Email Reveals Sally Ann Approved Of Chicken Manure Dump On Homeless

By Mike Archer. An email from James Arden, Acting Director, Park Services, for the City of Abbotsford, to City Manager George Murray revealed this week that the Abbotsford Salvation Army was “in agreement” with the City’s plan to dump chicken manure on property, occupied by homeless people, across the street from their building.

The Salvation Army's Deb Lowell

The Salvation Army’s Deb Lowell

In that email, obtained by Abbotsford Today, Arden says, “I followed up with my team and the Salvation Army staff were talked to by By-Law as to our plan with the fertilizer and were in agreement.”

The email, dated June 4 at 12:45 pm, is important because Salvation Army spokesperson Deb Lowell has maintained that the Sally Ann had no prior knowledge of the plan to dump chicken feces on the homeless.

Lowell has said that the Sally Ann phoned the City as soon as they were made aware of the incident.

Email Portion

Murray, in his response to Arden says, This is quite often what happens in our business. Groups are 100% behind us ….. right until it turns to shit (rather than manure)”

City Manager George Murray

City Manager George Murray

The incident [Abbotsford Chicken Manure Homeless Incident] occurred June 4th across from the Salvation Army building on Gladys Avenue and was first reported in a column by James Breckenridge on Abbotsford Today June 5.

Within hours of the revelation, City Manager George Murray responded to Abbotsford Today‘s story with a blanket apology saying he took full responsibility for the incident.

The story gained international attention and, despite claims in the Abbotsford News that they were led to believe the incident was the responsibility of a handful of low-level authorities, two senior managers (Economic Development Manager Jay Teichroeb and Bylaw Enforcement Gordon Ferguson) have since left their jobs.

On June 16 Murray told Abbotsford Today there was a meeting with a number of parties, including the Salvation Army prior to the incident.

He further stated, “The Salvation Army was not involved in making the decision. The Salvation Army does not have the authority to approve City staff to undertake any work. The decision to spread the manure was made by City staff.”

On Monday emails obtained by CBC News revealed that a number of senior people in at least three departments new about the plan.

Jesse Wegenast and Ward Draper, both pastors with The 5 and 2 Ministries told the Abbostford Social Development Advisory Committee (ASDAC) at a meeting in June that the incident was part of a pattern of mistreatment of the homeless by the City of Abbotsford and the Abbotsford Police Department (APD). An investigation is underway into the APD’s involvement in this incident and into accusations that they regularly use pepper spray and destroy the tents and belongings of the homeless in Abbotsford.

Abbotsford Today has contacted the Salvation Army and will publish their response as soon as it is received.

Sally Ann email

Join the discussion 26 Comments

  • Deceit in Drugs says:

    Big Question: Who’s boundaries did Lowell not want to cross
    by compromising her social responsibilities given her position
    at the Salvation Army?

    It states, “the Salvation Army was “in agreement’ with the city to
    dump chicken manure on the property occupied by the homeless
    on the land across from their building.”

    Did Deb Lowell feel obligated to support certain members of the development community, whom she was associated with/ represented, while being a director on the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, whose
    priority is development in the city.

  • The Editor says:

    Bas Stevens Says:
    It would appear to me that George Murray is in full damage control. He has told Mayor and Council when to speak to the matter and when not to speak.
    I have a question for Mayor Banman and Council – does George Murray report to Mayor and Council or is it the other way around? It would appear as though Henry Braun is the only one with the intestinal fortitude to stand up to Murray and question his instructions.
    I think it is now time to get rid of another ”little person” and hire someone who will do a proper job as General Manager of Abbotsford. I am sick and tired of hearing the comment ”we can not divulge whether severance has been paid or not in the cases of the departed staff. The tax payers of Abbotsford HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW how their tax dollars are being spent!

    From Submissions

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