LETTER: Abbotsford has a growing reputation for heartless behaviour

ADBA reaction is NO, don’t reduce the homeless we [the ADBA] have been moaning about for years

I didn’t consider the use of chicken manure by the City of Abbotsford against the homeless as a challenge to see who could behave in the most ignorant, moronic and unenlightened way.

Unfortunately, others apparently felt challenged to further Abbotsford’s growing international reputation for heartless, impious and unethical behaviour.

I had hoped the position and behaviour of the ADBA [Abbotsford Downtown Business Association] would prove to be an isolated incident.

But there, blasting out over the airwaves [and internet] was the report about the vandals who acted to support the ADBA and their opposition to Abbotsford Community Services [ACS] plan to provide first stage housing for 20 of the homeless on the streets of Abbotsford.

I am sure that these cretins would claim they support the proposal to build first stage housing for 20, housing desperately needed to begin to reduce the number of homeless on the streets of Abbotsford.

What the actions of said cretins actually did is evoke sympathy and support for the ADBA; cast supporters of the proposed first stage housing as thugs and vandals and, worst of all, change the focus of the discussion away from the need for first stage housing, what first stage housing is [it is NOT a shelter] and the behaviour of the ADBA.

Ah yes, the ADBA. An organization that has for years moaned about how the homeless negatively affect business. And when Abbotsford Community Services brings forward a plan [funded by the province, not the city] to build first stage housing and begin reducing the number of homeless on Abbotsford streets the ADBA reaction is of course NO, don’t reduce the homeless we [the ADBA] have been moaning about for years,

A reaction that, while it seems irrational is not unexpected.

After all, the proposal does not involve any ‘getting’ [grants, lower taxes, etc.] by the ADBA. Just because the proposed first stage housing is of benefit to the citizens of Abbotsford and the citizens of Abbotsford have given years of benefits to the ADBA is no reason the ADBA should give a thought to the needs of citizens and community, rather than mercenary egocentrism.

So currently we have the ADBA and their’ Not In the ADBA’ petition versus a petition of support from those who support the building of first stage housing.

I have declined signing any petition because ‘Petition Wars’ should be one more (bad) reality program, not the way to make important decisions that will have far reaching and long term consequences for our community, province or country.

I propose that the citizens of Abbotsford take leadership in stopping our national obsession with racing to the bottom and/or seeing how low we can stoop and instead champion a new standard – striving for excellence.

Specifically that the citizens of Abbotsford ignore the rhetoric and fear mongering, set aside any preconceived Ideas and seek out the facts, then use the facts to make up their minds.

That those who support, or oppose, this first stage housing project set out the facts and evidence that their support or opposition are based on, providing the citizens of Abbotsford the facts and evidence to be able to arrive at an informed opinion on the project.

 

James W Breckenridge

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