Letter: Martel Foundation clarifies candidate’s claim

Dear Morinville News Editor;

We are contacting you to clarify a recent story printed in your fantastic local paper, Morinville News. As many of our board members live in this community, we have kept abreast of the local mayoral race, and news.

I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors for the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation, a group dedicated to support those in our community experiencing domestic violence. We are a non-profit registered charity formed after the tragic death of local community member and Mother, Jessica Martel.

In your July 8th, 2013 edition, you interviewed mayoral hopeful Christa Naughton, and she mentioned how important community charity work is to her. To quote “Naughton said throughout her time in Morinville she has always tried to be charitable by holding fundraisers for different groups in the community, including the Lions Club and the Jessica Martel Foundation.”

Our board has no recollection of any event being held for our foundation, in fact, we have third party fundraising agreement contracts for any person wanting to host an event benefitting the foundation.

Lynne Rosychuk board President, recalls a couple of The Zoo staff having a BBQ right after Jessica’s death and contributing to Jessica’s three children’s trust fund. The children’s trust fund is not connected to our charity, although Jessica’s children most certainly are.

We wanted to clarify our involvement with Ms. Naughton, and Shot Gun Sally’s (AKA, The Zoo). We rely on community funding, and fully support and encourage local businesses and service groups to hold events and fundraisers. We are streamlining our application process and need to ensure that events are in line with the mission and mandate of the foundation.

We thank you Morinville News, for being an essential part of our community, and for further supporting our foundations work through print.

Best Regards,

Rebecca Holland, Public Relations and Board Member
Sent on behalf of The Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation

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  1. My team has issued a press release to all major newspapers and news channels, I feel I owe it to anyone who has called or visited me & my campaign manger and team today to respond to the untrue & slanderous statements made in the letter written by Rebecca Holland on behalf of the Board of Directors published by Editor of the Morinville News Stephen Dafoe. My team, ShotgunSallys UrbanSaloon AKA The Zoo Owner Mgmt as well as past & present staff having been addressing the out rage from people calling all day who supported this fundraiser as they feel that this letter insulted them. Legal council has been retained due to this malicious letter. At this time my team is trying 2 contact someone from the foundation as well we have met with the owners of Shotgun Sally’s (AKA The Zoo) legal council, as well as my campaign manager have been unavailable to secure meetings with anyone with the foundation or Morinville news.

    • No one from your campaign has attempted to call this publication or email this publication today. Our phone number is on the contact page of this web site and on Page 4 of each and every edition of The Morinville News. We are pretty easy to find. We’ve received several phone calls and too many emails today to properly estimate. I’ve also checked our spam filter service and nothing got caught in there.

      Please advise when your people would like to set up your “meeting” and specifically what the “meeting” might be about. If you would prefer to arrange that through our attorney, I can provide you with his contact information. We can walk over to his office together.

      You seemed to also miss us in your press release mail out to all major newspapers and news channels. We would welcome any reasoned rebuttal you might have.

      Here’s the facts from our perspective.

      YOU claimed to run a fundraiser for this organization.

      THEY claim you did not – not specifically for the JMMF.

      We have published both points of view. Yours in the course of the interview. Theirs in the course of their letter of clarification.

      Point – Counterpoint.

  2. As we have seen you face book response and your immediate response to the press release that has yet to be to be sent to you, only to other publications do to Stephen to this papers lack of ability to check facts as well as we no longer are permitted to respond on facebook & have been blocked, I would say that says it all. The number we have keeps going to voice mail and quiet frankly we feel many people upset by this article deserve more than voice mail and of course now would be the time for you make this statement. Ms. Naughton wanted to run for Mayor to do some good, but we must say if the local paper can’t have a neutral stance and allows its publication to be used in this manner what message are you sending anyone who is running for any position on council or as mayor.

    • Naughton camp:

      This will be my final response to this codswallop.

      1/ Our phone goes to voicemail because the news business does not permit me to sit in an office. I need to see clients, interview people, take photos and conduct business. Voicemail messages are forwarded to me and I respond between the many things one must do in a day to run a small town paper. It works pretty well. We receive lots of voicemails.

      2/ Our neutrality was why you and all candidates who declare their candidacy get a full sizeable story on their bid to run for mayor. We treated you as a serious mayoral candidate and published a full story on your thoughts, ideas and motivations for running.

      3/ In that story you claimed to have organized a fundraiser for the JMMF.

      They claim you did not – that it was in fact for the late Miss Martel’s children’s trust fund. I believe they thanked you for it, but clarified it was not for the JMMF.

      The letter, which they wrote and which we published, was a point of clarification. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      4/ As to your claim about being blocked on Facebook by this publication – it is factually incorrect and could be inferred as malicious. You may have been blocked by the JMMF page, but you have not been blocked on The Morinville News’ Facebook page, despite what I am told is numerous posts this evening and your claims here that we are biased etc.

      Now in response to what message I am sending to potential candidates. It is this:

      1/ YOU will get a full article of about 1,000 words written about you, your ideas and motivations for running. We will take a picture of you unless you do not feel like having your picture taken, in which case we will ask you to submit a photo. There is no cost for this. It is our job and our responsibility to keep the electorate informed.

      2/ If in that interview YOU make claims that are at variance with the notions of the people you are making claims about, they will be permitted through the comments section of this publication or by way of a letter to the editor to offer clarification, correction or outright rebuttal as the situation warrants.

      That is what the JMMF has done – in the most gentle of terms – and it is why we chose to publish their letter.

      Your legal council should be fully conversant with the fact we in the media are permitted to do just that.

      If you or your legal Council wish to speak further on the matter, please contact me directly at editor@morinvillenews.com and I will forward you the name of our lawyer. I know you folks don’t like to leave voicemails.


      Stephen Dafoe

  3. WOW!! Great job Naughton Camp! Way to show Morinville the approriate way to act when you want to become Mayor. Picking on a Non-Profit Organization that has done more for this town and its people then you have or ever will.

  4. Wow.
    The bickering tantrum coming from the Naughton campaign folks makes me feel like I’m in a monkey cage at THE ZOO and the monkeys are throwing poo!! I took the rebuttal letter as fact clarification. It sounded very reasonable that the fundraiser in question may have been thought to be for the JMMF instead going to a trust fund for the boys. I was still impressed with the charitable community spirit. Never thought another second about who it was for, just that it was. HOWEVER.. After the remarks made tonight on behalf of the Naughton team have just made my decision easier. You just took yourself outta my voting decision. I want a town run by calm, credited individuals… Not hot headedness as that will get us nowhere in the end. Thanku for showing true colors early.

  5. This is genuinely mind blowing to me. I for one second do not understand why Ms. Naughton and her teams response did not go as follows “To the readers, I just wanted to thank Mrs. Holland for catching our mistake. She is correct we held a fundraiser for Ms.Martels sweet children’s trust fund and accidentally attributed it to the foundation itself. I am commuted to charitable work and this type of cause and hope very much to work with them in the future with the amazing mission they have embarked on. I am also immensely proud of the work the staff at The Zoo did for the boys trust fund when we held our event. Sincerely Ms. Naughton”. That would have inspired my vote.

  6. Naughton Camp- If the electoral hopeful is writing her own statements, then I strongly feel I will not vote her just off her grammar and punctuation which has been displayed here. I would also like to add if it is in fact a member of the mayoral hopefuls camp then perhaps Naughton should personally read the final drafts of her released statements. I guess when the elections over I will see how bright Morinvilles future is . What has started as a joke could turn the whole town into one . – Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  7. Wow. Ms. Naughton, what a way to get your PANTIES in a bunch. Just apologize for your mistake and move on. The JMMF is surely not upset by the mistake, just wanted clarification! Not a good way to promote yourself for Mayor.

    BTW Thanks to Morinville News for being a neutral party! You are doing a great job in keeping us all informed of the election, who is running and by feeding the patrons of this town the information as you were told, not by your own personal feelings. Thanks again!

  8. For a person who has tried so hard to “bring the community together” with her work online and in the community she sure can start her own little lynch mob when the mood strikes!

  9. Well ‘Citizen’ I don’t think this is a lynch mob – rather an organization trying to clarify the facts! Maybe you also need to get your facts straight. If Naughton was truly supporting the organizations she claimed to this would be a non-issue…. too bad she’s not being truthful with her statements…. She will NEVER have my vote!!

  10. Wow, are we voting for a mayor? Or student class president. How can this behavior be exhibited by a potential mayor candidate. God help us. I see a for sale sign on my lawn in the fall.

  11. Since we do live in a democracy that allows anyone with a viewpoint or desire to serve the chance to run for public office, YES this type of behavior can be expressed by a potential Mayoral candid. That does not mean you have to vote for them or move away from town. There are other civic minded members of our community that have stepped forward to enter the race for a new Mayor. I would encourage any and all “Confused Morinville Residents’” to find out about all the candidates , their platforms , beliefs and aspirations for the town. Then exercise our hard won right to vote for the candidate they believe will lead the community into a prosperous future.

  12. I urge all entitled citizens to vote this election. In a community as small as Morinville the polls could be decided by only a few votes . Just because a candidate is projected to.win doesn’t mean they have. Countless elections have had the projected front losing simply because their supporters did not go and cast their ballot. Vote for whoever you feel is best for the job. If you don’t vote then you automatically give up your right to complain about issues affecting the community until the next election.

  13. As a friend of Jessica Martel’s, I am greatly saddened at this exchange in her name. Shame on you Ms.Naughton!!! For bringing disgrace and a dark cloud to Jess’s name, her family and the foundation. If you were not in contact with the JMMF then you organized something on your own behalf. While there may be good intentions there, attention needs to be paid to DETAILS when you decide to speak, especially going on record! You did fundraising. For her kids. Not the foundation. AS A POLITICIAN you must have your facts (and spelling) CORRECT. When it is not, it is proper procedure and professional conduct to correct yourself. Which shows grace and diplomacy. And class. All valuable traits that people admire and look for in a leader. You may be a leader in booze and night life, but not for positive relations in MY town.

  14. The attitude displayed by Naughton Camp clearly displays a lack of respect or humility for the very town she is running for and for a fine charitible cause. If, by some stroke of good luck for her (and let’s face it, bad luck for us) she gets elected, Council meetings will be an absolute riot and less efficient than the current Obama Administration handling the US Gun Laws if this poor behaviour displayed by Naughton is carried to Town Hall. I am passionate about Politics and hope to become a Politician someday, and the lack of respect displayed by Naughton on this page of Morinville’s fine newspaper (online of course) leads me to believe she is a wonderful example of how NOT to conduct yourself when vying for office. Shame on the Naughton Camp for their poor conduct and I have a very strong feeling you have blown your shot at Mayor, as any of the other candidates can direct supporters to this page and say, “In this fine newspaper, it is clear Ms Naughton is not ready for politics just by the way she conducts herself after making a minor mistake in her release. She is not mature enough for the big leagues and doesn’t know how to handle controversy correctly.” Unfortunately, I do not live in Morinville, but I trust the citizens of this fine town to truly research each candidate and make an informed decision come voting day. Excersize your democratic right and freedom to vote, there are many people in this world who are not as lucky as us. The way I see it, a person who doesn’t vote doesn’t mind a communist Canada or a Canadian dictatorship. Get out and vote Morinville, but make it a wise choice and not an irresponsible drunken choice.

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