Residents spooked by Plan A

Many Abbotsford residents are “spooked” by Plan A. Before that we were “spooked” by having been walked right to the brink...

Re: Andrew Holota’s column, Nov. 4.

Many Abbotsford residents are “spooked” by Plan A. Before that we were “spooked” by having been walked right to the brink of the near disaster we know as Sumas Energy 2 by the mayor and council of the day.

It was the monumental effort from a few local heroes including Patricia Ross, not city hall, which stopped SE2.

As many of us remember, SE2 reneged on its share of the cost of the sewer and we’re paying for that just as we are now subsidizing “our” money losing hockey team.

There is at least one common denominator in these situations. Despite the generous compensation city hall pays to lawyers and consultants on our behalf, we emerge with a reasonable expectation that council may well walk us into yet another contract that protects the other party better than it does us.

After all, how often do we see anyone on council with business acumen and experience comparable to that of negotiators for a multinational company?

With a water project of this magnitude and complexity what reason is there to think council’s performance will be any more effective than it has in the past?

While I’m not personally opposed to P3 arrangements, one way in which we are vulnerable is through the confidentiality a contractor argues is necessary to protect their bidding and business practises.

Potentially, everything about the contract will be confidential and closed to us.

However, protections afforded a contractor’s need for competitive advantage, real or exaggerated, is less a concern than the collateral protection mayor and council inherit from oversight of their errors and accountability by agreeing to confidentiality.

Council claims long ago to have seen and been preparing for what they themselves call a now urgent and critical need for a new water source. Nevertheless, a priority was put on Plan A. Can anyone imagine Plan A surviving a referendum today had this $300 million millstone been laid on our necks first? Not I!

So, how are we to perceive them? Incompetent? They’re just so limited in foresight that mistakes happen? Ah well, learn and move on. Manipulative? It’s ingrained in human nature, we all need to keep ourselves accountable. Both? No surprise. But since we have a chance here to avoid a horrendous debt load it’s worth considering that our people at city hall are also just so limited in imagination that all they see is a big problem that simply has to have a big solution. Naturally enough a big solution can mean only one thing, throw big money at it, it’s always worked before.

To answer Mr. Holota, a workable alternative to the debt enslavement this project will impose does exist. A no vote will merely force city hall to reflect on the interests of the Abbotsford taxpayer, possibly to reopen for business on our terms, not the simplistic spending habit they’re accustomed to.

Gennie Adair

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Horgan meets with candidates Pam Alexis and Preet Rai and local citizens in Abbotsford on Wednesday afternoon. (Submitted)
NDP Leader John Hordan campaigns in Abbotsford with local candidates

Horgan meets with hopefuls Pam Alexis and Preet Rai on Wednesday afternoon

The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.
Eight scam online-shopping websites fraudulently use Abbotsford address

Better Business Bureau says victims lost hundreds for non-existent or poor-quality products

Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr provides an overview of the detachment’s year during the annual Crime is Toast breakfast, which this year was held online.
2020 has been a challenging year, says Abbotsford Police chief

Mike Serr provides annual overview during virtual Crime is Toast breakfast

MacDonald tweeted out this photo shortly after being sprayed with bear-mace in 2015.
THROWBACK VIDEO: Fifth anniversary of Abbotsford cameraman’s bear-mace attack

Retired ‘Abby Newshound’ Kevin MacDonald reflects on notorious incident back in 2015

RCMP officers cleared in killing of Abbotsford homeless advocate

Barry Shantz was shot following a mental health crisis at his home on on Jan. 13, 2020,

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Most Read