By now you know that the YMCA deal is dead. That is good enough for most of us, but there was this document left sitting on the table called a Memorandum of Understanding. To give the public a full sense of closure on this deal, Councillor Henry Braun tabled a motion to base the end of the deal on a letter sent to the YMCA by our City Manager George Murray. In it, Mr. Murray unequivocally kills the deal.
This is in sharp contrast to how Mayor Banman put an end to the YMCA project at the previous Council meeting. He then stated that it was the YMCA who didn’t want to continue and that they had said so in a letter to the City of Abbotsford. This was untrue. The letter said nothing of the sort. In fact, it simply said they were ready to work on a new plan to move forward. Not end the deal.
Councillor Braun’s motion was in 3 parts. I am paraphrasing, but you’ll get the intent:
- To accept the Report from the City Manager that included the letter to the YMCA confirming and end to the deal.
- That the letter sent by the City Manager be accepted as the confirmation of the end of the deal, not the previous YMCA letter.
- That should the YMCA re-approach the City, a new process be started.
Here is where I struggle. At least 3 Councillors didn’t understand this motion and spoke against it. Smith, Loewen and MacGregor separately stated that they would vote against the motion for various reasons and they included believing it to be a motion that undermined the City Manager, and, that it was slamming the door on the YMCA forever.
Now read the motion again and tell me where you see that. Even after Councillor Ross explained it to them …yes I said Councillor Ross … they wouldn’t give it up.
Of course we had to hear asinine comments from John Smith that this “was a sad day for Abbotsford” and that he couldn’t believe we would say goodbye to $1.5 million from the Liberal Government (his words … apparently, it isn’t the taxpayers of BC who give Abbotsford this money, it is specifically the Liberal Gov’t). He believed that we have the money to make this project happen. The only sad day here is that the former banker on City Council is unable to read a balance sheet.
Smith wasn’t alone in his completely “out to lunch” comments though. Councillor Barkman, despite voting for the motion, also thought it a sad day that we were “not only saying goodbye to the Y, but all $300 million worth of projects on this site”.
Councillor Barkman, this isn’t a package deal is it? Do you know something that the people of Abbotsford don’t know? How can a recreation facility worth 10% of the site development and even less of the overall scope of projects earmarked for the site, be the reason everything is built or not?
Only a couple of weeks ago, we published a story that clearly stated that MLA Mike de Jong was holding local charity organizations hostage for their support for the YMCA by threatening to send their funding to another city. Has Councillor Barkman stated that to now be true by inferring that all other projects on the site are dead?
Note: the story about Mike de Jong’s involvement in the YMCA project is completely true. We don’t need confirmation. In fact, our research continues on that involvement and further columns and press releases will be coming forthwith.
As always, the Mayor took his turn to relay his disappointment over the YMCA to the people gathered for the Council Meeting. Irony is not lost on our Mayor folks. He spoke of how we never had a debate, or had all the facts in front of us in order to make a decision on the YMCA. He called it a “travesty” that we didn’t even get to have all the facts so that the city could make the best deal possible for its citizens. He joined John Smith in his shock over all the misinformation that was out there in the general public and how it was a few “special interest groups” that seized the day to end this opportunity for Abbotsford. He couldn’t help but wrap it up with one final lie though. Mayor Banman actually said that the only people hurt by this would be the underprivileged families that would not have anywhere to go now.
You should be laughing. C’mon … chuckle with me.
I’m not going to explain to the Mayor or any of you how dumb those statements are. Read all the columns here on Abbotsford Today and you’ll see that there was no misinformation in this community. Just like the Water Issue, Council fed us a line of crap and when it didn’t go there way, they claimed we are the ones who are misinformed. Yes, I guess Reports to Council by the Finance Dept now constitute “misinformation”. You guys are a joke.
I am, however, going to tell you this.
The campaign to fight the YMCA grew to nearly 300 citizens donating a total of almost $9000. Most of them attended 2 Council meetings to show you their support. Those supporters were made up of many business people, home owners, families and ratepayers. None of them are as dumb as you. We know that as soon as you get the chance, you’re going to bring the YMCA back to the table because you won’t be happy until you have given, or pissed away, our last nickel.
This time is different though. We’ve had enough and we’re on to your game. This time, we’ll be waiting … and we’re ready.