By Mike Archer. Mayor Bruce Banman is sounding more like former one-term mayor George Peary every day. Faced with the biggest test so far of his term as mayor of Abbotsford, he has shown us he thinks he knows where his bread is buttered.
But he’ll find out the hard way in 2015.
Banman very quickly turned into the kind of mayor he said he wouldn’t be. Defending senior staff for outrageous decisions and conduct (because he thinks they work for him … not us); backing land use proposals (YMCA) for out of town organizations wanting millions from Abbotsford taxpayers; explaining how black and white, right and wrong, up and down are all more nuanced and complex than the public can possibly understand …
Thankfully we have Mayor Bruce to explain it to us.
Here he is explaining to the Vancouver Sun‘s Kelly Sinoski on Wednesday that the blame for showering homelessness people with poisonous chicken feces in Abbotsford can be laid squarely at the feet of Ed Fast and Mike de Jong …
“'(Banman) maintains there must be more involvement from senior levels of government to provide social housing, noting concerns are rising about safety and sanitation among the homeless population, along with concerns from railway officials about near-misses on the tracks’
‘”People need to have their basic needs met,” Banman said. “Cities can’t do it alone.”‘
Can’t do it alone? But Bruce … the City of Abbotsford is doing nothing.
In Abbotsford, as opposed to other jurisdictions like Langley and Chilliwack, all of the money for dealing with the homeless goes straight to the Salvation Army, which only deals with the homeless it deems to be acceptable to its beliefs and plans.
Councillor John Smith, with the approval of Council, has ensured for years that Abbotsford chooses not to find solutions for the homeless the Sally Ann doesn’t want. As a result, the City leaves them to the bylaw department and the cops to rough up and push around in the hopes that … Well; what exactly? In the hopes they’ll drop by Bob Bos’ office looking for a job?
Banman says that, “ … while he doesn’t condone the decision … he can partly understand it, saying “it’s largely complaint driven.”
Then he passes the buck to the little old ladies in the neighbourhood up past David Krahn’s commercial development who he says have been crying in his office and complaining about how afraid they are and how their families no longer come and visit. So … it’s because of them we’re poisoning the homeless?
Well then, did the complaint that led to the Abbotsford Homeless Chicken Manure Incident come from the little old ladies? Did it come from your office? Are we ever going to find out?
If it’s the little old ladies you’re concerned about, Bruce, why not help them out? Find the homeless people a place to live. Stop trying to excuse the inexcusable.
Don’t blame the homeless for not owning a home or renting an apartment. They haven’t got jobs Bruce. Unless you want them all to show up at City Hall, take the elevator up to the 5th floor and sit outside your office until you find them some work and a place to stay, what the hell are they supposed to do?
“It’s largely complaint driven.” Oh really?
Are you calling Ward Draper and Jesse Wegenast of 5 and 2 Ministries liars when they say this is far from an isolated incident and has been going on for years? Are you calling James Breckenridge a liar too? Are you saying there has not been a long-term strategy of getting rid of the homeless by making their lives miserable, chasing them from one location to another, poisoning and destroying their belongings?
Complaint driven my ass.
Are you saying that when Nick Zurowski told the Vancouver Sun, “The city workers came and said, ‘We’re going to make it very unpleasant for you around here … so you’d better get your bedrolls up and get out of here,'” he was lying? Do you want us to believe this doesn’t happen all the time?
Stop it Bruce. You’re making a fool of yourself and mocking your community. Everybody now knows what’s been going on for years.
You can’t put this genie back in the bottle. Stop trying.
You’ve become what you ran against. You are a mouthpiece for the men and women with money who want you to look after their interests, suck as much money out of the Abbotsford taxpayer for them as they can get away with, and do the politician thing with the PR mumbo jumbo and shuckin’ an’ a jivin’ for ’em when they get caught using your staff and your private police force to rough up the homeless.
There but for the grace of God, Bruce. There but for the grace of God.
Editor’s Note: You can also listen to Mayor Banman discussing the Abbotsford Chicken Manure Homeless Issue with Bill Good on Wednesday, June 19 here:
WHO WILL STAND UP FOR THE HOMELESS IN ABBOTSFORD?The fallout continues since Abbotsford city workers tried to run homeless people out of their camp site by dumping chicken manure. Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich announced that they will be launching an investigation into allegations the city’s officers destroyed tents belonging to homeless people. The latest allegations — this time against the police — were made at a community consultation held last week in the wake of the chicken manure scandal. Mayor Bruce Banman of Abbotsford said that they will not be revealing who was behind the chicken manure dumping. How can the mayor continue to claim ignorance on this issue? What does he think of the investigation being launched into the activities of city officers? How are homeless people treated in Abbotsford?
Phone BRUCE BANMAN MAYOR OF ABBOTSFORD