I got a response about yesterday’s article on mental health stigmatisation from Toronto Hydro this morning. I must say, whoever wrote this has very little respect for our intelligence. Here’s my response to them…
Dear Mr. Haines,
First, I wish to thank Toronto Hydro for making such a quick response to my letter. While your expediency was great, the actual content of what was said is rather insulting. Let me deconstruct it here below:
1.) I’m glad to hear that Toronto Hydro has made a priority to implement public awareness and conservation programs. It is essential people are educated about the importance of saving energy.
2.) In my view, squirrels and pigeons are rather ubiquitous animals- they can be found in cities around the world. Everyone I’ve shared pictures of these billboards with felt that the distinctive part of the ad was not the animals, but the references to mental health.
3.) I haven’t seen the ads with blue jays, canada geese and raccoons. Can you please share the words that are accompanying them?
4.) The last sentence in your response is a complete insult to the intelligence of the people of Toronto. First, squirrels make high pitch chattering noise- like ‘tackatackatacka’- I’ve never heard a squirrel say ‘nuts’.
But, more importantly, you cannot be serious thinking we’d fall for this unimaginative attempt to get away with your company’s mistake, did you? If Toronto Hydro has this little respect for your customers in this case, I’d hate to see how you handle billing disputes!
Federal & provincial health ministries spend millions of dollars combating mental health stigmatisation each year. Mental Health Awareness week occurred just two weeks ago- this event put significant focus on the issue across the country, and here in Ontario.
Only one week later Toronto Hydro puts up these ads…
I didn’t know this when I wrote my letter to you- but, only a couple of days ago, federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq made a very bold statement on this issue saying “Canada needs to deal with the stigma surrounding mental health issues before it can go on to tackle funding questions.”
As someone who has people close to me who suffer from mental illness I am simply appalled by your company’s cavalier response to my complaint. I’ll give you the benefit of doubt and assume that you, personally, were not made aware of it. That said, the time for your action is now.
Toronto Hydro needs to come-clean, apologize, and take immediate action to withdraw these billboards. You are not only hurting individuals who are suffering from mental illness, but your ads directly counter the value of the great expenditures being made to combat this issue.
I look forward to your response, and hope we are able to work together to help come to an amicable solution.
cc: Leona Aglukkaq, Rob Ford, Deb Matthews, Dalton McGuinty
- An Open Letter To The CEO Of Toronto Hydro (genuinewitty.com)
- ‘I’ve lost friends to suicide,’ Aglukkaq confides after mental health roundtable – Canada.com (canada.com)
- Toronto Hydro warns against power saving device scam (theglobeandmail.com)
- Toronto Hydro dropped by insurer over aging equipment (thestar.com)