LETTER: Homeless are still citizens

I would like to start off by countering the argument portrayed by C. Howard...

I would like to start off by countering the argument portrayed by C. Howard that the mayor and councillors need to make the tough decisions Abbotsford residents elected them to make, by stating that as a democratic society it is reasonably acceptable for city hall to not take complete control of the homeless situation and enforce their own will, but rather try to work with the concerns of the main group of citizens being affected. Throughout this whole issue, it is important and beneficial to keep in mind that at the end of the day, the homeless are still citizens of Abbotsford.

Furthermore, as C. Howard said, “now the City of Abbotsford’s mayor and councillors are recommending the hiring of a homeless coordinator.” The fact that they are considering the hiring of a homeless coordinator shows that they are in progress of making a decision about the homeless situation. C. Howard has said that this new coordinator would be required to make decisions on the vagrants that our mayor and councillors are too inept to make, this is a personal attack against the skills of city council. On one hand C. Howard has stated that city hall should take a lead and make decisions, yet when they are in process of hiring a homeless coordinator to do so, they are attacked for not having the appropriate skills to do so themselves. Secondly, as stated, ” this new position would only cost $92,000 to $124,000 in wages,” it begs the question of whether the wage of a homeless coordinator truly would be that high, or if this is just a mere exaggeration.

Wanting a referendum on this issue creates a false dilemma of having only two options, a vote either yes or no towards eliminating the homeless. In between methods, of relocating them, or setting them up with support systems is made to seem undesirable and as if they are not likely options. Further along, in stating the two options, with a vote of no, Police Officers are brought into discussion in a way that distracts the readers from the real issue of city hall.

As for the statement that says, “It’s so much easier to sit back, be quiet and think, there  s nothing I can do, so why bother? Council and city hall have had this attitude for years”, is an attack on calling city hall out for actions not relevant to the issue at hand. It also creates a negative bias for readers along with the opening sentence that says, “Let the insanity continue.”   These statements poison the well, in that they, whether intentionally or not, influence or come across the readers mind in a negative way.

Lastly, to address the issues about relocation, “A Dignity Village anywhere in our city does not solve any vagrant problems- it just relocates these problems.” This particular statement is contrary in that, at first C. Howard had wanted city hall to take action and claimed that they weren’t doing anything of that sort, and now is against the actions that they are wanting to potentially enforce. To end off, as Mr./Mrs. Howard said. “There needs to be a resolution to this vagrant terrorist situation,”   is bashing the homeless and attacking them for what they are, and labelling them with such names as  “terrorists” doesn’t help any ones situation. However it does yet again sidetrack the readers from the main issue of city halls lack of  “tough decision” making.


Surpreet Dhami.