By Mike Archer. So; while City Manager George Murray took one for the team and Mayor Banman rushed to a TV camera and said the buck stopped with him, it appears just about everybody from the department heads who no longer have their jobs*, all the way down to the janitorial staff knew what was going on in the now world famous Abbotsford Chicken Manure Homeless incident.
Without being too farcical, it would seem quicker to list those who didn’t know what was going on than to go on looking for those who did.
The CBC’s publication of the contents of some of the emails of City of Abbotsford staff discussing the incident has certainly put paid to any notion this was an isolated action of a couple of rogue employees.
In fact, the story, published by the Abbotsford News a week after the incident, stating, “We are led to believe this was the work of a handful of lower level authorities in city hall who thought they were taking affirmative action on a long-standing problem,” now appears, more than ever, worthy of retraction.
The News has never told its readers who led it to believe low level City workers were to blame nor has it apologized to City workers for the accusation.
If it was one of those senior managers who has lost their job* The News should tell it’s readers and the rest of the community who that person was and why they published the innuendo without confirmation. If it was a senior staffer or politician who still retains a position with the City of Abbotsford, The News should tell City Council as well so that disciplinary action can be taken.
This is the public record we are dealing with here and people have a right to know who is behind such sweeping and apparently incorrect statements.
Advocates for the homeless have repeatedly argued, for close to a decade, that the City of Abbotsford, the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) together with downtown Abbotsford businesses and organizations have either deliberately conducted, actively participated in, or quietly approved of a systematic campaign to rid the area of the homeless who were left with nowhere else to go after the provincial government abandoned them back in the 1990s.
The City of Abbotsford, through powerful politicians like former Abbotsford Social Development Advisory Committee (ASDAC) chairman John Smith, has carefully avoided any meaningful response to addiction, substance abuse or homelessness in its downtown core except the campaign of terror in which it is becoming clear it has been engaged through denial of health care services and/or its campaign to displace and disperse in order to make way for business people to make some money.
Setting aside any misplaced egotism on our part, it is worth asking whether the Economic Development Department, the Bylaw Department, the APD and others would still be engaged in routine harassment and poisoning of the poor if James Breckenridge and Abbotsford Today hadn’t reported the incident and told the world about Abbotsford’s smelly little secret.
What else are we going to discover as we peel away the layers of this rotten onion?