LETTER: Decision reversal sends wrong message from city

When the mayor and council approve a project – in this case, the banquet hall– and then unilaterally rescind approval without notice ...

As a long-time resident and business owner in Abbotsford, and someone who has seldom wanted to get involved in anything political, I find I am compelled to respond your article “City reverses rezoning of banquet hall.” I was more than disturbed/shocked when I read the article.

I am not an expert on the municipal act and I suspect it does provide for this “reconsideration” by Coun. Loewen. But the action as it is reported sends completely the wrong message to anyone wishing to do business in Abbotsford. It would send the wrong message to anyone, in any business, in any walk of life. And while a search of the internet did reveal other “reversals” in some Canadian cities, I certainly could not find anything about those reversals being done without consultation with the parties involved or publicly airing the intention well beforehand. I’d imagine that this has no precedent in municipal politics in our country.

When the mayor and council approve a project –  in this case, the banquet hall– and then unilaterally rescind approval without notice to the proponents, it is undemocratic, unfair and very high-handed. The clear message from council is that they cannot be relied upon to stand behind the decisions they make publicly and that approvals can be rescinded without consultation, notice or discussion. They can also be done without revealing “why” there was a change of heart. This action sets a very dangerous precedent and the worst possible message to anyone wishing to do business in Abbotsford.

I expect Coun. Loewen did his homework prior to the vote and, therefore, should stand behind his decision. The optics of such a reversal of approval suggest that there was some external pressure applied to change his mind after the vote had taken place.

In am not in favour, nor disfavour, of the proposed project and make no comment as to its merit. I am merely commenting on my concern for the men and women who spend many hours and many dollars to develop projects in our city, only to have them reversed after approval has been given. It is impossible for these people to play the game if the score can be changed after the final whistle has blown and the players and fans have all gone home.

Gregory Buck

Just Posted

Changes coming June 30 to bus services in Abbotsford

Several existing routes are being realigned and one route is being discontinued

Abbotsford council declines to declare climate emergency

Mayor says city is working to reduce emissions, but that procedures preclude immediate action

VIDEO: Unofficial goat yoga world record set in Abbotsford

Maan Farms waiting on verification from Guinness on world record

Vehicle roll-over causes Highway 1 delays

Left eastbound and westbound lanes blocked as crews deal with accident

Mt. Lehman community holds Canada Day parade

Event precedes main City of Abbotsford celebrations

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Most Read