The Stench That Just Won’t Go Away

By Mike Archer. What they want is access to the supplies and necessities, like clean needles, needed to reduce the harm associated with drug use – things that Canadian citizens outside of Abbotsford are entitled to. What they’ve run into in Abbotsford is a City which has made the delivery of those necessities illegal.

With no legal or moral authority or right to do so, the City of Abbotsford has stepped in between Canadian citizens in their City and the health authorities which are legally mandated to supply life-saving health services to them by simply passing a bylaw making some of the Canada Health Act unenforceable in Abbotsford.

Photo: Barry Shantz in the Abbotsford City Bylaw Department on World Hepatitis Day in 2010 turning in some 8,000 dirty needles picked up from the streets of Abbotsford

In 2014 Barry Shantz, of the BC/Yukon Chapter of the Drug War Survivors did an interview with Vancouver Magazine about his efforts to help victims in Abbotsford.


By Marcie Good published Dec 4, 2012 Vancouver Magazine

Looking back, you could say that Barry Shantz’s career as a big-time dope dealer began with a car accident. He’d dropped out of 10th grade in Kitchener, Ontario, and came to Vancouver in June 1974, celebrating his 18th birthday on Kits Beach with friends from back home. Then he headed up to Stewart, B.C., where his uncle landed him a job in a mine. His fingertip got crushed, and he returned to Vancouver for treatment. One night, as a friend was driving him home from a party, they had a head-on crash …

… One day he watched a woman kneeling in the alley. She was drawing up drainwater, mixing it with heroin, and plunging it into her veins. He’d begun attending meetings of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, and he started bringing back to Abbotsford kits that included plastic-wrapped needles and vials of distilled water. The addicts were grateful that Shantz was driving around to hand out the kits, even though mobile needle distribution was prohibited in the city.
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Mayor Banman

Mayor Banman

Abbotsford’s ‘Lock ‘Em Up’ Chicken Manure Mayor

Mayor Banman has labeled those who have fallen victim to the horrors of addiction as criminals who have chosen to adopt the lifestyle from which they suffer and said they ought to be locked up. Councillor and MLA Simon Gibson has defended his anti-harm reduction bylaw as legitimate because of the beliefs of those who are not affected by it in any way but still insist it must be enforced.

Even the argument used by some to defend the bylaw – that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for the costs of dealing with the drug war or homelessness – has been shown to be completely false since the costs of Abbotsford’s draconian approach to its poor have been shown to be far higher than it would cost to treat them in a humanitarian manner and just help them.

30 year political fixture Councillor and MLA Simon Gibson

30 year political fixture Councillor and MLA Simon Gibson

Other than Abbotsford’s well-funded Salvation Army, which, unlike other jurisdictions, gets the lion’s share of government funding, the individuals and organizations which work the streets helping the poor the Sally Ann won’t help, have primarily kept their heads down and fought their own battles to try and keep people alive on a day-to-day basis.

The Abbotsford Chicken Manure Incident seems to have changed all that. The people and organizations who represent Abbotsford’s street people have found a new voice and an audience, albeit outside of their community, who seem interested in the fate of Abbotsford’s poor.

Now a perfect storm of provincial, national and international media attention, combined with concerted efforts of those who work with the homeless and the victims of drugs, is making the City’s efforts to contain the homeless crisis as though it were merely a PR disaster seem futile.

The Abbotsford News’, statement; “We are led to believe this was the work of a handful of lower level authorities in city hall who thought they were taking affirmative action on a long-standing problem,” has now been demonstrated to have been either a complete fiction or a deliberate attempt to protect those in the power structure who have been demonstrated to have been responsible.

More revelations are expected as the City of Abbotsford is dragged through the courts in a mounting series of law suits.

City Manager George Murray

City Manager George Murray

“The Buck Stops Here”

Mayor Banman and City Manager George Murray’s insistence on taking responsibility and then taking little or no visible responsible action, has not stemmed the flow of revelations and damning evidence that the incident was no isolated incident.

The community’s dirty little secret is now out in the open and the consequences for those in the power structure who may have perpetrated an ongoing campaign to harass, poison and drive the

Abbotsford Chief Constable Bob Rich

Abbotsford Chief Constable Bob Rich

homeless out of town may be serious. Police Chief Bob Rich’s policy to “displace and disperse” may yet prove to be a bigger embarrassment to Abbotsford than June’s chicken feces attack by the City.

Standing against the religious and political power structure of Abbotsford one group has been determined, no matter how long it takes, to stop the killing and end the discrimination against people who they see as victims rather than criminals.

Abbotsford Chapter of the BC/Yukon Drug War Survivors was founded in August of 2009 and now has over 500 members. The organization holds two meetings per month with 50 – 60 people attending and as many as five to eight new members joining per meeting.

The Chapter has been involved since 2009 in trying to find some way of breaking the faith-based barriers in Abbotsford which have kept harm reduction methods such as clean needles and needle exchanges, out of Abbotsford.

Working with the Fraser Health Authority (FHA), whose constitutionally guaranteed mandate of providing health services to Canadian citizens has been thwarted by Abbotsford’s controversial Anti-Harm Reduction bylaw, the Abbotsford Chapter has been trying to break down the barriers to treatment in the community by negotiating with civic and legal authorities, police and the FHA.

After this summer’s Abbotsford Chicken Manure Incident shocked some residents and gained national and international coverage for the City, Shantz and the Drug Survivors joined forces with the Pivot Legal Society to force Abbotsford to obey the law and put an end to the civil rights abuses being perpetrated on the homeless and the victims of drugs in the City.

Pastor Ward Draper

Pastor Ward Draper

In a provocative column on Abbotsford Today called Next Steps, which was also picked up by The Huffington Post Pastor Ward Draper of The 5 and 2 Ministries said,”A city that has no hesitations in bailing out a golf course, building million dollar parks, and subsidizing millionaires without thought to its vulnerable citizens needs to be pushed harder.”

Pushing the City harder seems to be what all of those who advocate for the homeless, the victims of drugs and the poor in Abbotsford are determined to do. The City now faces a number of legal challenges and a Human Rights Tribunal hearing over it’s treatment of the poor.

Abbotsford’s Legal Troubles:

And there may be more on the way. Shantz and the Pivot Legal Society have not said they will restrict themselves to the suits already launched.

As previously reported on Abbotsford Today:

James Breckenridge

James Breckenridge

After the Abbotsford Chicken Manure Homeless Incident, first revealed by James Breckenridge on Abbotsford Today in June garnered worldwide attention, Abbotsford Today‘s revelations that the Abbotsford Salvation Army knew about the City’s plan and was in agreement with it, brought more attention to the City.

Pastor Jesse Wegenast

Pastor Jesse Wegenast

The Tyee picked up and reported on Pastor Jesse Wegenast’s Today column, A Crisis Of Conscience and the Vancouver Sun reported Today‘s story revealing the Salvation Army was “in agreement” with the Manure Dump the day before it happened based on a leaked email.

Tina Stewart

Tina Stewart

The illiterate and ill-informed attack by the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) on the proposal by Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) to build a Supportive Housing Project in order to help some of downtown Abbotsford’s homeless men off the streets then took center stage.

A Long History Of Abuse

The ill-considered and clumsy manner in which the ADBA attacked the ACS proposal throwing information around that simply wasn’t factual in what appeared like a desperate and shrill attempt to shut the proposal down before the community had even had a chance to discuss it, has managed to bring the two issues together in a way that might never have happened had cooler heads prevailed at the ADBA.

The shame brought on the City by the highest echelons of City government; the allegations against the Abbotsford Police Department(APD); the involvement of the Salvation Army, its agreement to the Chicken Dump, and the wild and ill-considered actions of the ADBA, have all managed to bring these issues together into one big issue.

Councillor John Smith

Councillor John Smith

When Councillor John Smith told the CBC in 2008, “The Abbotsford police and the city’s parks department are planning a major crackdown in the area because of the complaints,” it may have been a watershed moment in the relationship between the City of Abbotsford, its Economic Development and Bylaw Departments and the APD with regard to the alleged campaign to rid Abbotsford of its homeless and drug victims through a concerted effort to make them want to leave.

The APD has asked for an independent investigation into the conduct of it’s officers; two senior and long time management fixtures at Abbotsford City Hall have left their jobs in the last couple of months – Economic Development Manager Jay Teichroeb and Bylaw Department Manager Gordon Ferguson – and, despite Mayor Banman’s efforts to defend those involved in the poisoning of the homeless, the issue of Abbotsford’s treatment of its homeless and drug victims seems likely to define his term as mayor.

What’s missing in all of this is any attempt by Banman, his staff, or his council to come clean, show some leadership and deal with the issue head on.

Instead, Banman’s administration seems intent on battering down the hatches and trying to weather the storm.


Background on BC/Yukon Drug War Survivors

On World Hepatitis Day in 2010 Barry Shantz participated in the protest at Abbotsford City Hall which included Aiyanis Ormond Ann and Livingston of Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU).

In this video, Aiyanis Ormond of VANDU, Barry Shantz of BC and Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors and Ann Livingston of VANDU speak on Abbotsford City Council’s “Harm Production” Bylaw and the need for needle exchanges, safe injection sites and Harm Reduction to prevent Hepatitis C on the day before World Hepatitis Day Rally in Abbotsford, BC May 18, 2010

This video was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a New Media camera – Panasonic DMC-ZS3. AHA MEDIA is about exploring mobile media production through New Media cameras. For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter or

AHA MEDIA is at http://www.AHAMEDIA.CA

BC/Yukon Drug War Survivors Facebook page

Drug War Survivors Priorities

In this video, members of VANDU and BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors marched into Abbotsford City Hall Bylaw office and dumped bags, buckets, boxes and plastic containers filled with used needles found in Abbotsford with Abbotsford City Hall Bylaw staff and Police officers standing by.

Dave Murray of VANDU and Barry Shantz of BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors and other members including Richard Cunningham of VANDU speak on Abbotsford City Council’s “Harm Production” Bylaw and the need for needle exchanges and Harm Reduction to prevent Hepatitis C on the day before World Hepatitis Day Rally in Abbotsford, BC May 18, 2010

This video was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a New Media camera – Panasonic DMC-ZS3. AHA MEDIA is about exploring mobile media production through New Media cameras. For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter or

AHA MEDIA is at http://www.AHAMEDIA.CA


Background on The 5 and 2 Ministries


From 5 and 2 Ministries

The 5 and 2 Ministries uniform reflects the military principles upon which The 5 and 2 is organized. The 5 and 2 Ministries Service Corps and Samaritan Division uniforms are visible expressions of dedication to community development and improvement which create numerous valuable opportunities to provide a helping hand to those in need and to lend a voice for the marginalized of our world by our distinct presence.

5 an 2 patchAdditionally the uniforms for members of the Christian community communicate a few additional aspects of note. First The 5 and 2 Ministries uniform gives us a tangible way to speak without words to outwardly demonstrate the inner working of God’s grace in our lives.

The uniform also provides opportunities to communicate the Red Letters of Jesus by being recognized by our wardrobe choice. It is part of a sacramental expression. As we walk into a room or stroll down the street while wearing this simple uniform, we become a visible reminder that Jesus Christ is the hope of the world and upon this truth we stand.

The uniform serves as a witness to The 5 and 2’s commitment to serving God and humanity. The 5 and 2 uniform is a symbol of commitment, dedication, discipline, and a sign of availability and accessibility in times of need or crisis.

Furthermore, the wearing of our uniform links us as members of an intentional wing of the Church that is both intensely dedicated to social justice and carrying the message of Jesus.

*Abbotsford Today has just learned that, after getting re-elected on a promise to extend funding to the Warm Zone, Abbotsford MLA and Finance Minister Mike de Jong has cut the organization’s funding in order to pay for the 18 percent raises for top aides in Victoria.


WardPastor Ward Draper is the Founder and Executive Director of The 5 and 2. Ward has been married nearly 15 years to Lana and they have three children. Ward studied at Providence University College from 1999 to 2003 receiving his Bachelors of Arts degree in Biblical Studies. His portfolio continues to grow and includes publishing credits, articles, documentaries, conference speaking, college and university lectures, radio, and more. Ward keeps himself busy on the streets and in the boardrooms he is an active member of several boards, tables, working groups, and committees all aimed at social and community development. It is by this continual involvement on various levels that Pastor Ward is able to bring the voice of the marginalized into multiple areas where those voices are not too often heard.


jesseJesse Wegenast oversees the coordination and implementation of the day-to-day service operations of The 5 and 2, including thrice-weekly coffee nights and the Wednesday dinner. He has also stepped in to a pastoral / teaching role within the community as the speaker at Wednesday night services and leader of The 5 and 2 men’s group. Jesse has been involved with The 5 and 2 since 2006, and, since moving to Abbotsford in 2009, has served with the ministry on a full time basis. He is passionate about seeing people move from exclusion and loneliness to inclusion and love through positive relationships and the practice of Kingdom values. Jesse is currently in his third year of studies at the University of the Fraser Valley, with a major in Human Geography. He is married to the lovely Sharalin, who provides behind the scenes support for the work of The 5 and 2.


RandyRandy has been married 30yrs & has three young adult children. He worked in construction for over 25 yrs building houses, condominiums and apartments through out the Fraser Valley as well as overseas until injuring his back in 2002. His wife and him have been active members in various churches in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver over the years; teaching Sunday School, managing the church nursery, managing church boys clubs, leading men’s & woman’s ministries, home bible studies, weekly prayer meetings and accountability groups for men. Randy provided “lay pastoral care” as a volunteer working under the Chaplain, now called Spiritual Care Coordinator, in the Fraser Health system since the spring of 2003 until the end of 2009. Under this ministry he received basic training for counseling patients with mental health issues as well as mentoring in Bowen Family System Theory for working with families dealing with trauma, family conflict and grief. As a volunteer and a leader within The 5and 2 Ministries, since the summer of 2010, Randy leads and coordinates the bi-weekly Sandwich Patrol and oversees our outreach; delivering food and clothing, providing rides to doctors appointments, to the food bank, accompanying individuals to court and the parole office as well as visitation at the hospital or where ever people need love, support and friendship.

5 and 2 team

If you would like to donate to our ministry please use the PayPal donate button below to donate via Visa or MasterCard. Tax receipts are mailed out in February. Our charitable number is #85497 3310 rr0001.

If you would like to volunteer or donate by cash or cheque please download the form here and mail or drop it off.

We hope to hear from you soon.


Editor’s Note: All photos and background material from 5 and 2 Ministries.

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