Just Plain Dumb

By October 3, 2014Hot Topic, Mike Archer

By Mike Archer. In what is probably the dumbest editorial I have ever read anywhere, anytime, Abbotsford News Editor Andrew Holota, uses a circular argument with himself, in one sentence, at the beginning of his little rant, which nullifies his entire editorial.

“We make no argument against the points of law no doubt paramount in the judge’s findings. However, we had hoped this case would be recognized and dismissed for the theatre it has become.” – Abbotsford News, October 1, 2014.

With the above statement from the editorial A costly sideshow Holota demonstrates that:

a) He doesn’t understand the law
b) He doesn’t understand this court case
c) He doesn’t understand the meaning of shooting oneself in the foot, then re-loading and doing it again

First of all Andrew; Nice of you to ” … make no argument against the points of law no doubt paramount in the judge’s findings.” He is, after all a judge and you … well … you’re not. If you’re leaving the law to those who understand it … then just shut up and write about something you understand.

Secondly; Don’t make assumptions about what people’s or organization’s motivations were unless you know. You say the DWS started this law suit to draw attention to the plight of the homeless. Really? Did they tell you that? Or is that your narrow-minded, ill-informed and clearly biased opinion which you are presenting in the absence of fact.

Because, from what the majority of the 700 members of the DWS we’ve talked to intend, they want to get compensation for human rights abuses and make history by forcing this City and its cops to abide by the law. Then they intend to change the way marginalized people are treated here forever. It’s a little more complicated than your dumbed-down version.

Here’s what has happened Andrew:

The City put a number of motions before the judge in this case which were designed to derail, delay and deny the right of the litigants to sue the City or the Abbotsford Police.

Those tactics, along with the insistence on the part of the City and the APD in defending their actions and keeping evidence out of the public eye, have cost the taxpayers the millions you complain about having been spent on this case.

The law you so kindly allow the judge to talk about, before ignoring what he said and telling him he is wasting our time and money, is precisely what this entire ugly mess is about.

Chief Justice HinksonThe judge didn’t buy your narrative – which is eerily similar to that of the City and the APD.

While the City and the APD, spending huge wads of taxpayers’ money, tried to convince the Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court that this case was a publicity stunt; that the Drug War Survivors (DWS) were just a few radicals from Vancouver; that Barry Shantz, head of the Abbotsford DWS, and his organization should have no standing before the court … they even tried to make your point (wonder where you got your arguments from) that the whole thing was a waste of time.

Here’s where you miss the point bonehead. Monday’s judgment was about the BC Supreme Court disagreeing with everything … everything the City and the APD … and you are saying.

On Monday Chief Justice Hinkson dismissed every single motion the City made. On Tuesday you proceeded to publish an editorial which simply repeated the arguments he dismissed the day before. Maybe you should read what Judge Hinkson had to say before wasting the time of whatever readers you have left [at this point … I’m really beginning to think it’s only me Andrew] by babbling on and repeating the arguments the Chief Justice dismissed and wasting everybody’s time. [Well … maybe not everybody. Maybe just you and me]

Oh … two other things Andrew; the two points which you say are “clear:”

1) Governments must have the power to determine where people live within city bounds

That is what the whole court case is about and why it is so important. It’s also why municipalities, lawyers and law students from across Canada and around the world are paying attention to this case – because it is being alleged that Abbotsford is a clear case of a junior arm of government and its police force overstepping their bounds, passing ultra vires bylaws which countermand and contradict existing legislation- laws which are the province of senior governments which actually have jurisdiction in these matters – and using that usurped legislative power to deliberately persecute and diminish an entire class of people.

Sort of rude of you to dismiss it as a waste of time and money don’t you think? Kind of landmark judicial stuff wouldn’t ‘ya say Andrew? [Oh … I know we’ll leave that to the judges]

daliConsider this: If a group of councillors ever gets elected in Abbotsford who believe that pencil-mustachioed old newspaper editors who don’t understand the law but write about it as if they did anyway, should be persecuted with bylaws which curtail their ability to waste people’s time, you’ll have to hide all of your editorials and arguments supporting the councillors’ right to do just that.

2) This litigation is a distracting, costly sideshow to the real issue

If the litigation is distracting – why doesn’t the City just settle and stop spending millions of dollars defending its actions and spend that money on the real issue – letting this community heal from the years of pain and embarrassment it has caused and start doing something concrete about homelessness with taxpayers’ money.

It’s good to know that, if average, hard-working people (you know … the only kind of average) people ever successfully attack public officials, and police or government agencies for spending public money criminalizing illness and poverty and possibly engaging in illegal, ultra vires or unconstitutional activities, somebody’s got the government’s back and will work tirelessly to protect them from the rabble.

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