To Hell With The Truth

By January 27, 2014Hot Topic, Mike Archer

Jim Burkinshaw Denies Sally Ann’s Role In Chicken Manure Incident
By Mike Archer. At first, when Jim Burkinshaw called me a liar, I wasn’t sure how to react. After all it was my story he was talking about.

I’ve been called a lot of things but I tend to react rather strongly to being called a liar.

After a variety of emotions from shocked surprise, to blistering anger, I settled on pity.

For a self-professed religious man to be throwing the truth under the bus as his first reaction to it being unpalatable it struck me that, when he defends himself to whatever god he worships, he must have a hard time explaining how the social pressures he faces are more important than telling the truth.

For those who missed it, Kevin Miller’s documentary on the world famous Chicken Manure Incident premiered this weekend.

A brilliant piece of directing and filming, Miller’s film gets right in the face of the people who are the victims of the city’s abuse and those responsible for it. Burkinshaw is one of those who is responsible for it by willful blindness.

On the topic of the email which revealed that the Salvation Army approved of the use of chicken feces against homeless people, kicking off the most embarrassing and sordid chapter in the City’s history, Burkinshaw says that the story was simply a rumour and a social media phenomenon which was untrue because he had talked to someone at the Salvation Army and been told so.

Now I may be being a bit too sensitive. It may have been James Arden, Acting Director, Park Services, for the City of Abbotsford, whose email we published, whom Burkinshaw is calling a liar.

After Abbotsford Today published the leaked email, the Vancouver Sun picked up the story and published it as well. Neither the Abbotsford News nor the Abbotsford Times (RIP), both of which were provided copies of the email, thought it merited publication.

Jim may be under a lot of pressure. It must be morally arduous defending the inaction of his Christian colleagues (the Abbotsford Christian Leadership Network – ACLN) in the face of the awful, inhumane, repugnant and shameful things being done to the men and women of Abbotsford’s homeless population.

When one of the main benefactors of the business of poverty in Abbotsford is caught supporting the use of chicken feces as a social tool it must be hard to keep your story straight. But really Jim, calling those who published or exposed it liars or diminishing the veracity of facts which were revealed by calling their revelation a ‘social media phenomenon’ …

If shooting the messengers who deliver the truth has become an acceptable and Christian thing to do in Jim Burkinshaw’s Abbotsford, this community will never heal, because its leaders won’t even allow the truth to be part of the healing process. Or maybe it always has been this way, and that’s how we got where we are today.

Either way the community needs to say something about the manner in which its leaders, especially those who claim a right to speak for their god, dismiss the truth when it is unpalatable or makes their friends look bad.

For the record – here is the email Jim says James Arden and I lied about, and the story I wrote about it.


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