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Discussion and dialogue have not worked

We sometimes get comments that agree with our objectives, but state that our methods are wrong. We should not be confrontational. We should engage in dialogue and discussion. At first blush this may seem quite reasonable.

These comments usually come from students who have lived in Kingston less than five years. As temporary residents, they do not see our problem in its longer-term historical perspective.

What those commenters do not realize is that many of us have lived in the neighbourhood for 35+ years, long before today's students were born! For 28-or-so of those 35 years we in fact did engage in dialogue and discussion with students and the University. We sat on committees. We attended workshops and symposia. We participated in clean-up days.

But this cooperative approach simply was not working. Every year we were dialoguing with a new cohort of students, starting the process all over again each time. Our quality of life continued to deteriorate, particularly after 2000. We had to acknowledge the reality that the dialogue and discussion status quo was in fact not working. We had to try something else. Something more assertive. Thus, SONAG was established in 2008.


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