Confusing the issue 0
IN THE WEEK since it was posted on the obituary board in Haliburton's post office, an anonymously written letter has caused quite a stir.
The fictional narrative, written like a newspaper report, said that two council members had died in a car accident outside of Haliburton's Tim Hortons.
It goes on to describe a tragic fictional accident where a logging truck, parked alongside the road while its driver was getting a coffee, caused a car to swerve into oncoming traffic.
It concludes with a quip that the former property owner could not be reached for comment.
Of course, there is no Tim Hortons in Haliburton and the council members - Deputy-reeve Bill Davis and Councillor Andrea Roberts - are alive and well.
While the letter was written to highlight a worst case scenario, it took on a life of its own.
One person particularly upset by the fake report was Davis's daughter, who writes about her gut-wrenching experience in a letter to the editor on page 7.
On the day the letter was posted, Dysart council was scheduled to again discuss the coffee shop's proposal to locate on County Road 21.
Because the anonymously written story includes the death of two community members, the police were at the meeting and the public was asked to sign an attendance sheet.
Public comments on Tim Hortons were not allowed.
The police also investigated the letter on their own.
It's made for a stressful and confusing week for councillors and members of the public alike.
Davis is looking into the incident more, hoping to uncover the name of the person who wrote the letter, for his own sense of well being.
The police have closed the investigation and issued a warning to the letter writer.
No charges were laid.
Ironically, the very issue the letter was drawing attention to, potential traffic problems, was forgotten in the reaction to the fictional accident described.
The underlying issues and valid discussions already underway were lost in the commotion.
And that, like the letter, is regrettable.