By Mike Archer. From letters in the Abbotsford News to eye witness accounts on Facebook there is growing evidence that the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) is telling some pretty tall tales in its attempt to convince their patrons to sign their petition against the ACS Supportive Housing project for the homeless.
“I have heard directly from a person whose wife was approached in a downtown restaurant, and told that a “homeless shelter” was being erected right next to the restaurant. The target confidently added her signature to the ADBA petition, and now armed with the facts, is regretting placing her support with the merchants (the project is not next to a restaurant, nor is it a homeless shelter).” – Abbotsford News July 18, 2013
“I was at Willow Video yesterday to rent a movie and noticed they had the [ADBA] petition. i had a big sigh and then asked the 2, very young men, behind the counter if their boss had put it out and if they knew his reasonings as to why he opposed it.
First off, they both stumbled and could barely get the words out that they are “trying to build a transition house for drug addicts down town.” I then proceeded to inform them of what it really is, and both of them looked totally shocked.
I urged them to tell their boss to do the research on the proposal and to also check back on the information he was provided about the petition, as the ADBA has now revised it. After speaking with them, the one boy said to me “but isn’t it like a needle exchange site though?”
They were told it was a house for drug addicts with an accessible needle exchange. When it was all said and done they both said thank you for clearing that up because no one had told them any thing like that and they would make sure to let their boss know.” – Facebook, Abbotsfordians FOR a transition house downtown
As partners with BC HOUSING, BC HOUSING calls the shots with regard to any and all announcements. Even now, any communications ACS sends out re this proposed facility, are vetted by BC HOUSING. So, that counters the insinuation ADBA is putting out there that ACS’s lack of communication re proposed facility was somehow deceptive and disrespectful to ACS’s neighbours. It will be good to have FACTS to counter the insinuations made by ADBA, in its petition, as well as on its facebook page. – Facebook, Abbotsfordians FOR a transition house downtown
If the ADBA is going to use its influence in the media, and its political relationships with City Hall in order to fight a PR campaign against the homeless, it should follow a couple of rules incumbent on those asking for democratic support from their friends and neighbours:
1) Hire a proofreader before publishing indecipherable, provocative and inaccurate petitions
2) Tell the truth when convincing people to sign their names to your petition
The homeless are certainly taking the high road in this debate.