By James Breckenridge. Bruce, John, Dave, Les, Patricia – you were paying attention weren’t you? You did hear what Finance Minister Mike de Jong stated so clearly?
Finance minister Mike de Jong, in an November 28, 2013 interview with radio station 107.1,made it abundantly clear to Abbotsford’s citizens, mayor and council what the bottom line is for the proposed Housing First project at Abbotsford Community Services to help the homeless.
“It will be for the City Council to decide whether they want to accept the offer that the provincial government has made. I’m hopeful because I know how great the demands are. And if Abbotsford were to decide not to proceed then there are any number of communities that will be happy to take that money.” – Mike de Jong
Either the mayor and city council rezone the ACS property and the housing gets built OR the money will go to a community where the community, mayor and council actually want to do something to address homelessness and affordable housing in their community.
A community, mayor and council who are interested in doing, as in taking action, not simply uttering the right buzzwords or saying they want to do something but – wail, lament – Abbotsford has no money for the homeless; wealthy well housed, well connected old boy businessmen YES, but NONE for the homeless.
A community, mayor and council who, when the provincial government offers million$ of dollar$ for capital expenses and more million$ of dollar$ to fund operations and programs over the life of the project act quickly to do what is required to secure the funding for their community.
Unlike Abbotsford where the NIMBYs are guaranteed to say NIMBY you don’t; where far too many others in the community start coming up with excuses about how they are all for this type of project but … it needs to be located in the ‘perfect’ location and this is not it; where council begins looking for excuses to say NO, to NOT take the provincial government’s money as soon as the project is publicly announced; where the mayor stands at the microphone at a public forum wailing about how the city is to poor and the senior levels of government have to ‘step up’ with funding … while at his right hand sit three representatives from BC Housing with million$ of dollar$ for capital costs and more millions$ of dollars$ for operations on the table.
Clarification: the money will go to a community, mayor and council who are interested in doing something positive and effective.
After all, Abbotsford’s mayor and council are interested in doing something about the homeless – attacking them with a poor man’s biological weapon of chicken feces; using their police force*** against the homeless; destroying the camps and belongings of the homeless – in the dead of winter.
In fact, based on behaviour to date, Abbotsford’s mayor and council seem interested in any action BUT an action that would be positive and effective.
A council that squanders million$ of dollar$ on vanity projects, seemingly wants to squander the opportunity to receive millions of dollar$ of provincial money, squander provincial goodwill and squander future funding of projects by the provincial government.
Business as usual at Abbotsford City Hall.
*** A police force that Justice Kathleen Ker referred to as “a place that time forgot” and stated such actions are “inexcusable in the 21st century.” Justice Ker also stated “The treatment Mr. Moonie received while in the custody of the APD fell not only below general community standards of decency, but it also reflects treatment that denied Mr. Moonie any modicum of respect for his inherent dignity and value as a human being,”
A police force where it was necessary to: “Resolution reached over police tent-slashing in Abbotsford”.