You shall love your neighbour as yourself


Dear editor,

Of late I have been troubled by the vigorous backlash that the Massey Commons transitional housing project has met from a segment of the Cornwall population. I have seen and read letters to the editor of this newspaper and other publications where some residents have raised concerns about the location of this project. I find it interesting that these same concerns are not raised when other complete strangers move into our neighbourhoods. The one distinction between these two groups of people is their ability to afford the rent or mortgage payments necessary. In other words, this is a question of economics.

When a new individual or family moves in next door, we don’t make them pass an arbitrary set of conditions or fill out an application to become our new neighours. We do not organize public meetings to question their suitability to move into our community. We instead wave hello and perhaps introduce ourselves with a smile and some baked goods at their door. Why, then, do some of us feel we are entitled to object to the future residents of Massey Commons?

The United Nations states that “Housing is the basis of stability and security for an individual or family.The centre of our social, emotional and sometimes economic lives, a home should be a sanctuary—a place to live in peace, security and dignity.”

I firmly believe that it is our highest calling, as citizens of Cornwall, to assist in any way we are able those who are struggling to find adequate, affordable housing; indeed, it is our civic duty to do so. I applaud Cornwall city council for their work on this.

I would invite those with objections to put down their poison pens, quiet their angry voices and instead think of ways they can help the vulnerable and disadvantaged people who will call Massey Commons home for a time. Who knows, they may find a friendly smile from their new neighbours and perhaps lasting friendships may be forged.

Andrew Kellogg

Cornwall Taxpayer

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