Letters: Sneering Editorial Missed The Point

By January 27, 2013Letters

In a letter to Abbotsford News editor Andrew Holota, Gerda Peachey responds to statements regarding City’s community standards bylaw.

Hi Andrew: Your editorial is rich in sneering, put-down.

Since you even bother to touch our 10 minute delegations to Council, about community standards enforced, (or not) at publicly-owned facilities, you would have done well to also bother to read Richard’s script.

Then you might have noticed the many references to people who are not Christians, but who have the brains to see Lingerie, (or its new incarnation) ‘football’, for what it really is.

Though you can only see what City Hall wants you to see, plenty of thinking, non-Christians, get it. This is only Mortaza making money on the exploitation of women. What is accurate in your editorial is the silence of the Christians. And so I thank God for my pagan friends.

Bruce Banman threw in plenty of red herrings, after my ten minutes before ‘his worship’ last Nov., but not a thing of substance.

We do have morality, decency clauses that pertain to our public buildings. Banman says not a word about those existing clauses, but he grandly, and three times exhorted me about “the Supreme Court”. Richard asked him to provide references to those Supreme Court rulings, – but as is the custom at Abbotsford City Hall, when they’re caught bluffing, they just ignore the question.

I wish you would give this community more news and editorials that show courage and independent journalistic analysis

For a long time now, you have treated all things City Hall with kid gloves. You have been silent, or oh so gentle, on major controversies in our City. Plan A, P3 for Stave Lake, AESC bungles, subsidy for the Abbotsford Heat.

I don’t need affirmation from you about who God is and what he expects of us humans, whom he created, but I do look to you for quality, courageous and independent reporting. It’s the lifeblood of democracy. That’s what you once gave us.

So feel free to critique me (and Richard), give it your best shot. But use intelligent arguments, based at least in part on what we actually say. Don’t just slavishly regurgitate what you think the City wants you to print, because you don’t want to lose the lucrative advertising they send your way.

Gerda Peachey

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Hamish Glencross says:

    Did I just read a letter where Gerda Peachey accused another of “sneering”? Gerda, obviously the irony of your accusation escapes you.

    Our community has outright rejected your political philosophy, Gerda. My memory serves to recall that you lost the mayoralty race by a VERY wide margin. The social conservatives in Abbotsford have mired the political process for too long with the endless moral tirades. Meanwhile, municipal spending and taxes have grown and basic services are becoming difficult to deliver.

    A new conservative movement is so desperately needed here, one that focuses of fiscal responsibility and leaves civil liberties and questions of religious morality out of city operations. Such a movement is beginning to take hold – it is evident in the recent Republican loss down south and with the manner in which Harper is loath to answer to the social conservatives in Canada. Another couple of municipal election cycles and I predict that there will be great change in Abbotsford.

    The controversy over the LFL is a perfect example of the problem which social conservatives create. The LFL is a privately-owned free market enterprise that is attempting to generate revenue at the very costly AESC – without depending on municipal subsidies (unlike the Heat). We should be supporting the LFL, not chastising it.

    Gerda, If you can find ONE instance where any of the girls in the LFL was somehow criminally exploited or coerced into participating in their sport, I will capitulate to your argument. Finding just ONE girl who fits this scenario sets the bar pretty low –if we were to use that same standard on other community organizations we would find a whole lot of churches, schools, and businesses closed.

  • The Editor says:

    Hey Hamish, Thanks for the comment.

    While I agree that the social conservatives who have tried hard to enforce their own version of morality on others through the secular world of government are and ought to be on the retreat, Abbotsford has a much more deeply engrained social conservative movement than most jurisdictions [ http://www.abbotsfordtoday.ca/columns-who-decided-abbotsford-is-a-city-of-character/ ] and it may take longer to happen here.

    As for the girls of the LFL being exploited, be careful what you ask for, there is actually a great deal of evidence for the exploitation of the girls of the LFL:



  • Hello Hamish: I am hardly a factor in municipal elections. Let me introduce myself. On a good day I have five friends. I am rich, but not overly so in money, so I can’t buy love, nor votes.

    I don’t belong to a church. I don’t run with the movers and shakers, and I don’t ‘network’.

    Having watched local politics for years, I run for council because I really like politics. Every one of us should do whatever we can to influence our world, – hopefully for good and not for evil. Elections provide an opportunity to bring issues into the public square.

    Being a realist, I don’t think it likely I’d be voted in. But unless someone quality runs for mayor in 2014, and if I am alive and well I will run again,… for the same reasons.

    You say, ” municipal spending and taxes have grown and basic services are becoming difficult to deliver.”..and you’re right. I hope more people will inform themselves, and then engage themselves in civic affairs. Public apathy is what allows all levels of government to make poor decisions, grow lazy or corrupt.

    On what amusements mayor and council bring to my/our publicly-owned buildings, you and I do have a say. Bruce Banman says he is not the morality police, but he is actively bringing immorality to Abbotsford with Mortaza’s sexual exploitation of women. Banman’s assertion that we can’t set any standard of decency is in direct contravention of clauses embedded in the Global Spectrum contract.

    Is there nothing that you would draw the line at? Seriously, if you were in charge, would you rent our buildings out with no bounds on what takes place there?

    Your challenge, “If you can find ONE instance where any of the girls in the LFL was somehow criminally exploited or coerced into participating in their sport, I will capitulate to your argument.”.. is worthy of a response.

    I am almost 70 now, and have met a lot of women (and men as well) who were deeply wounded early in life by sexual abuse. Often the shame, confusion, fear and pain is too much. Without adequate support and love these people grow up thinking they are cheap, losers, not worthy of respect.

    That Mitchell Mortaza can exploit vulnerable women is no great feat. His own attitude towards women is well documented.

    How does lingerie ‘football’ build self-esteem or enrich the lives of those women? Having bozos oogle them, for absolutely nothing more than lust cheapens not only those women, but also the men.

    Society is degraded – Abbotsford is degraded by bringing this kind of entertainment to our facilities.

  • Meghann Coughlan says:


    I would caution you to be careful when using ‘majority rules’ as a basis for what is correct. Not so long ago the majority believed the earth was flat, as well.

    As for Gerda losing by a “VERY wide margin”, one could argue that she was closer to winning the election than you were. She made the decision that many of us made during the election – to get out and be heard, to vocalise our concerns publicly for the betterment of our community rather than being an armchair riding critic. Now, I lost by a larger margin than Gerda did, so what do I know?

    As I am sure you know, Vince DiManno also ran for council and lost, yet you apparently rely on Abbotsford Today for reliable information despite the fact that he is part owner of this media group. Is it because he lost by a smaller margin?

    The Abbotsford News, in my opinion, loves to vilify the Peacheys. Andrew Holota’s editorial lacked any real substance. What Mr. Holota is forgetting is that in a country like Canada, anyone has the right to voice their opinions and the minute we take that right away from the minority we’re going to be in a world of trouble.

    Here’s the thing: I’m an atheist, pro-choice, vegetarian, socialist supporter of gay rights and harm reduction programs. I’d also like to consider myself one of Gerda’s five friends. And I’m proud to be. Gerda and I obviously do not agree about many things, but I respect the fact that her opinions are guided by love. The Peacheys aren’t fighting for their own voices to be heard, nor do they strive to be the poster people for morality… they do it because they feel they are helping us, as a whole.

    And as an atheist I’d much rather have Christians who don’t pick and choose which portions of the bible to follow, which to paraphrase to suit their agenda and which to ignore to attain votes. They are what they are and they come by it honestly. Far better, in my opinion, than what we are used to in town.

    That being said, I feel as though we need a complete separation of church and government. We are nowhere near that right now…. which makes me wonder why you focused your anger on the Peacheys rather than your council, who WON!! and are, for the most part, supporting Richard’s delegation to council.

    You don’t have to agree with them. But you do have to allow them the right to say what they need to say.

    And rather than criticise people for not winning elections, applaud them for being brave enough to stand up and fight for what they believe is right. It sure isn’t easy.

  • Well Meghann: After I recover from your warm approbation, I need to correct your assertion that there was ever a time when “the majority believed that the earth was flat”.

    Richard wrote a series of articles for the UVF student newspaper, ‘The Cascade’. So here’s the link to the famous evolutionist, Stephen Jay Gould, on the flat-earth story,

    (1) Richard Peachey’s Cascade News advertorial, Dec. 4, 2009: “Medieval ‘Flat Earth’ Belief: Another Evolutionist Fallacy!”

    Stephen Jay Gould died a few years ago. He was no friend of young-earth creationists, but he would not stand idly by while nonsense was being spouted, even when the truth exposed evolution’s weakness.

    Thanks for the kind defence of an ‘also-ran’.

  • Meghann Coughlan says:


    I do love me some Peacheys.

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