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Less rehashing, more grace, trust, involvement over CWLP

June 13th,2024 | Letters

The Editor,

I was disappointed to read Trevor Greenway’s piece covering the most recent [Centre Wakefield-La Pêche (CWLP)] centre meeting (“Heated debate: Should La Pêche take over Wakefield centre”, June 5 edition). Although nothing in the article was inaccurate, I felt the mood was more nuanced than the article implied, with its focus on some of the meeting’s more dramatic moments. Why the emotional turmoil in the first place, people may wonder? Because past the reality that we’re all very imperfect is the truth that people care about the centre and by proxy our community – a lot. 

As a recent addition to the staff and little involved in CWLP prior to my current role as the centre’s program and camps coordinator, I can tell you what the view on the ground looks like. 

Being a part of the functioning of CWLP is a relatively public role, with lots of room for error because of the sheer number of details and the complexity involved in running it (as I keenly felt the first time I accidentally double-booked the Gwen Shea Hall as a newbie at the centre and had streams of confused and irritated parents, instructors and others!) I’d love to see some grace applied toward those – past and present – who have and are taking on this multi-faceted, gorgeous, messy cooperative. I also want to express the gratitude that I believe we all feel to those who had the vision to create CWLP and who have shepherded it since its inception.

The word I most often hear applied to the centre – sometimes multiple times a day – is “potential.” Right now, we have a highly responsible board prioritizing transparency and working their butts off in the process. We have amazing staff who sense our potential as a team and feel like we are only getting started in terms of what we can do together. And of course we have our fantastic, invested membership. What we need most right now is not the rehashing and re-reporting of old grievances, but rather patience, involvement, trust and forgiveness.

When I vote on June 20 on whether or not to accept or refuse the Offer in Principle from the municipality to take over ownership, responsibility and the expenses for the CWLP building, I’ll be keeping in mind what I feel will most support staff in being financially secure; the board in being able to focus on their mandate without burning out; and the centre in being the joyous, inclusive and life-giving place it was intended to be.  

Abby Karos
Chelsea, QC

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