By Mike Archer. Executive Director of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) Tina Stewart should remove herself from any public role in the debate over the Supportive Housing Project proposed by Abbotsford Community Services (ACS).
Beyond her inability to use the English language in either legal documents (petitions) or in her wild public pronouncements on the issue, she has demonstrated a singular inability to recognize or rely on the truth in making arguments for her organization.
She has even resorted to calling the ACS liars.
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.
Stewart can certainly take credit for the fact that this emotional debate has descended to unprecedented low levels. So far the only ones who appear to be lying are Stewart and her members.
Wherever Ms Stewart’s talents lie, she has no place representing a business organization like the ADBA and she certainly has no place in an emotional, and serious, public debate of such importance to the community.
As long as she is associated with it, the ADBA will wear a deserved black eye for the way it has handled itself during this debate. The way they have handled themselves has destroyed any validity their position might have had in the eyes of the public. With Stewart at the helm, the ADBA has become an embarrassment to the community.
Addendum: Whoever is counting the signatures on the various petitions the ADBA is circulating will have to be made aware of the fact that the number of signatures collected cannot be legitimately counted across all versions of the petition (however many we end up with) and any petition turned in that includes falsehoods or outright lies must be considered invalid as well.