20. Anonymous said

    Wow I notice that Heather Sisman the Buck apologizer is back in full force.

    Imagine her love and dedication, and to think she doesn't live in Aurora.

    What was it "they" did to Sher St. Kitts for the same out-of-town attribute?

    Just wonderin' the equity of rules/concepts being applied on this blog and all that.

  21. Heather said

    By the way, Anonymous, if it bugs you that someone chose a particular identity to use on this blog – thank your lucky stars that you don't have bigger issues to worry about.

    It makes me testy to read that someone chose an identity and then you try and bend it this way and that.

  22. Knowledgeable in Aurora said

    Right On, White Knight. Heather Sisman has been asking people to do exactly that since the blogging began.

  23. Anonymous said

    Oh oh White Knight is sounding testy:
    "It is actually nobody's business to know why I chose it or to make assumptions about me because of it."

    I don't think it encourages others to choose a handle.
    They may get agitated like White Knight.

    It seems pettiness too often reigns.

  24. Anonymous said

    White Knight loves to dish it but can't take.
    Perhaps WK should dish less and count to 10 more.

    We'd all benefit from a kinder tone around Aurora politics.
    And WK it could all start with you.
    A little more civility might be in the cards.

  25. White Knight said

    To Anonymous Sept 20 @ 7:05 pm
    I use the handle White Knight to post here. It is actually nobody's business to know why I chose it or to make assumptions about me because of it.
    At least I can be identified and responded to. There are potentially any number of "Anonymous" on here and I have no idea whether they are all one and the same, or different individuals. My suggestion is that you too choose a handle and then we are all sure to whom we respond.

  26. Anonymous said

    By the way White Knight ever anxious to be right and others wrong, do consider the symbol that white knight represents, in chess.
    "The knight (♘ ♞) is a piece in the game of chess, representing a knight (armoured cavalry)."
    No assumptions there, hmmmm.

  27. White Knight said

    To Sept 19th @ 5:02
    By the way Anonymous, my handle has nothing to do with being chivalrous but rather with being an avid chess fan.
    I guess your post was a prime example of making assumptions!

  28. Anonymous said

    "i don't see phyllis supporters complain that the banner is bias for phyllis, since Deb Kelly(editor) is a friend…"

    well???

    howcome phillis supporters don't respond to that….???

    oh yeah i forgot …if it's in your favour then all is well…

    what a joke…

    you make such a big deal about this blog and its bias to deflect from the real issues…cause you want people to forget what they are..

    so you know what spin all you want…just know that this time the citizen's of this town have seen the light and won't forget what this joke of a mayor has done…

    have a good day 🙂

  29. Council Cop said

    To Anonymous": September 20, 2009 12:27 PM

    "Nobody is right when everyone is wrong."

    I ask this respectfully… do you feel that all is well at Aurora Council and anyone that questions the behaviour of elected officials are actually being abuse ?

    I personally think that the facts speak for themselves and if the facts do not paint a nice picture then those responsible must be held accountable. It does come down to perspective but we should be able to debate and agree to disagree based on our understanding of the facts; that is what democracy and free speech are all about.

    Council needs to be held to a higher standard or we are destined to get more of the same substandard and unprofessional behaviour.

  30. Anonymous said

    September 19. 9.02am

    Could the person referring to "that episode" which "enraged the taxpayers" sufficiently to cause Evelyn Buck's defeat be persuaded to share details?

    Did the story end with the election or were there further chapters?

  31. Anonymous said

    So…First… Ageism

    Then … a person's health is booted about

    Now an invitation is abroad to a Mayor's Prayer Breakfast with specific reference to a particular religion.

    Does anybody else see a pattern.

  32. Anonymous said

    Abuse is abuse… here on this blog, on Councillor Buck's blog, during Council meetings.

    Abusive comments have been embraced, modeled and published here, challenged only when they are hurled at "the wrong people", a very subjective position that serves to polarize and divide.

    Let's examine all comments and work to at least reduce the degree to which abusive positions are rationalized and championed.

    Nobody is right when everyone is wrong.

  33. Heather said

    "Perhaps you will be convinced when you are an elder and it happens to you."

    I know it's real. Most of my family is now ranked among the seniors. Maybe society is too quck to create an ism in some cases however.

  34. Heather said

    That meaning of "discriminating" is different from the discriminating in a negative way between individuals/societies/cultures etc

    Agreed, but it ultimately means the same thing. Doesn't discriminating mean more along the lines of "has an opinion" ? I can discriminate against a culture, language etc , but it's not always negative. "Dutch people tend to be excellent gardeners. So do the British." Its a generalization but not a bad one.

    Along the same lines of "respect your elders" – that's ageism, sure, but not negative. If you treat someone differently because they're older, it's ageism. If you treat them like they're dumb, that's discrimination.

    At least that's how I feel about it.

  35. Evelyn Buck said

    Rules of order require a speaker to address the chair and observe principles of civility and respect. It's a habit I acquired over the years.

    So I don't see the sneers and jeers and smirks on the faces of the "inner circle of power"

    The Mayor's heavily scorn-laden tone does not escape me.Nor does her famous baleful glare.It's a style reminiscent of silent movies and equally unsubtle.

    Since the behaviour is public viewers can form their own conclusions.

    Obviously they do.

    To respond in kind or acknowledge it would be to reduce public debate to that level.

    So…I don't.

    Not that I couldn't. Not that I have the Patience of Job. Nor that I am at all times above using a choice epithet or two.

    But we are seated at the Council Table of the Town of Aurora.
    We are representatives before the world of the people of Aurora.

    Aurora deserves better.

  36. Anonymous said

    I do my best to raise awareness to issues and volunteer as well as tell the truth .
    The only grief I seem to be getting is from those who support the Mayor .
    I will be campaigning for "Three and free ".
    At least that is what I have chosen to call them .
    They are free and able to make up their own minds and should be proud of it .

  37. Anonymous said

    To Heather
    A "discriminating wine connoisseur" would be an individual with the expertise to judge the differences, quality etc of wines.
    That meaning of "discriminating" is different from the discriminating in a negative way between individuals/societies/cultures etc based on specific characteristics, e.g. colour, faith, race, age etc.

  38. Anonymous said

    Firstly, I gag when I hear anyone refer to these people as 6 of Aurora's leaders. Leaders are ones who show respect, rise above conflict and get the job done, often surrounded by an incredible team of supporters. We have MANY true leaders in our community. Look at the good work done by service clubs, not-for-profits, charities and volunteers who make life happen in this town. They are the ones who are the true leaders. It's because of their respect for one another, their desire to help and get the job done that people quietly surround and support these leaders. Please let's never hear this group of 6 self-indulging, self promoting and disrespectful people referred to as Leaders.

  39. a senior in this town said

    If nothing more, I am grateful if my post has even remotely raised awareness of the issue and sparked discussion.
    I am sure that if the mayor were to respind, she would refute with citing the "snow removal for seniors" program etc. etc.
    However, do not be fooled because these do not excuse or negate the kind of behavior she and her cohorts engage in at council meetings.
    When any kind of abuse is suspected, observed, disclosed by the abused etc, there is a duty to report. I suggest that the mayor et al beware and cease & desist (how ironic is that) from this behaviour.

  40. Anonymous said

    To Anne
    I agree with you. I am tired of being spoken to by the mayor, Maceachern and others as though I am a naughty kindergartener without a brain in my head… but then I suppose she is used to contending with Granger's level of literacy.

  41. Bill Hogg said

    I had a funny experience recently while in San Francisco. An elderly lady was exiting the trolley (which has a pretty high step and runs down the centre of the road). When I went to help her down — she smiled at me and said, "I maybe old but I'm not an invalid". She was 92 years old and fiercely independent.

    I think we often jump to stereotypes — even when they may be well intentioned. She was right, I assumed that because she was old she needed help. She declined nicely.

    Although I still felt it was appropriate to offer, I was reminded that I shouldn’t just assume.

  42. a senior in this town said

    To Heather
    Exactly! It is not ageism if the treatment is respectful. Make no mistake, ageism, particularly against elders and elder abuse are rampant in our society today and much of it is quasi disguised – a tone, a look, disdain, and most commonly, patronizing with the implication that the individual is too old (and therefore stupid or confused) to understand.
    Perhaps you will be convinced when you are an elder and it happens to you.

  43. White Knight said

    To Anonymous Sept 19 @ 5:02 pm
    No,I do not engage in ageism or abuse. If what transpires at council meetings in terms does not bother you then that is your prerogative.
    However, at least councillor Buck is open and up front with her comments vs the sneering, snickering, condescending and patronizing by the mayor et al that the poster alluded to. Such behaviour is demeaning and disrespectful. I think the point here is that Councillor Buck is strung up with accusations of disrespect and lack of decorum but in my opinion they are gulity of a far worse crime because of the nature in which they go about it indirectly.
    May I suggest that you use and identity handle in future so that I don't have to wonder which "Anonymous" I am responding to.

  44. Anne said

    Not only are Morris and her five followers condescending towards Councillor Buck, but to the audience overall. How stupid do they think we are? I haven't watched a council meeting in a long time but watched the Sept 15 meeting. Time and time again throughout the entire meeting I was appalled at the conduct of the Mayor and her five followers. Do these five not have an independant thought in their head, or are they all programmed to vote alike, no matter what the issue is on the table? I have no confidence that any motion brought forward by any of the only three concillors with integrity will ever be passed. Again, how stupid do they think we are? There is transparency alright, it exists right now in the conduct of the Mayor and her gang of five. In the next election, if we are lucky enough to have these councillors run again, I will vote for Collins-Mrakas, McRoberts and Buck, and will repeat only these names to anyone who will listen.

  45. Heather said

    There's an 'ism' for everything now days, so it seems.

    You've defined ageism as referring to "discrimination against any age group."

    Is ageism only and always a negative thing? Discrimination doesn't always have to have a negative connotation – a discriminating wine connaisseur, for example.

    Is it wrong to treat people differently because of their age if it's not done negatively? You might hold the door open at the store for an elderly man whereas you might not wait and hold a door open for a younger man.

  46. Anonymous said

    There is abuse coming from all sides and no one in the chambers is innocent .
    We the citizens of Aurora cannot benefit from any of this and everyone loses and there is no fix it as the issue has gone too far .
    If you state a side or disagree you are called a bully .
    Free speech is challenged by definition and the community is suffering .
    Sometimes if we dont speak up that is an injustice and if we do its a crime .
    No one wins a battle of this kind and our children inherit the whole mess down the road .
    Sad but true ,yet nobody wants to end this horrible mess .
    Ego will punish every citizen because peace to so many is NOT an option .
    Let it go ……….but then all egos wont let it happen .

  47. Anonymous said

    Dear White Knight, predisposed as you were to dismissing me so quickly, and with less than a chivalrous tone, please allow me to explain my thinking.

    Forty years ago many taxpayers considered Evelyn Buck to be an aggressive aggravation, politically.
    It was not attributed to her age then, as it is not now, from my experience.

    Perhaps you could explain your comment to me:
    "Is your name Granger by any chance? DUH!!"

    I look forward to a reply befitting your chosen name White Knight.

    Considering your response to my comment, and the thread on which you posted, I would appreciate your definition of the term abuse.
    As I am a senior, should I take the position that you have indulged in an act of ageism and abuse?

  48. PArkview 7 said

    "I believe the mayor and her GOS are bullies to anyone who has a different point of view, regardless of age."

    I agree – they are "equal opportunity" bullies! (Just ask Grace Marsh and Allison Collins-Mrakas, as well as former staff, male and female)

  49. Anonymous said

    What did the Mayor do???

    lots of hot slick air coming out of that mouth…

    why is everyone focused on this blog and who runs it??
    Who Cares……Make your own if you don't like it…..all media is biased one way or the other…

    i don't see phyllis supporters complain that the banner is bias for phyllis, since Deb Kelly(editor) is a friend…

    isn't it more important to find out how our taxes are beig spent by this joke of a mayor???

  50. White Knight said

    To Anonymous Sept 19 @ 9:02 am
    You should read again. Agesim is discrimination against any SPECIFIC AGE GROUP. That Councillor Buck "has attacked taxpayers" is NOT ageism; they come in all age groups.
    Is your name Granger by any chance? DUH!!

  51. Anonymous said

    Please explain how the comment by Evelyn Buck pertains to the Post for Comment?

    For me it's a disconnect but then I'm a lowly senior, and I mean that literally.

    The changes going on in the bigger world are monumental.

    I think Evelyn Buck has settled on low and cheap.
    I'm disappointed in her.

    What has she done for women, for the poor, for seniors, for me a poor woman senior who has no voice in Aurora?
    I voted for Evelyn but what did she do for me?
    Nothing but trouble.

  52. Anonymous said

    NICHOLAS KEUNG
    IMMIGRATION REPORTER
    The Federal Court was scrambling yesterday to adjourn and reassign cases scheduled to be heard by a 77-year-old deputy judge after a Toronto lawyer challenged his age.

    By law, federal judges cannot serve on the bench past 75, an argument raised by constitutional lawyer Rocco Galati this week involving two separate immigration cases presided over by Deputy Judge Louis Tannenbaum.

    The two cases were adjourned on Tuesday, immediately prompting a flurry of emails and calls in legal circles and casting doubt on the validity of numerous other federal court decisions made by other sitting judges over 75. At least 11 of Tannenbaum's cases have been adjourned and rescheduled this week.

    Currently, six of the seven federal deputy judges – all retired judges on pension but appointed and paid per diem for their wealth of experience – are older than 75. Both the Federal Courts Act and the Judges Act disallow a superior justice to sit past age 75.

    Ontario scrapped mandatory retirement in 2006, but provincial court judges still must retire by age 75.

  53. Evelyn Buck said

    Citizen Blog is a link from my site.

    I keep tabs on comments.

    If there's a question I can answer I do. That's not sinister.

    The common objective is keeping people informed and providing an opportunity for input.

    Everything that happens at the council table is the public's business.
    It is totally unrealistic to expect remarks made on behalf of the public, will not become part of the public discourse.

    It's a new era. We should get with it.

  54. Anonymous said

    Check out your threads for the past week.

    You are being asked about censorship, an agenda set by a secret moderator, and this is the best you can come up with to deflect the questions raised about you?

    You set yourself up as a stickler for following rules consistently.
    You say you don't publish off-topic comments, then do so; in fact you choose to highlight one as a thread.

    Now it's ageism afflicting Evelyn Buck.
    Anyone living in Aurora for as long as Evelyn Buck has been around can tell you that she has always been "outrageously right" and has attacked those who disagree with her.
    When she was mayor she enraged taxpayers. Their anger was palpable.
    She was not reelected when she ran after that episode.

    She has made many enemies over the years and it has nothing to do with age.
    She has been taking shots at the present mayor and council on her blog, relentlessly.
    She constantly publicizes that she has no respect for them.
    I'm not surprised that people who are human beings respond as they do.

    I always swat at a mosquito buzzing around my head.
    I don't consider its age.

  55. Anonymous said

    I believe the mayor and her GOS are bullies to anyone who has a different point of view, regardless of age. I believe if anyone else were standing in Councillor Bucks shoes, they would also be dragged through the mud. I believe this group discriminates against "not agreeing".
    This group needs to take a course on how to act professional. Watch any council meeting and you will see for yourself. Shame on the mayor for allowing such an immature group to carry on the way they do. Shame on the mayor for being such a poor example for them to follow.

  56. Knowledgeable in Aurora said

    I agree with your comments. I also think it was evident right from the start, when the day after the election Gallo called Evelyn and asked her to step down and hive her seat to him. This is fact. Evelyn has publicly admitted it. Gallo was part of the Morris slate and obviously encouraged to do this by the then GO5 and I'm sure age was part of the "reasoning" cited.

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