By AmbrÖse Bierce. Abbotsford Today has learned the Abbotsford Salvation Army threatened to boycott Wednesday’s 10am meeting of the Abbotsford Social Development and Advisory Committee (ASDAC) if the meeting were to be videotaped.
A group of documentary filmmakers has been in Abbotsford filming for a project devoted to, among other issues, the issue of homelessness in Abbotsford.
The filmmakers asked if they could videotape Wednesday’s meeting and were initially told they could.
Once the Salvation Army got wind of the plan they immediately emailed Sutherland to tell him they would not participate in the meeting if there was going to be a video record.
Sutherland then checked with the City administration and was told that protocol dictates that if any one member or group at a meeting does not wish to have it videotaped then the video is not allowed.
Abbotsford Today has not been able to verify whether or not the Salvation Army gave any reasons for their objection to a video recording of their presence or words at a discussion of homelessness in Abbotsford, nor whether such a protocol exists
The meeting, scheduled by Chair John Sutherland to deal with the issue of homelessness in Abbotsford, was to begin the process of dealing with the international embarrassment the City of Abbotsford has suffered since the now infamous Abbotsford Chicken Manure Homeless Incident was published around the world.
Someone ordered City of Abbotsford staff to dump chicken feces on the public land occupied by a group of homeless people immediately opposite the Salvation Army building on Gladys Avenue.
The group of homeless people involved in the incident has not been made to feel welcome at the Salvation Army according to members of the group. The Salvation Army, whose only public statements on the issues have been from PR woman Deb Lowell who told the Abbotsford News the Salvation Army would like to leave this incident behind them.
”We’re just interested in moving forward and looking after the people we’re caring for with dignity and respect, that’s what we’re about doing,” Lowell told The News.
On Sunday night staff from the 5 and 2 Ministries stopped to feed the group and by morning, when Abbotsford Today had publicly questioned why the Salvation Army only helped certain kinds of homeless people, the Army brought breakfast over to the group.
AmbrÖse Bierce is Today’s writer in residence who occasionally gives voice to the concerns of individual citizens and taxpayers who, for a variety of reasons, are unable or unwilling to take a public stand on issues of relevance to the rest of the community. Reasons may include possible loss of job, injury to their business, or any number of quite legitimate reasons to keep their mouths shut.
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