What’s Up With That: City’s Financial Health Makes It Into News Coverage Of Local Paper

By February 13, 2013What's Up With That?

By Mike Archer. This is big news. It almost went unnoticed but the The Abbotsford News referred to the City of Abbotsford’s financial health this week.

They put it within single quotation marks (we refrained from putting the word local within quotation marks in our headline out of respect) and attributed it to someone else but, let’s give them credit, it was a first step towards telling their aging readership what’s been going on for the last decade.

From shark fins to drug busts, phony water shortages to sex shows … the News has covered every possible controversy in this community over the last ten years except the ones that matter – the enormous damage done to the financial health of the City as a result of all of the projects, schemes, plans and strategies our politicians and bureaucrats have hatched … all of which both they and the Abbotsford Times have either proudly supported or refrained from commenting on.

While concerned citizens, letter-writers, taxpayers and columnists turned up to public meeting after public meeting and ratepayers groups formed like mushrooms in a rainforest, they steadfastly stood by those at city hall who have been guiding us into economic oblivion based on out dated, inaccurate and, in some cases, completely false projections of unlimited economic growth.

Calling those in the community who pointed out that the brain trust at city hall hadn’t done its math and warned we were heading for disaster, naysayers, and castigating them for being anti-economic growth, the chain-owned media has had to rely on not publishing the Economic Indicators for Abbotsford – Employment, Building Permits, Housing Starts, Real Estate Sales – something most media does for their readers, in order, perhaps, to avoid the unpleasant truth that things have been going terribly wrong as a result of all the projects they’ve supported and cheered.

If it is true that a newspaper gains its power from the stories it doesn’t print then Abbostford’s newspapers are powerful organizations indeed.

Besides supporting Plan A, The Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC), The Abbotsford Heat deal, the phony water crisis and the proposed expenditure of $300 million on an unnecessary new water supply, the destruction of our DCC fund, and the complete annihilation of the surplus in the City’s coffers before Plan A, the newspapers have simply refused to ask the tough questions or report on the even tougher answers about what has been going on with taxpayers’ money at the City of Abbotsford for the last decade.

Worse, they’ve been cheerleading those who have been driving us into the ditch.

    Here’s the financial reality which awaits our new City Manager, George Murray:

  • Highest taxes in the Fraser Valley
  • Highest DCCs in the Fraser Valley
  • DCC fund in arrears
  • Lowest economic growth in the Fraser Valley
  • Worst Parks & Rec programs in the Fraser Valley
  • Worst infrastructure in the Fraser Valley
  • Worst unemployment in the Fraser Valley
  • Lowest housing starts in the Fraser Valley
  • Glut of housing approved developments amid plummeting real estate sales
  • Population stalled at 133,000 as opposed to the 140,000 plus City Hall based all of its projections on
  • That’s a lot of important news the chain media hasn’t told you about.

But they found a way to sneak it into the conversation by quoting the new City Manager who knows damn well what kind of mess he has inherited so he felt he had to bring it up.

They even put it in quotation marks in their headline as if …

‘Wasn’t us … We didn’t say it … He said it … might not be true … we don’t know …

Wow guys. It took a decade for you to sneak it into your coverage by using someone else’s words.

Give yourself a pat on the back.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • wintershades says:

    What and whom have these newspapers been afraid of? Thank goodness for “Abbotsford/Today” or we Abbotsfordites would really be kept in the dark. Thank you Mike and everyone else that contributes.

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