By Abnor. I’ve been talking to my usual crew of suspects in coffee shops and beer joints around Abbotsford and there seem to be two points of view developing on the City of Abbotsford’s community standards bylaw.
Freedom Of Underwear
One, lead by Mayor Banman, argues that people are able to make up their own minds about what things are good for them or bad for them and make their own decisions about morality.
That is how Banman is framing the debate over whether or not the City is living up to its community standards bylaw which governs the use of taxpayer-owned municipal buildings and just what, entertainment, shows or events can be allowed to occur within them.
Banman seems to be of the belief that, despite the bylaw, Council and City staff can be trusted to decide what municipal buildings re used for.
Another point of view, lead by Gerda and Richard Peachey, attempts to have the City live up to its own bylaw and restrict the use of the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC) and Tradex to acts, performances and entertainment which qualifies under the bylaw.
Banman seems to be sidestepping the question of the City’s obligation to live up to its own bylaws by making the issue one of freedom of speech and defending people’s rights to see whatever they want to see.
The Peacheys on the other hand, seem to be sidestepping their opponents’ arguments that they should allow people to make up their own minds about morality, by focusing their anger at the City’s unwillingness to live up to its own bylaws and the LFL’s mistreatment of their female employees rather than on moral arguments against overt public sexuality, which many believe to be their real objective.
No matter which side of the two distinct debates going on, there is no doubt the City is being incredibly hypocrical when it allow the Legends (formerly ‘Lingerie’) Football League (LFL) to run around in underwear and discriminate against women, when people know members of their own church community have advocated against nightclubs, casinos, Tim Felger’s Dakine political office and pool halls, in Downtown Abbotsford purely on the basis of religious morality.
Abbotsford is a City of Character and Mayor Banman is a member of the movement. How is rationalizes his membership and active participation in the City of Character movement with his City government supporting the exploitation of woman in a massive public show is just one of delicious ironies of politics in Abbotsford.
The city has implemented bylaws to address these requests for censorship based on supposed community standards and religious beliefs, and even gone so far as to endanger lives with its Anti Harm Reduction Bylaw because of religious opposition to a needle exchange in the city.
No matter how much Banman believces in freedom of speech, using the City’s bylaws to drive Felger out of business and put him in jail; leave Abbotsford’s junkies to die in the streets rather than allow them constitutionally guaranteed health services; restrict things like licenced establishments like bars, nightclubs and pool halls while allowing underwear football at the AESC is hypocritical in the extreme.
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Editor’s Note:Abnor joins us from time to time with a question or two about what he sees around him. He has plenty of time on his hands and he spends a great deal of his time wandering the streets of Abbotsford wondering about what he sees and hears. He’s a modern day hobo with a Blackberry.