Having the courage of your convictions.

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

March 31st, 2018



Maintaining the commentary section of an online newspaper takes up a lot of time.

We become liable for anything that is defamatory. There are a number of people that we have, from time to time, had to caution. There are three that have been invited to find some other place to make their comments.
We test each email address that is used by the person commenting. From time to time we get this kind of message:

This is the mail system at host homiemail-a31.g.dreamhost.com.

I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.

If you are a current customer of DreamHost, please contact our technical support team here  https://panel.dreamhost.com/support

If you are not a customer please use our contact form at.

If you do so, please include this email in your support ticket. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message.

DreamHost Email Support
<Pdersum@hotmail.com>: host hotmail-com.olc.protection.outlook.com[] said: 550 5.5.0 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable. (in reply to RCPT TO command)

The email address was phony.

Here is what someone out there wanted to have published:

Always dumbfounded by such ridiculous commentary. Yes I mean from you William, Phillip and Penny. Your commentary is shameful. City staff and senior citizen volunteers receive an award for improving our community and the comments posted are so negative and hurtful. What have any of you done to make our city any better? Let’s celebrate our collective accomplishments and not be so quick to critisize hard working folks, especially senior volunteers! Great job City Staff and the Seniors Volunteer committee.


You actually wrote that?

We are dumbfounded – how stupid can you get. In saying what you had to say Patrick you did what you claimed others were doing; diminishing the really solid city staff – and there are many solid people working for the city. You reflect rather poorly on the people of the city. Shame on you.

We put our name on most of what we write. It would be nice to see you have the courage of your convictions.

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7 comments to Having the courage of your convictions.

  • FJ

    Penny, I know first hand your community involvement in helping seniors in Burlington and now Halton. You are to be commended for your enthusiasm and caring volunteer work Unfortunately You and others like you will not be recognized by self serving organizations.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Penny, I agree with Stephen — great reply and a hearty thank you for all you do in our community, especially with our Seniors. And I appreciate the straightforward and civil tone of your reply to what was clearly undeserved, non-researched defamatory criticism.

  • Lynn Crosby

    First we had the article where one of the readers who was banned from commenting on the Gazette now comments with a different name or through a different person. Now we have this. I am finding you can’t trust what you read as you never really know who has written it. I often sit in the gallery at City Hall meetings or read things here and elsewhere where I wonder to myself if the words I am hearing and reading came from someone else.

  • Penny

    Patrick, I would like to address your comment about what have I done for the Senior population in Burlington. For the last 15 years I have devoted myself to helping those seniors that many have forgotten, the isolated and homebound.

    I volunteered at the Burlington Seniors Centre for over 15 years. I have sat on the Board of Directors, Managed the kitchen and kitchen volunteers at the Centre for over 5 years. I helped plan and execute special events and day trips at the Centre and with board money helped design and equip the kitchen at the Burlington Seniors Centre so that it can rival any top restaurant. Our board was also responsible for THE SOUP PROJECT, which along with our chef provided home-made soup at very inexpensive prices for the members of the Centre.

    When the board of the Seniors Centre was dissolved we became The Burlington Seniors’ Community, under this banner and with a committed group that includes myself, Paulene Jodry, Gail Cooke and Christene Daub, started up a program called SENIOR CENTRE WITHOUT WALLS. Twice a week we provide free of charge ( thanks to the Burlington Seniors Community) a teleconference call that connects all Seniors in Halton to programs and useful information for Ageing Well at Home. If you would like to check it out – on Tuesday at 10am or Thursday at 2pm, dial in at 905-963-1096 or 1-866-279-1594. The code # is 730596. This program is supported by Acclaim Health, Carpenter Hospice and Age Friendly Initiative to name a few.

    I also volunteer at CIRCLE OF FRIENDS – A program for seniors who find it difficult to leave their homes. For a 15 week period I cook lunch along with Bill and Shirley Lucken for over 30 people.

    I volunteer once a week at the Food Bank at St. Christopher’s Church, and I have learned a lot from the people I have met through this service.

    Along with the above I am one of the principal founders along with Jim Young, Lisa Kearns, Deby Morrison,Mary-Lou Fenbow and Dania Thurman of ECoB ( Engaged Citizens of Burlington).

    Oh did I mention that I sat on the Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee for over 3 years around 10 years ago
    and moved away from that committee as I felt I could make a bigger difference in the lives of the seniors doing other things.

    Most people have no idea just what some people do in their community. I want to thank you for the opportunity to do this. Personally, I want no award for doing this. Most people who volunteer don’t need to have this recognition. We do it because we hope we can make a difference in the lives of those who need it.

    So you will have to forgive me when I think it is inappropriate for a city based committee, Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee, nominate the City for an award that received government funding and used paid staff with very little volunteer involvement.

    • Stephen White

      Great response Penny! And thank you too for your service to the community. People like you who give unselfishly of their time, talents and energies are what makes our City great!

  • Ray Rivers

    An article in a medium like the Gazette is only improved by the comments it elicits, whether one agrees or not. And if we all agree where is the debate and what have we learned?

  • Stephen White

    The whole point of an online publication is to encourage and promote the open and free exchange of diverse opinions and perspectives. If is unfortunate that some contributors don’t understand that a free, respectful and open exchange of ideas and information is healthy and promotes and sustain our democratic institutions. It is also unfortunate that any critique of the current administration at City Hall is interpreted as a personal affront on the character and integrity of civic officials. It’s bad enough we have people in positions of authority threatening defamation suits to suppress divergent opinions and perspectives, but now we have commentators with bogus e-mails who rush to their defence but who lack the personal courage to stand behind their opinions.

    I think it was Voltaire who once wrote: “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

    BTW…I thought William, Phillip and Penny were spot on in their previous observations and analysis. Frankly, there are far too many of these meaningless awards being doled out…and it doesn’t just apply to municipal government. Ditto real estate awards, and designer awards, and best employers, etc.