By James Breckenridge. From the beginning of the ADBA’s ‘it is a good idea in someone else’s backyard’ reaction to Abbotsford Community Services proposal to use Housing First principles to begin to reduce the number of homeless on the streets of Abbotsford, people have spoken to me of not only no longer making the effort to shop downtown, but of not shopping downtown Abbotsford period.
They have also been urging family and friends to not shop downtown Abbotsford businesses; some have even spoken of publicly calling for a boycott of downtown businesses.
Given that the ADBA is using ‘bad for business’ as part of the rational for their NIMBYism there is….justice….involved in imposing a cost for their behaviour.
I did caution that they needed to remember that not all businesses or residents in downtown Abbotsford oppose the ACS housing proposal; pointing out that some have stated their opposition to the ADBA position while others have written thoughtful, compassionate letters in support of the housing ACS wants to build.
This past week several people speaking of calling for a boycott of downtown businesses responded that ‘you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette’ to justify harming the supportive businesses in their zeal to penalize those opposing this badly needed housing.
When I pointed out the ethical holes in that behaviour they stuck to ‘you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette’, challenging me to come up with a solution that would let people boycott the businesses that oppose the ACS proposal, but that would protect the businesses that support the ACS proposal..
Hmmmm. Interesting challenge, how do you go about separating wheat (those who support housing) from the chaff (the NIMBY faction)?
Two options came to mind as I considered how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
The anti-housing downtown businesses have the petition to signify where they stand; clearly those who support housing need a poster, such as above, that they can display to signify their support of the ACS housing proposal.
Another option, although there is nothing preventing both options being used together, is for those who support the ACS housing proposal to email the editor at Abbotsford Today which would permit the posting of a list of downtown businesses who support the ACS housing proposal.
These options would provide information to permit citizens to impose negative economic consequences on those downtown businesses opposing housing for the homeless and permitting citizens to shop those downtown businesses who support reducing the numbers of homeless on the streets of Abbotsford.
These options would also shine a light into the black hole of the ADBA, revealing just which businesses/businessmen are responsible for the ADBA NIMBY stance. Information that may prove quite enlightening.
For a full-sized PDF of the poster simply click here.