Since almost everything of any significance or importance to the citizens of Abbotsford always goes on away from the public it is often difficult to have much of a public discussion on anything before decisions get made and announced in the local paper as a fait accompli.
So it seems to be with the growing Abbotsford Homeless Crisis. Since the City and the Salvation Army got caught with their proverbial pants down when they poisoned the homeless across the street from the Sally Ann, there has been virtually nothing said publicly about whether and how we are going to resolve the issue other than the PR face-saving stuff we have grown tired of hearing from politicians like Mayor Banman and PR people like Deb Lowell.
The one serious solution which has been proposed – the Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) Supportive Housing Project – has only made things worse for the politicians who can’t seem to make up their minds when so many people in the community don’t want them to do the right thing.
Their problem in all of this is that it was the City of Abbotsford which went ahead and approved of BC Housing and the ACS’ proposal for the land in question without ever consulting those most affected (either the homeless or the downtown merchants depending on your point of view).
Now they are left trying to do the right thing and please all sides of the debate and avoid looking incompetent in the process … not an easy task
The people we haven’t heard from, like the Abbotsford Christian Leaders Network (ACLN), the majority of the politicians on City Council, or provincial MLAs, have been busy, we are told, scurrying around trying to find a solution to the issue which keeps everybody happy and doesn’t get anybody in trouble.
Maybe that’s what Deb Lowell means way she says helping our fellow citizens in Abbotsford is ‘complex’.
What we have heard is going on in the background, but have been unable to confirm, is this:
Various organizations and individuals within the power structure are trying to put together a proposal that would allow everyone to save face and still do the right thing
At least three locations, outside of the Abbotsford Downtown (ADBA) area, have been put forward and are being considered as a new location to replace the one the City approved at 2408 Montvue Avenue
Pressure is being exerted on Abbotsford’s three Liberal MLAs to either:
- a) Find other funding, in case the BC Housing funding disappears if their approved location is turned down by the City, or,
- b) Pressure BC Housing to fund a different location
Since everyone in the power structure is so afraid of the citizens of Abbotsford they won’t discuss matters like this with them beforehand, we will likely have to wait until the Abbotsford News is provided with the anointed version of the truth before finding out what our betters have decided on our behalf.
Until then, stay tuned … we will keep poking around where our nose is unwelcome.