The Way Forward for Abbotsford Today

By June 28, 2015News

You may have noticed a distinct lack of new content since the departure of Mike Archer earlier this month. We apologize for this slow down. However, we’d like to let you know that in the next few days a new Editor will begin working on the web site. Their primary responsibility will be to take community submitted content, edit it, format it and post it to the site. You can contact the new Editor the same way you always have by sending email to

On the Op-Ed side of our web site, I will begin posting columns more frequently.

As we stated last year during the election campaign, the Today Media Group will to take on a new approach to local news stories and issues.  How this will manifest itself in our editorial pieces will be apparent, but, simply put, while our columns will still include criticism, they will also include solutions.

My personal opinion columns in the past have always had this two-sided approach. My writing has been infrequent however, but this will change shortly as we complete this transition. There will also be a key element to my focus that you may find different…and I hope, interesting.

Historically, we have had big issues to deal with in this town. “Big mistakes” that many could see coming, unless you sat at the Council Table. Plan A, the Friendship Garden, the Stave Lake Water project, and the Low Barrier Housing facility, along with the general handling of all challenges around homelessness, immediately come to mind, but there are many others.

We’ve dealt with those issues using columns speaking of caution beforehand, and then criticism after all our fears had come true. Now we’d like to approach issues more proactively. Our hope is that with the drastic change in Council we realized last November, that these immense mistakes that have crippled our city will not re-occur.

We see the positive change already in something as simple as building permit statistics. As of May, 2015 our year to date building permit values are more than 2.5 times that of the same time in May 2014, and nearly 2 times that of May, 2013. This means the development community has a growing confidence in Abbotsford, once again, that it has not had for years.

With a legitimate business person as Mayor, and proven Economic Development professionals on Council, this is not a surprise, and I’ll write more about this in the future.

For now, we’re gonna to bring our new Editor up to speed and I hope you’ll look forward to some new opinion pieces coming shortly. Editorial columns on the list to cover include:

  • Parks & Recreation: How to take our existing assets and have them generate revenue. One aspect is to offer, and properly schedule child-minding so that a working family can use our fitness facilities. Currently, this is nearly impossible. We have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to get people to “Like” Parks and Rec on Facebook, but only offer 6 hours of child-minding in an entire week…and the times don’t work if you do.
  • High Street & Fraser Hwy: Have you heard the rumour that IKEA may plant a new store near High Street? Whether they do or not, we have a $50 million road improvement challenge. Why wasn’t that done before we opened the area for development and how can we pay for that now?
  • Old Abbotsford: We know what they don’t want. Poor people. We know what they do want. Investment and property value growth. How do we turn Old Abbotsford into an area that can be successfully, and sustainably improved? We have great examples to use as a model. Cloverdale, downtown Langley…and the shining example of Fort Langley, where the absence of the ferry traffic has made the area even more popular.
  • Homelessness: This issue won’t go away. The City of Abbotsford has spent $1 million of your money fighting the homeless in court, and they continue to lose nearly every battle. It is estimated that they will spend at least another $1 million only to lose the entire war. There has been no progress whatsoever on this issue. The only real beneficiary has been the City of Abbotsford’s law firm. So where do we go from here? Watch for this column coming soon.

Thank you for continuing to read Abbotsford Today and for your patience during this transition time.

Vince Dimanno
The Today Media Group

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