By Abnor. As homeless advocate James Breckenridge pointed out at Monday’s public hearing, the only people unable to speak at the hearing – those without a home or an address – were the one’s whose lives hang in the balance.
Faced with overwhelming opposition to their poorly constructed, ill-conceived and selfish diatribe, there were calls on Monday for council to put off a decision on this festering mess until the community could achieve … wait for it … consensus.
Suddenly democracy isn’t good enough for those who seem to have used every available means of influencing and lobbying Abbotsford’s politicians to do their bidding for them. Suddenly, when it appears their influence, along with that of old councillors like John Smith – the architect of the ruins of a community we stand in today – is no longer enough to tip the public trough in their favour, it is time for more than democracy. We need consensus.
No we don’t. We Need Leadership.
The churches, the service providers, community groups like the Abbotsford Foundation, and businesses like VanCity, the provincial government and a growing number of individual citizens are all together on this issue. Only the ADBA, the Chamber of Commerce and a couple of old councillors who either participated in the abuse or approved of it are intent on continuing the madness.
The ADBA has gone from outright lying about the ACS/BC Housing proposal to being disingenuous in their opposition. Describing their little neighbourhood as historic, because a few of its buildings have been around for over 50 years and the land was taken away from its rightful owners more than a century ago, betrays a very cursory relationship with history.
Describing downtown Abbotsford as a jewel is simply being childish. It is an area of the community which was brought back from ruin by offering legislative protection, bottom drawer real estate prices and low rent.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
The rights of Bob Bos and his tenants to make money are not more important to this community than the lives of the homeless men and women who are being trampled on behalf of those rights.
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Editor’s Note:Abnor joins us from time to time with a question or two about what he sees around him. He has plenty of time on his hands and he spends a great deal of his time wandering the streets of Abbotsford wondering about what he sees and hears. He’s a modern day hobo with a Blackberry.