By James Breckenridge. The purpose of the Task Force announced by Bruce Banman and headed by John Smith is:

  1. Cover the posteriors of Abbotsford’s mayor and city councillors Smith, Barkman and McGregor.
  2. Distract citizens and media from the mayor and city councillors Smith, Barkman and McGregor blowing off a $2.5 million capital grant to build Housing First housing for the homeless and $$$$$ millions more in funding for operations and programs – all the while pitifully crying about the need for senior levels of government to provide funding for homeless initiatives.
  3. Provide the illusion that Abbotsford’s mayor and fellow nay-saying city councillors Smith, Barkman and McGregor are taking positive action on homelessness in Abbotsford.
  4. Provide an excuse for the City of Abbotsford to DO NOTHING because it is waiting for the Task Force to report on what action the city needs to take.
  5. Baffle citizens, the media, Canadians and the world with bullshit. For as W.C. Fields noted “If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”
  6. Allow the City of Abbotsford to return to chasing the homeless pointlessly from location to location around the city.
  7. Enhance Abbotsford’s reputation for incompetence, hateful and irrational behaviours – particularly in regards to the homeless.
  8. All of the Above.

Instead of naming a Task Force why didn’t the mayor and councillors Smith, Barkman and McGregor create a committee to advise them on social issues such as homelessness?

Oh wait, a previous mayor and city council already did that didn’t they?

Several years ago [three elections ago] the excuse of the day for Abbotsford politicians was “we cannot do anything until we get an advisory committee made up of the ‘right’ citizens that can tell us what we need to do”.

Which bought mayor and city councillors several years of pointlessly chasing the homeless around the city before the passage of time forced them to actually create the Abbotsford Social Development Advisory Committee. Whereupon the city policy vis-à-vis the homeless……continued to be chasing the homeless pointlessly around the city.

In creating the Task Force are the mayor and councillors Smith, Barkman and McGregor saying the members of ASDAC were the ‘wrong’ citizens and are incompetent bunglers who are incapable of providing the city with any useful or effective advice on addressing homelessness and that ASDAC should be ended?

Or is it that ASDAC made the fatal mistake of telling the mayor and councillors Smith, Barkman and McGregor what they did not want to hear – that approving the Abbotsford Community Services housing first proposal was a necessary first small step in beginning to effectively address homelessness in Abbotsford?

What happens if the Task Force, at the end of its first meeting, advises that council revisit their decision and rezone the ACS property so that construction can start immediately on housing based on the recovery focused Housing First approach rather than continuing to use the traditional recycling approach?

Will the mayor and councillors Smith, Barkman and McGregor appoint a new Task Force? And continue to appoint new Task Forces until they get a Task Force that tells them what they want to hear – chase the homeless out of the city?

If it were not for the cost to taxpayers and the cost to the lives of the homeless this keystone cops routine would be laughable, pitiful but laughable.

there is nothing funny about the negative consequences on people’s lives, on Abbotsford, that result from the actions of the mayor and his cronies.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Deceit in Drugs says:

    Well said, James. ASDAC was formed to “address the cities
    most pressing needs.”

    Councillor John Smith was chair of ASDAC from 2006-2009, and ASDAC was formed on the needs to address homelessness after the plightof the homeless in Abbotsford was put into the spotlight with the
    formation of Compassion Park in 2005.

    Councillor John Smith is, also, a representative on various committees,
    which repress. the development community and clearly development
    sees the homeless as an obstacle to growth, investment and profits.

    Smith’s serious lack of addressing homelessness is the result of his
    conflicting interest in serving the development community and yet,
    he has been assigned a spot at the homeless task force table.

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