Tina Made Even Meghann Blush

By Meghann Coughlan. Re: AmbrÖse Bierce: Someone Take Away Tina’s Bat Phone, I’m going to clear this all up.

ADBA Executive Director Tina Stewart

ADBA Executive Director Tina Stewart

Tina [Stewart] came out about 15-20 minutes after we had arrived. The mouth on that woman almost made ME blush … and everyone knows that I can get my sailor on with the rest of them. There was NO discussion… only yelling, verbal abuse and cussing on behalf of Tina.

I stepped in and asked to talk to her. She explained to me that this business, (the wool shop), was having a very important promotion. I explained that we were parked in a public space (two, actually), and that were more than willing to abide by the 2 hour parking restriction. At this point I believe we had about 1hr 15 minutes left.

She was clearly irate. I mean, way beyond what was necessary. From what I saw during previous conversation, no one from our team was rude to her.

I then showed her the legislation which allows for political campaigning in public spaces. She said that we had caused the wool store to lose half a day’s business. I asked why the wool store would close at 2 pm. She turned and walked back in the wool store.

The police arrived and told us that we couldn’t park there. We asked what bylaw was being violated. He returned to his vehicle to call it in and let us know.

When asking this, I wasn’t being cheeky and I am sure that Pete (I don’t recall his last name), would confirm this. I was concerned that we would run in to these problems in the future.

He returned and said that there was a licensing issue. We found this odd seeing as the driver had acquired a speeding ticket previously and there was no mention of a licensing issue. He didn’t lose his license because of the speeding, though. He simply received a ticket and we found it odd that there was no mention of any licensing issues.

He did have a valid license at the time. It turns out they needed a copy of his medical evaluation for class one. He downgraded to a 1-6 and there was no issue.

Personally, I do find it quite odd that this issue came up on that particular day and not when he received a ticket earlier …

During all of this commotion there was a car accident out front. Some super angry man hopped out of his car, (he hit a woman’s car who he claimed came out of nowhere), and began screaming bloody murder.

Now at this point someone was smoking a cigarette out front, the Abbotsford Times was on scene and the officer was trying to make sense of everything. Someone told the cigarette smoker to get away from the store front. He started screaming back at the guy who said that… car accident guy is losing his mind … and there was the smell of marijuana. I cannot say who was smoking it because I didn’t see them.

What do I think? I think smoking cigarettes and/or marijuana in high traffic areas is shitty. I smoke cigarettes and was sure to hide around the corner so as not to bother non-smokers.

Car accident guy starts screaming … “How can you ask someone to get rid of a cigarette when someone else is smoking weed?” – A good point, in my opinion. Someone yelled back, “It’s my medicine!”

I believe the officer was still right near the bus throughout all of this. The owner of Hub Sports came out and asked the officer to do something about the smell. He said he was getting complaints.

What needs to be made absolutely clear is that when she came out like a litte flaming ball of angry no one was smoking anything. No one was blocking foot traffic. The officer made it quite clear that we were entitled to set up a table so long as there was room for people to walk. He stated to me that in the future, I can set up shop on any public sidewalk anywhere in town. That is our right. I’ll quote the actual legislature when I get my bag out of my car later. Alvaro has it at work.

I’ve never met Tina until that day, but I would NEVER have guessed that she holds a professional position. In fact, people who were walking by and not even signing the petition thought she was from the wool store and remarked that they would never set foot in that store again. Tina clearly hurt the reputation of the wool store. At NO time did I hear her mention the ADBA or her position with them.

To be honest, I thought she must have been a woman from a bar who was having a bad day. Her behaviour was definitely low-class, or no-class, and no doubt escalated the situation far beyond what was necessary.

In the end, I heard that we received a $100 parking violation for taking up two spots. I did not see it, though. I just wonder if this violation would have been issued to an RV under different circumstances.

Actually … I don’t. It wouldn’t have.

But I also do agree that the woman needs to calm down about calling the police for parking violations.

And if she is so concerned for the well-being of the ADBA she needs to lose her trucker vernacular and take an Ativan.

I don’t recall saying anything about our group being rude to TIna. Someone in our group got into it with the crazy car accident guy. And the smoker.

We could even legally spend the rest of the campaign walking up and down Essendene collecting signatures… or put up a table in wider parts of the side walk.

I think Ambrose is correct in inferring that this is an extension of the ADBA’s witch hunt re: marijuana.

The ironic thing is that we ended up being there an extra 45 minutes longer once the police arrived because we had to sort out all sorts of things. If she would have calmed down we would have been gone right at noon.

Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • Deceit in Drugs says:

    Meghann says, “she needs to lose her trucker vernacular and take her Ativan”

    Perhaps, it’s the pressure that ADBA is putting on Tina to help
    create a “Yaletown in “Old Downtown,” which has Tina being
    so sensitive about the activity in business area of Old Downtown?

    Perhaps, Tina is clearly a reflection of the very people, whom she is working for, namely, the ADBA, who seem to be interested in
    protecting their property investments, at all cost and in fact at the
    expense of all taxpayers in the city.

    What other businesses in the city receive the assistance, the ADBA receives and expects from City Hall, Police Dept.?

  • meghanncoughlan says:

    And I apologise for the grammar. I wrote that while fielding Sensible BC phone calls, unschooling my kids and trying to eat some food.

  • Gerda Peachey says:

    Hi Meghann: Though you actively promote marijuana, a drug that in itself makes people dull and stupid, but worse, is for many young people a gateway drug to far more damaging additive drugs, I believe that you are not a liar. So your view of events will be your honest view. As in any accident at an intersection, I expect your view will not be the same as that of Tina. Having only met her a few times, I make no claim other than to say Tina impressed my as a really quality person.
    The oft-repeated accusation on Abbotsford Today that this woman, who is really highly spoken of by many other people, is a liar. That does not seem a fair or decent thing to say. Why not point to specific areas of disagreement, Mike, and discuss those on a higher plane?

  • The Editor says:

    OK Gerda as the only one left in this conversation being called a liar, how about we try this on for size:

    From: Tine Stewart Should Remove Herself – http://www.abbotsfordtoday.ca/tina-stewart-should-remove-herself/

    “Here are the little lies Stewart is responsible for promulgating:

    – Stewart’s first petition stated the project would include a needle exchange – lie
    – When forced to recant she sent out a new petition along with an email stating that the ACS had “admitted that the men we see on our streets are more than likely not the men that would enter (the) facility.” [Abbotsford News] – lie
    – After accusing the ACS of deliberately misleading the ADBA and the public, she accused the ACS of “a blattant(sic) lie” when it was explained to her that the ACS is under the control of BC Housing when it comes to the release of information and was unable to share the information prior to the time it did so. – lie

    “We have also heard of ADBA members telling people considering signing their petition that the facility would be built right next to their restaurant, that someone was trying to build a transition house for drug addicts downtown.

    “This has to stop. People’s livelihoods and people’s lives are at stake in this debate. However strong people’s emotions may get, the kind of dishonest high school antics in which the ADBA has been engaging are more than simple lies, they represent a reprehensible and disgusting attempt to deceive the public.”

    … Can I get off the list of liars now?

    • Gerda Peachey says:

      Dear Mike: I absolutely did not, and do not call you a liar. The analogy of an intersection accident, with at least 4 views of events makes it unnecessary to use such a harsh tone. All of us say things that we later have to retract – not because the original words were lies, but because none of us has complete and perfet knowledge.

      I get why the ADBA fights to keep the current zoning in place. Downtown Abbotsford was a dump before Mary Reeves and the council of that day created zoning that gave people confidence they could safely invest money and time and energy to improve the place. Filth and decadence had become the norm in that core.

      Why would we not focus all available resources to help people out of their defeated lives. The ACS proposal seems to have little to commend it. No barriers, no curfews, no prohibition against drug use.

      The 20 bed home for released prisoners, on the other hand, is a model to be admired. What I seem to read in Abbotsford Today is, we should endorse, embrace, affirm, lifestyles that are sick and broken. Feed, house, clothe, medicate, all without question or expectation.

      • Deceit in Drugs says:

        Liars, no…lack of information and misinformation, yes!

        Downtown Abbotsford was a dump before Mary Reeves. Yes and
        it was Mary Reeves, past member of the ADBA, who stood beside
        “Old Boys Club’ back in 2003 to deny the Salvation Army a 9 bed
        shelter on Gladys Ave. and then the city in their quilt approved
        the Lego Building as a new location for the Salvation Army after
        the concerned citizens left the Public Hearing on rezoning of
        the Lego property.

        The Properties are zoned Indus./commercial and now the city has
        problems due to Salvation Army attracting the downtrodden to
        it’s location..businesses complaining about the homeless problem.

        The ADBA members inc. Ex-officio member, Mayor Reeves sat on a committee in 2004, which pushed for a new by-law which would allow recovery houses to be located in any residential neighborhood without prior consultation with residents.

        Fortunately, it was voted down by several members of council, saying it would be grossly unfair.

        The ADBA has received a revitilization tax exemption to promote
        new growth in the city at taxpayer expense.

        The C7 zoning in the cities’ Historic Downtown has fostered a
        climate of control over which businesses can locate within C7
        boundaries, thereby unloading many undesirable businesses in other parts of the city, which is not fair to other business owners/residents.

        The ADBA has expected Police patrols to drive the homeless into the other parts of the city and now many congregate in & arnd the mall
        and the city is not ordering police to move them out of those areas.

        The ADBA is made of select property investors and their only priority
        is “profit from their investments,” but at some time they need to take some responsibility for what is going on arnd their investment

        They are to be commended for the changes they’ve brought to the
        Old Downtown, but, they cannot expect to control what goes on
        around their investment properties by expecting rest of taxpayers
        to carry the burden of the social ills in the area, which was long before they came along.

  • The Editor says:

    Gary Huntbatch Says: Sign the petition right here…http://petition.liberal.ca/end-prohibition/
    Sign the petition: legalize and regulate marijuana
    Join the Liberal Party’s call for an end to marijuana prohibition.

    From Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=544997708886641&id=447088788677534&comment_id=4933040&offset=0&total_comments=1&notif_t=share_comment

  • The Editor says:

    Gerda you said:

    “Maybe you should have a more accurate, forthright account written by Meghann.”

    In an effort to answer your charge and be more “accurate” and “forthright”, we asked Meghann to give an accurate account. She did.

    Then your argument shifted. You said:

    “The oft-repeated accusation on Abbotsford Today that this woman, who is really highly spoken of by many other people, is a liar. That does not seem a fair or decent thing to say. Why not point to specific areas of disagreement, Mike, and discuss those on a higher plane? “

    To which we responded by publishing the specific lies Tina Stewart told the citizens of Abbotsford and we suggested she step out of this highly charged public issue.

    You then shifted your argument again and said:

    “What I seem to read in Abbotsford Today is, we should endorse, embrace, affirm, lifestyles that are sick and broken. Feed, house, clothe, medicate, all without question or expectation.”

    You’ve never read any such thing anywhere on Abbotsford Today, We have simply and repeatedly called for the politicians, the bureaucrats, the businesses, the police and the churches of Abbotsford to do the right thing, obey the law (as it is written – not as they wish it was written) love these people as fellow citizens and stop trying to fix them by punitive measures which they have absolutely no right or legal authority to impose.

    Tina Stewart is an embarrassment to both the ADBA and the city of Abbotsford and should step down.

    • Gerda Peachey says:

      Hi Mike: Have you directly spoken to Tina, say over the phone, or over a coffee? You might still have opposing views afterward, on how best to deal with housing for needy people, but the strident charge of lying might then be softened to acknowledge that both of you believe your own positions to be correct.

      I do not agree with you on much of what you write on the issues of housing, but maybe I’m not discerning your articles well enough. You seem to attack the churches and the Salvation Army, two organizations that are run with an enormous lot of volunteerism and freely given cash and goods –– for the purpose of helping those in need.

      Why? I expect there are secular folk who also share their time and money freely, but why the relentless attack on people who clearly do care and share? And so what if the Sally Ann has paid staff and run like an efficient business now? They still have a huge number of volunteers and donations. Lots and lots of altruism and kindness on display and lots not so easy to see because Christians tend not to blow their trumpets in the public square.

      You defend Tim Felger as if he were a spotless saint. Tim garbaged up the downtown area constantly with a stream of signs spouting whatever his drug-fueled brain thought we should all be aware of.

      There are rules, guidelines as to the placing of signs.

      No one has the freedom to slap any and all signs around town. What an ugly mess the place would be if there were no by-laws to protect the place from more people like Tim Felger and his affection for sprawling messages.

      I would be useless in a courtroom but I’d be prepared to testify that I met (a stranger to me) a young person who said that Felger was selling drugs to minors. That young person was definitely enthusiastic about Tim’s illegal drug trade.

      I understand that laws are always in flux, therefore Meghann Couglan and Dana Larsen may succeed. Then their wishes will become the new norm. I would think society had taken a step down, not up.

      Sorry if I do not answer to your satisfaction but I think it’s worth trying to understand each other.

  • meghanncoughlan says:

    See, I’m not promoting marijuana. I am protecting the rights of the individual. Does smoking weed make some people stupid? Absolutely. But to be fair, there are loads of successful people who smoke: Carl Sagan, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, Ted Turner to name a few. So, to be fair, people can be successful and smoke pot. I am not one of those people. The only reason I don’t smoke pot is because I can’t smoke it and relax. I get paranoid and think too much. Most of my family is like that and I get rashes from THC anyway. So, once in a while I have a glass of wine and no one bothers me or judges me – because it’s legal.

    I’m also not entirely convinced that pot, in itself, is a gateway drug… at least any more than booze is. I think it’s a little easier for teens to get a hold of. They steal it from their parents or buy it. Truthfully, though, meth is cheaper. One could be high for quite a long time with 5 or 10 bucks.

    I’ve known addicts my entire life. Speed, heroin, coke, alcohol…. If there is one thing I know for sure about addiction it is that people who use habitually, rather than recreationally, are self-medicating. Numbing the pain of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or devastating losses. I think if the world were a little more kind and a little less judgemental these things wouldn’t be issues.

    Maybe most addicts did start with pot. But I’m also sure the same addicts attended public school and/or church, ate meat, watched horror movies, listened to rock music. Statistics could show a link between any of the activities I mentioned and addiction… but that doesn’t mean they are valid.

    The bottom line is that if people smoke weed and move on to harder drugs and become addicted, their life experiences played a larger role in the creation of addiction than a joint or two ever did.

    If we want our children to stay away from drugs then we as a society, need to understand that the legalities of the drug in question have little to do with promotion. How many high income mothers are constantly ‘running for the shelter of their mother’s little helper’? We’ve got a society popping Xanax and Vicodin like candy. Now, don’t get me wrong… some people need prescription drugs to balance chemicals and I would never discredit them for that. But as a culture we medicate for everything. Walk into a clinic and mention that you’re feeling a little down. They won’t ask why, they’ll simply whip out a prescription pad and send you home with some Prozac or whatever the chem-du-jour is.

    If Tina & co. are so concerned about the consequences of marijuana use – as evidenced in their relentless pursuit of Tim Felger, then perhaps they should consider not being soulless harpies and STOP fighting the proposed housing for the homeless. To say one is concerned about addiction and mental health and then turn around and deny housing to those who need it is the biggest hypocritical evil thing I’ve heard in years.

    But, again, this is just my opinion.

    • tinastewart says:

      The only reply this piece of “journalism” deserves is the simple question of whether or not Meghan, with all her attacks on myself and the ADBA for the opposition on the rezoning of the land for the proposed site of the transition house, has ever take the time to ask to sit down and discuss our position on the transition house itself or the work we’ve been doing with ACS in regards to the transition house? For that matter, has anyone related to Abbotsford Today ever asked that question Mike? You know the truth, why are you so afraid to print it? Not controversial enough for you?

      • meghanncoughlan says:

        This piece of “journalism” was originally a comment on another article. It was reposted as its own entity. I believe that is stated quite clearly above.

        I think it’s cute that you suggest that I should sit down & have a rational discussion with the ADBA. To clarify, would you all mind if I conducted as rational a conversation as you had with us on Saturday? Please advise and I’ll try and contain “all my attacks” re: the housing to myself – which counting the comments above would equal one.

        Tina, if you’re going to be schmoozing with the Old Boys Club you’ve got to curb those emotions & focus on diplomacy. Have a glass of wine – it’s legal.

      • Deceit in Drugs says:

        ‘our position on the transition house”

        In fairness, Tina Stewart is only a spokesperson for the ADBA,
        but, the bottom line is that for starters the misinformation in
        the petition and need to rewrite it tells me one of three things:

        The ADBA didn’t take time to get the facts before initiating a
        petition or simply assumed there would be an injection site on the
        property or purposefully included the info.

        The ADBA’s position on the transition house, I would say very clear.

        The property investors on the ADBA board do NOT want the transition
        house in the Old Downtown, because they are concerned about the affect it could have on their investment properties.

        The ADBA has indicated this information, but, then, in between but,
        then, gives numerous other reasons for their opposition, such as
        too close to drinking establishments, C7 zoning etc.

        The ADBA definitely has a right to be concerned, but, this pattern
        of trying to control what goes on in the Old Downtown affects the
        entire city and city hall needs to step up to the plate and do what is right for the entire city not just what the ADBA thinks is right for their investments.

        We are a community and as such decisions must be made keeping Community in mind and ADBA sorely is lacking in this effort.

  • The Editor says:

    Gerda, I hesitate to say this because your method of arguing leads to an endless discussion and is great for page views, but you never answer the arguments made against you, you simply change the topic and talk about something else.

    I’m going to leave it that I answered your accusation that my opinion of the event downtown on Saturday while it was one-sided – as any opinion piece is – was not contradicted by asking Meghann, who was there, for her version.

    I know you don’t agree with much of what I say but just running through a litany of things with which you disagree and having me defend them doesn’t add much to the discussion so I’m cutting out.

    By all means continue if you wish.

  • The Editor says:

    Putting air quotes around the word “journalism’ merely demonstrates your ignorance of the English language – something you have shown repeatedly throughout this sorry episode.

    Several people at Abbotsford Today have spoken with more people than you know Tina about the ADBA and it’s work with the ACS. The fact we haven’t asked for the pleasure of your legendary company during the discussions is not an indication of any lack of diligence on our part but more an indication of the company we prefer to keep.

    I reiterate – you are an embarrassment to the ADBA and the City of Abbotsford and you should step down.


    • tinastewart says:

      Unfortunate you’ve come to all these conclusions about me without having ever met me. the invitation stands to meet. I would be happy to sit down and chat one day.

  • wordsmith says:

    “….myself and the ADBA for the opposition on the rezoning of the land for the proposed site of the transition house……”

    Ms. Stewart’s own words make it clear that this is about NIMBY and that neither she nor the ADBA have any interest in ameliorating their ignorance about either homelessness or the Abbotsford Community Services.

    Calling the ACS housing proposal “transitional housing” is either a) lying or b) evidence of a mind closed so tight it is incapable of entertaining any new thought, no matter how obvious, blatant or in her face it may be.

    All the material on ACS proposed housing makes it clear that it is minimal barrier housing based on the Housing First approach which has nothing to do with transition housing.

    In fact Housing First is an alternative to a system of transitional housing progressions.

    Which may well explain Ms.Stewart and the benighted members of the ADBA who oppose reducing homelessness in Abbotsford. A closed mind is like a closed book – just a block of wood.

    For the information of those with open minds:

    Housing First is based on the concept that the first and primary need of the homeless is to obtain stable housing, and that other issues that may affect the homeless can and should be addressed once housing is obtained.

    Housing First is endorsed as a “best practice” for governments and service-agencies to use in their fight to end chronic homelessness. Consequently Housing First is used in many Canadian ten year plans to end homelessness.

    Housing First is used in those Canadian plans, and in Europe, because of the effectiveness demonstrated in achieving significant reductions in homelessness across the United States where Housing First was developed by Pathways to Housing, Inc., of New York City for which they won the 2005 American Psychiatric Association Gold Achievement Award in the category of community-based programs.

  • wordsmith says:

    On the matter of the Wool store…….

    It would seem to me that the marijuana referendum RV, the press and the people’s attention and presence it attracts presents a marketing opportunity to be exploited not ignored.

    A little creativity, add in some thought and you no longer have a dime-a-dozen sale but an EVENT.

    Given what we are learning about the intelligence of sheep, perhaps they should have sought the impute of those who supply the wool being sold?

    • Bas Stevens says:

      What I fail to understand in this whole fiasco involving the ADBA is that they have NO rights! They are a special interest group, a lobby group. Nothing more, nothing less! Individual members have rights and should speak up for themselves. Tina Stewart has no rights and people at city hall, including APD, should not be bowing and scraping at her beck and call.

      I have seen vehicles with trailers take up 2 parking places on Essendene and other streets in Abbotsford and nobody complains, least of all calling the police.

      From what I understand, there are several members of ADBA who have “broken rank” with Ms Stewart and the ADBA on the ACS issue. They are to be commended. Had the ADBA, i.e., Ms Stewart done their homework and research at the beginning of the Supportive Housing Project, we would not be dealing with lies, innuendo and scare tactics that have circulated for the past few months.

      I hope that cooler heads will prevail and that people will recognize the “Ready, Fire, Aim” mentality of one Tina Stewart and the ADBA and will support the ACS project for what it is.

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