By Mike Archer. John Smith, Bruce Beck, and all those who pushed Plan A on an unsuspecting city, have finally managed to all but destroy the local economy. On all of the important measureable indexes – Unemployment; Housing Starts; Building Permits – we lead Western Canada, if not the country, in the steady, unforgiving decline in economic growth.
Photo: Councillor (and former banker) John Smith
Neither the business community, nor the taxpayer, nor the average citizen can afford what Abbotsford Council has been doing to the city any more.
Unlike the newspaper media, Abbotsford Today tracks Economic Indicators. It is one of the reasons we don’t have such a teenaged, cheerleader view as the newspaper and the Chamber of Commerce.
We don’t think it’s our job to make those who are destroying our collective wealth look good. We think it is our job to expose them and what they are doing so that when citizens have the all too rare opportunity to say something about the way their city is run, they can make an educated decision.
It would be nice for the voters, taxpayers and citizens of Abbotsford if someone … John Smith, Bruce Banman, Peroxide Patty – anyone who has had a hand in the path of destruction over the last three administrations … would have the guts to admit that the city is in a mess.
The water and sewer pipes we have in the ground can’t accommodate economic growth even if someone wanted to invest in Abbotsford, and our low-wage, part time job market can’t possibly support the high end merchants the Economic Development Department manages to lure to town with low to no taxes.
Ever since we put all of our eggs in the ‘Build it and they will come’ philosophy of John Smith and Bruce Beck we have experienced nothing but steady economic decline. Our Development Cost Charges (DCC) fund has been ransacked; we owe ourselves more money than we can afford to pay; John and Bruce’s hockey team and arena are bleeding us dry every year to the tune of some $10 million; building projects which have approved sit with signs up and empty holes in the ground (our new MLA Darryl Plecas took over one of the longest standing holes in the ground and made it his office).
And all the Mayor can think of doing is persecuting the homeless.
Bruce Banman’s Economic Action Plan is a farce. Written for him by the one organization in Abbotsford which can brag about an unblemished record of being wrong about every single public policy issue behind which it has thrown its weight (such as it is) in the last decade – the Chamber of Commerce – it does nothing so much as reward the failure of those who have caused the decline.
Abbotsford’s power structure has become so accustomed to saying things and having them regurgitated without question by subservient newspapers, they actually seem to have no idea we can all see through the BS they hand out.
This city is in decline.
- Plummeting Housing Starts
- Building Permits In Free-Fall
- Highest Unemployment In Western Canada
- An Intractable Homeless Crisis
- High HIV And Hep C Rates
- High Drug Use In Our Schools
- A History Of Ignoring Both The Law And Its Jurisdiction
- A Series Of Court Cases And Human Rights Complaints That will Solidify Our Reputation As The ‘Chicken Manure City’
- Despite All Of The Above We Have Some Of The Highest Taxes And Water Rates In The Lower Mainland
Something has to change and fast. The men and women who have broken this city over their last several terms in office need to retire and stop ruining their city.
They suffer from either complete and utter incompetence, or they simply don’t care about the damage they are doing to the bank accounts, the livelihoods and investments of their friends and neighbours.
Either way, they have to stop what they are doing and we need to put someone who knows how to solve problems, generate economic growth and talk honestly to the voters in power.
This time let’s not make the mistake of thinking that, as long as we change mayors, everything will be just fine.
We need a clean sweep and a fresh new team. Nothing less will stem the unforgiving tide of economic decline in which we find ourselves.