On Thursday, July 31, 2014, the homeless men and women who lived by the Happy Tree were evacuated from Gladys Avenue after the City of Abbotsford had posted No Trespassing signs around every piece of public property along Gladys Avenue and covered an open piece of property opposite the new Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) building with several truckloads of gravel.
The well orchestrated evacuation, providing the homeless with nowhere to live anywhere near the Salvation Army or the provincial services they rely on in the downtown area, was pulled off without any major incident while police watched from several blocks away.
Mayor Banman was on CKNW talking with Shane Woodward about the City’s relationship with its homeless citizens on Friday morning. During the interview he claimed the City was involved in a great many initiatives to help the homeless including the Abby Digs proposal – proposal which has received no approval or support from the City of Abbotsford and about which the Mayor himself has expressed doubts.
So far his Task Force has made two important decisions:
1) To hire a homeless coordinator
2) To make a video
The Mayor’s interview has upset a few people who feel he has misrepresented the City of Abbotsford’s intentions and treatment of the homeless citizens of Abbotsford. Some feel he has merely been paying lip service to citizens’ demands and attempts to do something concrete for the homeless and feel he has only been trying to make a PR case City lawyers can use in front a a BC Supreme Court judge where the City faces a series of lawsuits brought by Pivot Legal Society on behalf of the BC/Yukon Drug War Survivors (DWS) and the homeless men and women of Abbotsford. Some of those cases stem from Banman’s world famous Chicken Manure Incident when the City used chicken feces to remove the homeless from the same piece of property in 2013.
Bas Stevens Bruce Banman, please do not belittle people living in tents. If you had ever served your country, you would not be making a statement like this. Soldiers live in tents! First Nations live in “tents” called teepees. People in Mongolia live in tents known as yurts. Your statement shows a complete lack of class and understanding.
I must say that over the past 18 months I have heard many people make the claim that you are filled with “hot air”. I have come to the realization that it is not hot air but my initials – BS!
Linda Drummond This man needs to have someone write his media before it comes out of his mouth.
Informed listeners are excused for, yeah, that.
Woodford’s interview demonstrated why CKNW is no longer the lion cage it once was. BC politicians were once justifiably fearful of CKNW interviews by the likes of Pat Burns, Rafe Mair, Jack Webster, and Gary Bannerman who mauled any political interviewee who emitted the faintest whiff of bullshit/chickenshit.
The times have changed but that old familiar stench remains & yet, and yet Woodford ensured Banman left without a scratch for misleading the public about Abbotsford’s self-induced homelessness, yet again.
Why? How is it possible for a mayor to claim he is earnestly seeking solutions to homelessness when he & councillors Smith, MCGregor and Barkman are responsible for sabotaging the very solution they are now claiming to seek?
Reporters used to ask, wait for it, follow-up-questions. Those brilliant Klieg light questions illuminated both the whiff & its source.
The “lion cage” is miss’n its lions.
god help us all.
What do you think of our mayor’s characterization of the state of affairs in Abbotsford?
What do you thin of the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness?
What do you think of the City’s ongoing legal attempts to bar homeless people from using public land?
Edited 08/02/14 23:06