LETTER: Statement about Fortin included incorrect information

Comments made publicly had suggested a double standard

Dear Editor:

I became involved in a bylaw opposition regarding the opening of a non-medical cannabis retail establishment in downtown Summerland.

Most of the downtown merchant and School District 67 showed real concern about the location of the retail store within close proximity to schools, parks and youth sensitive areas.

I attended the May 13 council meeting at which all councillors and mayor voted in favour stating there is no danger or any issues having non-medical cannabis retail stores in downtown Summerland and I must respect their decision and move forward.

I would like to thank Mr. Dave Stathers, school trustee for speaking May 13 council meeting, an act of dedication for our local youth.

From this experience, what did I learn?

Well, simply asking a question or raising a concern, such as, is it appropriate to have these establishments so close to parks and schools, I suddenly became the villain with many individuals that I thought I knew well, just because, I dared to ask.

I invite you to check the district of Summerland website to see letters of support in downtown Summerland and one in particular written by Mr. Anthony Leardo, a city employee at the District of Summerland, in which I was describe to be an hypocrite and having double standard because I was apparently the owner or having part interest in the new brewery on Victoria Road in Summerland.

READ ALSO: Petition urges limits on retail cannabis stores in Summerland

READ ALSO: Proposed Summerland cannabis location meets existing regulations

I want to tell everyone that this information is untrue, and I do not have personal or financial interest in the brewery whatsoever.

Unfortunately for me, Mr. Leardo’s letter was published on the website of the District of Summerland and subsequently pick up by many news media across the province and published with inaccurate and false information based on Mr. Leardo’s statement. It has been proven to be even more difficult to have the media correct or amend this inaccurate information and today will remain forever on the internet.

I have met with Mr. Mattiussi, the acting CAO of the District of Summerland on May 15 requesting that the letter of Mr. Leardo be removed from the District of Summerland website and to have council strike the remark from Mr. Sergio Pawar the owner BC limited 1135648 stating that I was the owner the brewery.

In today’s world, is it so easy to destroy a man’s integrity and reputation for simply asking one question?

On the other hand, I am truly thankful for the support I have received and the kindness of the people that truly know who I am.

Roch Fortin

Summerland

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