Banman’s Bullying Ways Remind Me Of Someone

By Mike Archer. A Letter to the Editor we received last week from Kerry Proudfoot about Mayor Banman’s habit of bullying those who disagree with him is beginning to stand out as one of the hallmarks of his mayoralty.

Not only did the letter receive several comments confirming Proudfoot’s impression but, when we ran one of those comments later in the week it drew a whole lot more.

“If it is the Mayor’s intention to insult a large group of people on a regular basis, it appears by popular consensus that he is succeeding.

“Whose community, Mayor Banman? Certainly not mine.”

Kerry Proudfoot

“The Abbotsford City of Character virtue of “Respect” was certainly not practiced by Mayor Banman unless he only respects those who agree with his misplaced policies regarding Abbotsford’s rural communities. These communities are very good at engaging their youth by practicing all of the stated virtues without belonging to the Abbotsford City of Character yet Banman has little “Respect” for them. One virtue that I believe is missing from the Abbotsford City of Character list of virtues is “honesty”. ”

Lynn Perrin

Perrin makes a good point. Does the Mayor belong on the Character Council after exhibiting such disrespectful, rude and questionable behaviour?

What must one do to be kicked off of the Character Council? What must the children of the community who are rewarded for exhibiting ‘good character’ feel when they hear that the Mayor is allowed to get away with things for which they would never be forgiven?

Bruce Banman lecturing on character in a  video clip on the  City of Character website.

Bruce Banman lecturing on character in a video clip on the City of Character website.

The whole point of the City of Character movement is to insinuate Christian moral values into our secular institutions under the auspices of teaching our children the character traits exhibited by our community leaders.

And so a group of secular men and women sit in judgment of the character of our youth while being allowed to set a horrible example in their own daily lives.

The last person sitting on the Character Council representing the City of Abbotsford was George Peary. George was well known for his temper tantrums and angry outbursts. He shut down Question Period at the end of council meetings because he found Lynn Perrin’s questions annoying.

Well, thanks in part to some of Lynn’s questions we discovered that Peary was not telling the truth about our desperate need for a new $300,000,000 water supply and he was booted out of office.

Former Mayor George Peary

Former Mayor George Peary

Banman seems inexplicably headed in the same direction. It seems every time he runs into opposition, mostly over tax giveaways, tax grabs or development to which people object, or decisions he can’t explain, he gets angry about his apparent inability to manage things for his new found friends in the monied class who rely on him to use his genuine-looking smile and lilting singing voice to get things done.

George Ferguson was the last Mayor we had who knew how to get things done. He did so by remembering that while developers and the wealthy must be satisfied, their desires and greed must be managed in such a way as to do the most good for the community at large rather than simply lining their own pockets. Ferguson also knew that if you don’t treat people with respect, especially those who gave you your job, they won’t have any for you either.

Ferguson’s respect for the process was also genuine. He was a sly politician and he knew how to bend the rules, but he always treated individuals and the political process with respect.

Neither of his successors seems to have understood that basic and simple rule.

George Peary mistook petulance, anger and rudeness for strength. A mistake many a schoolmaster before him has made. Banman seems to either be choosing the wrong predecessor on which to pattern his own behaviour or a simple inability to control his baser instincts.

Either way he seems destined to follow in George Peary’s footsteps.

Listen to Bruce talk about character:

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Jay says:

    Caution! Religious stereotyping alert!
    Your quote “The whole point of the City of Character movement is to insinuate Christian moral values into our secular institutions…” is erroneous.
    The movement is not about insinuating “Christian” moral values.
    Yes those values mentioned are found in Christianity but they are also in other faiths.
    I do agree that Banman bullies like Peary.

  • The Editor says:

    Thanks Jay. But the words were very carefully chosen and the research backing them up was substantial.

    The City of Character Movement is a right wing Christian movement based on the beliefs enunciated in the practice of Dominionism – a belief that our government and secular institutions ought to conform to Christian values and beliefs.

    You can find the research and the background here:

    The fact that all faiths and indeed most Atheists believe in the values expressed does not remove the meaning explicit in the City of Character Movement.

    It defies credulity to expect the citizens and taxpayers of Abbotsford to believe that a movement as thoroughly and publicly discredited as the City of Character Movement, and so closely identified with the worst of the extreme right, just happens to have the same name as the Abbotsford organization of the same name, with the same methods and modus operandi and even the same website structure and design and is somehow a different animal.

    There is no religious stereotyping going on here at all. There is merely a very uncomfortable truth being spoken about an aspect of public life in Abbotsford most people feel uncomfortable talking about.

    Mike Archer

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