During the 2018 municipal election season I believed a candidate for town council who claimed to be protecting privacy by withholding encryption keys from the town. That was a mistake; not my first or last, but one of the ’less helpful’ ones, especially while recovering from a mental health crisis I experienced in 2016-2017.

This particular mistake comes to mind because of said politician (Bill Gordon)’s extremely vocal campaign which includes constantly loudly proclaiming he has been ’exonerated’ by some legal process or other (if this seems like a familiar tactic of those who are toxic and getting away with it, it is because our government and legal processes are really designed around an assumption of ‘reasonable person’, a category to which this type of politician does not belong).

I have observed privately that I hate to think what kind of conspiracy theory he has come up with about me. I suspect he has because of the fact that I initially believed him1, but came to realize he is toxic and now speak against his nonsense.

I wonder if Councillor Gordon (who is now running for mayor of Midland) will acknowledge and loudly proclaim the town and senior staff as ’exonerated’ of misdeeds with respect to the encryption key feud, when he learns the police have not pursued charges against the town.

I somehow doubt it. A big part of his ‘shtick’ running for councillor and now as mayor is playing up the idea of politicians (except he and his supporters, of course) and bureaucrats as being corrupt or at the very least not caring about the ‘average Midlander’.

He also seems to be keen to sell this idea that he is being persecuted by malicious people for being on the side of right and good, including, of course any senior official (elected or hired) who does not agree with him, and has issues with Mr. Gordon’s ‘approach’. I personally found him abrasive even when I agreed with him and when I figured out that he had been selling a ‘bill of goods’ (no pun intended) I, like many others, found him toxic and so close to the line that I often believed he had crossed into illegal actions.

The integrity commissioner did not agree, although not as a matter of what he was doing being ‘right and good’ but on the basis if it not falling (quite) into being legally proscribed behaviour.

I regret that I was drawn into paying attention to town politics by Mr. Gordon’s vocal proclamations of defending the privacy of residents of the town, and of standing up for our rights, because it means I spent far too much time listening to him (he grandstands every council session, dragging them out interminably with his constant speechifying of his opinions), not mention spending far too much time reading and thinking about bureaucratic municipal drudgery.

This is true even though I have interests outside tech (really!), despite some considering me a ’tech guru’, and my certainly having a great deal of skills in computing and technology. It probably does not help that my parents paid attention to politics (my mom still does) and always had opinions about it, so I grew up paying more attention to politics than many in Canada.

I really don’t like the current era of politics, which I think is headed for a new ‘dark age’. I’m more the kind of person that would like to part of the ’new Enlightenment’ that I hope follows, sooner rather than later. (Better yet, let’s skip the slide into populism, decay, and despair).

I’m more interested in working for the betterment of myself and others than this constant illusory battle against shadowy forces of evil.

Despite the fact I have not quite “turned the corner” on my physical and mental health challenges, as I had hoped in a recent post, I am hopeful that is still possible, and that things will get better (for me).

I have also decided I’m not going to wait for total recovery to take advantage of a ‘vocational rehabilitation’ program that is available to me, but instead, provided I get the clear from my medical professionals (including psychiatrist), I will get enrolled in the program and work to getting back to my career.

While I may have to work remotely (something I have been avoiding, because I fear being too isolated, especially since I tend to be reclusive by nature) to be able to find something that fits my current skills and circumstances, I have regained my confidence in my ability to get work done (I’ve been doing a lot of my own tech work lately and it’s been going well). It’s enough that with supports, I think I can once again get into my career.

For politicians and ourselves personally it is not time to start assuming the worst of everyone who disagrees, or despair of the situation in the world, it is time to pull together and work together to improve ourselves, our town, our province, our country, and our world.

Let’s get this done.


Credit for illustration of “Two red X’s over a white circle on a black background, indicating an mistake (error)” to Daniel F. Dickinson


  1. In fact when he first told me his version of reasons for withholding the encryption, he made it sound so criminal and so nefarious that I called the police, not to investigate him (Bill Gordon), but those at town hall who he was lambasting—of course nothing came of that because now Councillor Gordon was full of ‘it’, and the police don’t like to get pulled into a political battle (they are after all making an effort to be non-partisan as is their mandate). ↩︎