Pleads with media to be sensitive to neighborhood reputation
Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann was upset about a reference to the Flour Mill in a story about a woman who was viciously raped on Notre Dame Avenue.
“The headline was, 'Five years for Flour Mill rapist,' ” Landry-Altmann said. “But halfway through the article, it was made clear that he was passing through Sudbury, and was not a resident. As a councillor for the area, I take issue with the headline.”
While using the article as an example, she said negative portrayals of the Flour Mill and the Donovan are prevalent in the local media, without providing any other examples.
“To continually pigeonhole an entire area, for the purpose of a catchy headline, is not respectful of these historic neighbourhoods, or the residents,” Landry-Altmann said, appearing to be almost in tears and pausing several times as she spoke. “This is an appeal that I am making to the media, on behalf of residents of that area.
“There's no doubt we have challenges within the boundaries of this area,” she continued.
But the two areas include many families who have been here for generations, “who pay their taxes, maintain their properties, go to church, volunteer and invest in the community.”
Many local volunteer groups have worked hard to improve their neighbourhoods, she said, and there are many success stories as a result.
“So to negatively paint an entire area with one brush is discouraging and has lingering negative social ramifications … and seriously undermines the efforts put forth by these valiant citizens.”
She said such headlines bring down property values, and stigmatizes everyone from the area in a negative way. Landry-Altmann acknowledged positive articles have been written, but the areas have been given such a rough ride in the past, residents are very sensitive to what's being written and said.
“I appeal to you to be specific, to be area specific, be street specific,” she said. “Please do not label an entire neighbourhood.”