Dear Editor. Despite what you may have heard or read in the media, neither Mayor Banman nor Abbotsford City Council have made their apologies to the homeless for the use of chicken s**t as a weapon in the war the mayor and council have been waging on the homeless.
Mayor Banman has, under the intense scrutiny of the media, taken the step that political correctness and PR demanded – a photo op with his mayorness saying “sorry” and shaking hands with the homeless.
Mayor Banman’s words do not constitute an apology.
Consider: I walk up to you and smacked you hard ‘upside the head’, say “Sorry” and leave. The next day I walk up to you and smacked you hard ‘upside the head’, say “Sorry” and leave. The day after that I walk up to you and smacked you hard ‘upside the head’, say “Sorry” and leave. This continues for 30 days,
Have I apologized to you 30 times? Of course not! The word “sorry”, no matter how many times it is said, is meaningless….unless and until I change the offensive behaviour, until I cease to smack you hard ‘upside the head’.. An apology occurs when the offender stops the offensive behaviour.
Mayor Banman’s “sorry” is nothing more than an acknowledgement that his, city council’s and the City of Abbotsford’s interpersonal accounts with the homeless are out of balance; that the lack of scruples and ethics in the City’s treatment of the homeless has resulted in a debt being owed the homeless.
The personal account balances of the mayor, council, the City of Abbotsford and Abbotsford’s homeless citizens cannot be brought into balance through words.
The homeless have heard Abbotsford mayors and councils say “sorry” on numerous occasions over the past ten years. “Sorry” being said to the homeless whenever the actions of mayors and councils have put the City of Abbotsford under negative public scrutiny by the media. If there is any group in Abbotsford who understand how valueless the words, particularly “sorry”, of Abbotsford’s mayors and councillors are – it is the homeless.
The mayor, council and the City of Abbotsford will have apologized to the homeless when they stop treating the homeless like an infestation to be cleansed from the city and treat them as human beings in need of a helping hand, encouragement and support to get on their feet and achieve a state of wellness.
James W Breckenridge