Just before Fred Thiessen was set to present his 10-minute delegation to Abbotsford council Monday night, Mayor Bruce Banman read out a statement from the YMCA.
Ostensibly, due to the death of Mark Taylor, the Y needs to withdraw “indefinitely” so Bruce asked if Fred wanted to give up his presentation of opposition to this proposal.
It seemed to catch Fred off guard, and I don’t know what he would have done but some of the audience urged him to remember the “memorandum of understanding.”
Bruce made it sound like we should all just be happy and go home now. But hold on. What did that letter actually say?
We are grateful to Fred for pressing that question. Was the memorandum of understanding cancelled? Is it now null and void? Well no, not exactly.
Could the YMCA come back to our city with that legal document in their hot little hands and force council to re-engage with the Y about the proposed 50 per cent of the up-front capital cost of a new building, on free land? Minimum guesstimate of $17.5 million up front. One and a half million promised from the provincial kitty, (still our money). Ability to compete with local business operations, both public and private, while drawing on the volunteer base and the donation base existing and future private operations rely on. All of that to be tax-exempt.
What a colossal scam.
So, Bruce Banman, when pressed for clarity by Fred Thiessen, had to admit that, well yes, the YMCA could come back at any time, and resume this attack on our city.
If our council has an ounce of integrity, they will ask the YMCA to sign, with the city, that the memorandum of understanding is null, void and cancelled.
Until the MOU signed between Abbotsford and the YMCA is dead, this is just smoke and mirrors.