Dear Editor. Abbotsford and the poor: open (yes), unconscionable (yes), honest (to be determined)
For all the ugliness involved, Abbortsford city government can take a cynical pride in the fact that its hostility to the poor is at least open and direct. Far too often such hostility manifests itself in more covert but nonetheless damaging ways; the famous Ottawa Tulip Festival provides an example.
During the recent Festival, 9-foot high street signs proclaimed a free shuttle service to it, but instead of giving the schedule itself, the signs only had a notice tacked to them saying ”current schedule downloadable at www.tulipfest.ca.” This despite the fact that only a small number of low-income people have ready web access. (The coordinator of a local food bank here estimates the percentage at far less than ten percent of their clients!) So, whether or not it was intentional, the announcement penalized the poor directly, as well as rendering them more invisible to the attendees who did gain easy access to the schedule.
Back to Abbortsford: there’s little if any reason to doubt that George Murray’s ”apology” was only made because of the nationwide publicity involved. If Mr. Murray is truly honest in ”taking responsibility” he has no choice but to resign as City Manager and start as a volunteer at a local agency serving the poor, the homeless.