AmbrÖse Bierce: Sally Ann Threatens To Boycott ASDAC Meeting

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


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.

While all columns and letters on Today are signed by their authors, we have decided to provide this venue for those with legitimate opinions, based on fact, with something to contribute to the public debate in the city. This is not a place for wild venting or personal attacks. AmbrÖse requires you identify yourself to him and explain why you need to keep your identity secure.

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • anne says:

    I went to an ASDAC meeting a couple years ago, John Smith was the Chairman. It was a well attended affair (about 40-50 people filled the conference room on the 5th floor at city hall) I don’t believe there were any “homeless” people there, but if there was they would have eaten well as it was a deliciously catered affair. As I recall… there was a bit of concern over what to do with the extra shrimp, someone had obviously mis-understood John Smith’s Salad requirements. There was not too much on the agenda that I can remember, but an acclamation was given to the fire Chief for his good work and the Social housing on Clearbrook Road which went on rezoned Parkland and was paid for by the Provincial government was discussed as though it wasn’t already a done deal. 🙂

  • DeceitinDrugs says:

    I must ask?

    Is Deb Lowell the PR person for the Salvation Army’s
    homeless or PR person for the business community wanting to
    rid the homeless on Gladys Ave.?

    Considering she is a past director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, does this connection put her into a conflict between
    appeasing the homeless and the business community?

    The clear choice should be to represent the best interest of the
    homeless in this community and why would she deny such a great
    opportunity to shine light on the homeless problem in our city but
    all cities’ in the Lower Mainland?

  • DeceitinDrugs says:

    Deb Lowell says, “we’re just interested in moving forward and looking
    after the people, we are caring for with dignity and respect.”

    Interested in moving forward…how can the city and it’s social
    organizations move forward without addressing what happened and
    why and how to deal with the homeless issue, in terms of housing
    and/or a place to stay?

    Interested in moving on is more about hoping the media attention
    around the homeless problem will settle and quietly go away, once

    What does it matter to Lowell, if the meeting is filmed? What doesn’t
    she want the rest of the community and country to hear or see?

    This is an opportunity to get the word out about the need for
    housing/shelters for the homeless….you can care for them all you
    want, but, that will not bring the solutions or the funding to change
    things for the better for the homeless and the community.

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