The Latest In The YMCA Debate

By February 9, 2013Municipal Politics

After Abbotsford Today published an in-depth interview with Stephen Butz. President of the YMCA, Vancouver [The YMCA’s Position] columnist Walter Neufeld published an open letter to Mr. Butz [Response To YMCA].

Mr. Butz responded to Walter Neufeld’s letters as follows:

Hello Walter:

Thank you for taking the time to write to me regarding my recent responses posted on Abbotsford Today’s website about the proposed Abbotsford YMCA.

We are certainly aware there are a number of perspectives regarding this proposal. Your questions clearly present one point of view. I am comfortable to let my initial responses stand and look forward to engaging with the community in a discussion about why we want to invest $17.5 million in Abbotsford. We respect that Council will have its own process informing their decision relative to the proposed 50% share of capital funding.

Thank you. Steve

Walter Neufeld has now responded to Mr Butz thusly:

Dear Mr. Butz,

Thanks for responding.

With all due respect, my letter to you sought answers to questions raised by your interview’s talking points. My questions were asked because our community has already heard/read those same talking points elsewhere. Repeating them has done nothing to deepen their value while their repetition fails to answer the critical questions that have arisen as a direct result of YMCA’s funding request.

To be frank, I was surprised to read you state that you were comfortable ignoring the questions asked. This community may object to YMCA’s perceived indifference.

I’m a long time resident of Abbotsford, so please consider my letter’s queries as the beginning of this community’s anticipated engagement. The issues outlined in it are reflective of many relevant concerns previously expressed by this community.

I’m asking you to reconsider your response by providing honest, clear answers to the questions asked and thereby help facilitate a meaningful community engagement process.

I look [forward] to your response. Thank you.

Walter Neufeld

Walter Neufeld

*Walter Neufeld was born and raised in Abbotsford. He manages a development company operating in BC and in Alberta. Walter has been a critic of the provincial government’s dysfunctional Mines Act for about 12 years. Neufeld is the president of the Fraser Valley Regional District Citizens Association (FVRDCA). Most recently, he’s critiqued both Honourable Randy Hawes and the gravel industries Aggregate Pilot Project which he believes to be a harmful private production document which Hawes is currently trying to offload onto BC’s public domain.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • wintershades says:

    It is up to City Hall to tell the YMCA we are not in a position to even discuss the venture unless the Y is willing to pay market value for the land, build their own facility and pay for any costs that are involved. The City has to come to terms with the fact that they have been incompetent with our money and need to be accountable once and for all. Just because someone dangles a carrot doesn’t mean one has to bite.

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