Saturday 12 December 2009

Gerald Flood is senile

I don't intend to take on the roll of Media Police, but I have to point this out, since I've wrote about Gordon Bell before:

In a section of the Saturday Free Press ironically called Feed Your Intellect, Gerald Flood writes a heart-warming Gordon Sinclair-ish piece about an unsung hero in the fight to claim a parcel of land as green space for Gordon Bell high school. One problem: he's completely full of crap.

IT was a hot day in August 2008 that I first opened an e-mail from Eagles and Doves, the nom de Internet of Nancy Chippendale.
I like how this is starting: hot summer day, mysterious lady with a alias ... let me turn down the lights and pour myself a drink. Ok, I'm ready. Go on ....
She explained that the closing of a car dealership next to Gordon Bell had created an opportunity to convert the 2.5 acre car lot into a sports field, something Gordon Bell had never had and would never have if this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slipped away.

The conversion of the lot to a field of play was so obviously a good idea that it seemed impossible that it would not happen. Except for one small snag -- Canada Post was eying the property to build a new depot. I told Nancy that it was a great idea but I could not run it until she determined the status of the property.

She came back crestfallen. Canada Post was not eyeing the property, it was buying it.

Dang ... they beat her to it. So sad that this nice lady's stroke of genius was undermined at the last second by an evil crown corporation.

Ya .. not so much, there Gerald. Checking back to the time line on my original blog on this subject, Canada Post purchased the land in November 2007, almost a year earlier. In fact, Canada Post started tearing down the Midway Chrysler dealership in July of 2008.

Not only that, but Pat Martin was already on the case in June of 2008. As pathetically late as Pat was to the game, this lady was even later. correction: Nancy was in fact on the case before Pat Martin, publishing this story in the paper Sept of 08, which prompted Pat to get involved. A misreading of dates on my part. My apologies. Gerald is trying to portray this lady as groundbreaking visionary, while deriding opponents as "blockheads" who "sniffed at the idea" of having a block of Portage Avenue encased in a giant fence while still being to small for a regulation field "and whatnot".

But you don't often come across the name of Nancy Chippendale who, having started the ball rolling, worked mostly under the radar "with a rogue group that played to win," tirelessly advocating in the certainty that if she could keep the media engaged it just might happen. She is now planning to return to school and become a PR professional and start a company "to help non-profits promote themselves."

No, Nancy Chippendale's name was not there on the day that the dream she dreamed came true.

But it is now.

I haven't felt this ill after reading the paper since Sinclair's "fight to save Upper Fort Garry".


John Dobbin said...

I haven't read the story yet but it probably deserves a response.

A simple search of archives of the Free Press itself would have shown a chronology in terms of what happened and when for the Midway Chrysler site.

Christian Cassidy said...

Good find.

That's really, really poor on Flood's part. Are you sure his column and the weekend fiction section didn't get mixed up ? Basic high school newspaper fact checking should ensure that you get the year right.

Christian Cassidy said...

I like the fact that "She is now planning to return to school and become a PR professional and start a company 'to help non-profits promote themselves'"

No doubt. Depending on if Flood just got his emails and dates all wrong, she may have fed a great pack of horsewhollop to the Freep !

Maybe I should pre-date some of my blog posts calling on the city to build a Convention Centre on York and to turn the CN East Yards into The Forks then contact Flood to tout me as some local urban visionary !

Anonymous said...

Great piece. However, in paragraph 4 you say "Gordon" rather than "Gerald", no doubt out of force of habit.

More importantly, it seems that Ms. C is no novice to either PR OR promoting non-profits. "Become a PR professional" indeed...

Laurie Mustards column in Dec. 1st:

"Just in from LITE (Local Investment Toward Employment) board member Nancy Chippendale:

"Laurie, our 13th Annual Wild Blueberry Pancake Breakfast held at the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre last Friday was a hit, raising over $20,000 ... to be used to help build capacity and provide jobs in Winnipeg's inner city. Thanks to the 800-plus attendees and all our supporters, including entertainers Fred Penner and Troy Westwood! Best of the season, Nancy."


Nancy Chippendale (term until 2010)
Nancy works as Resource Assistance for Youth's (RaY) Odd Jobs Coordinator in the West Broadway area. Before coming to RaY, she helped raise considerable media awareness about homelessness as Siloam Mission's Communications Coordinator. She is passionate about finding ways to engage youth in recreation... particularly Ultimate frisbee.

{who cares if the field isn't big enough for football, or soccer?? see, all it had to be big enough for was to play frisbee!!)
Nancy Chippendale started working with RaY in February as the Odd Jobs coordinator. Nancy arrives at RaY with a wide range of experiences including communications, business and advocacy. She has previously worked as the communications coordinator for Siloam Mission and Hospice & Palliative Care Manitoba.

[PDF] MEDIA ALERT File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
Nancy Chippendale. Communications Coordinator. 204.956.4344 -- 30 --. Siloam Mission 300 Princess Street Winnipeg, MB R3B 1M3 ...

cherenkov said...

Thanks, Anon. Gee, Gerald didn't mention that she was a professional activist. Not that that's a bad thing, but he gave me the impression that she was some unknown lady who came out of the woodwork. I feel so betrayed.

Upon further Googling, I see that she also made appearances in the Sun and the Uniter. She probably contacted every Journalist in town.

So the question is: is Gerald just a gullible non-fact checker, or is he intentionally fabricating stories?

Mr.C: I think you should do that. Back-date a few posts and send him an email, see if he bites. Say, wasn't it you who secretly lobbied Hydro to built the new tower downtown?

Anonymous said...

She sounds like she can make an excellent councillor

cherenkov said...

Hey, wouldn't hurt to have some turn-over in our councillors.

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