By Vince Dimanno. Here I am writing another column where I’m angry. This one is slightly different though. Usually, I get angry about something and then I let it stew away inside me until I calm down. Then, I try to write coherently, faking the emotion I felt when first confronted with the issue. Not this time.
This time, I am writing this column while Abbotsford City Council is still in session. Councillor Braun, at the beginning of the Agenda, interjected a motion to have Council reconsider the ACS Low Barrier Housing Rezoning Proposal. He was immediately seconded by Councillor Gill.
The motion was defeated and you can read how that went here. I’m writing this column for a different reason.
I want to thank the Mayor for giving us the issue that will get him out of the Mayor’s chair.
Yep…welcome to your “water issue” Bruce.
In the last two weeks you’ve seen the community come out in support of this project as strongly as they came out against the water issue. To alleviate people’s concerns about your decision, you sat on a panel following the screening of the Chicken Manure Incident documentary and told everyone you wish we could throw homeless in prison and go back to the days when we could lobotomize and sterilize them.
Oh yes…your quote is clear to me. People have nicely glossed over the fact that your words longed for the days when this was legal before the Supreme Court got involved in “protecting” them with the law.
But you stick to your guns no matter what…and you confirmed your Statement to Julie Krop on Global TV’s “Unfiltered”.
The last Mayor who stuck to his guns on the wrong side of an issue resulted in you having the job you have now.
Now look at this picture of the banner held up after your travesty of governance tonight? If you can’t tell, it is covered in signatures. Enough signatures to see the end of your political career.
When the water issue was important to people, more than 7,000 people who don’t normally vote, did so. Every signature on that banner is now actively campaigning against you. So, while this does nothing for the man sleeping on the street tonight, it is hope for the community at large.
But you’ve cast your lot with the ADBA and the Chamber of Commerce. Ooooeeee…nothing like throwing in with the Chamber of Commerce. The one organization in town that has been on the wrong side of every single issue for the last 8 years. In a town with the highest unemployment rate in Western Canada, I can’t wait to see what their vision for Abbotsford 2020 will be. I suspect a return to a “hunter-gathering” economy.
You’re not alone though. I’d also like to take this opportunity to call out Councillor MacGregor as a hypocrite. Bill, don’t vote against housing and then show up to a Rally for the Homeless in an attempt to get anyone to think you really care. Truly, anyone with half a brain knows that it will now be years before funding and opportunity come back to this community. Actions speak louder than words and you are a hypocrite. Worse, before you cast your vote you attempted to quote “the good book”.
Sir, I don’t think you’ve read a book. You certainly read nothing to do with this issue. To reference a book that goes on endlessly about how we should help the less fortunate, and then you vote against the very help they need, also makes you one helluva lousy Christian.
OK…it’s off my chest…but since I am doing something unusual today, I’m going to keep the trend going and I’m going to end with a real compliment. Hey Bruce…you know I’m being sarcastic right? I’m not really thanking you. You know that right?
I do want to thank Councillor Loewen. He and Councillors Ross, Gill and Braun voted to reconsider the rezoning, but I particularly want to thank Dave Loewen. If you don’t know it, Councillor Loewen gives Abbotsford Today a lot of grief about how we never write about any of the good things the city does. I have told him that I would be happy to do so…but that those “good things” aren’t remarkable. They are simply Council doing its job. I’ve said that Council needs a home-run to get me singing its praises.
Obviously Council struck out on this issue. But you and Councillors Gill, Ross and Braun hit a home run with your votes. I wish your vote could be followed by greater fanfare from me…but I’m afraid you’ll have to be satisfied with a simple “thank you”.