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Abbotsford Today is issuing an open letter to Mayor Banman and City Council as well as the Salvation Army in order to have a public, open and honest discussion of one the most disgusting, contentious and embarrassing incidents in the City’s history.
Photo by: Jack Piatt on theobservalist.com
After Abbotsford received worldwide coverage of the Abbotsford Chicken Manure Homeless Incident both the City of Abbotsford and the Salvation Army seem to have decided that, like most public relations disasters, the secret to dealing with this incident is to “Move forward”. There was a lot of ‘moving forward’ going on in the exclusive interview City Manager George Murray and Sally Ann PR woman Deb Lowell provided to the Abbotsford News on Friday.
Moving forward and away from this incident as quickly as possible is the last thing this community needs. We need to sit here for a moment, for as long as it takes, in order to find out how this happened, who made it happen, who allowed it to happen and how we are going to, once and for all, find a way to help our poor, disadvantaged, hungry, homeless and addicted – all of them – without being so mean-spirited, divisive and unfair about the way we choose those who deserve our help.
We will publish any and all responses we receive.
Dear Mayor Banman and Council; Deb Lowell, Abbotsford Salvation Army; David Woodland, Divisional Social Services Secretary at The Salvation Army
We are asking the following questions publicly of both the Salvation Army and the City of Abbotsford in order to help the community have an open and honest discussion of the issues surrounding homelessness in Abbotsford and in order to come up with an understanding of how the Abbotsford Chicken Manure Homeless Incident occurred and how to avoid anything similar in the future.
Your participation in telling this story is greatly appreciated.
1. Who gave the order to spread chicken feces on the land opposite the Salvation Army where homeless people were gathered?
2. Was there a meeting, at any time prior to the incident, at which both the Salvation Army and the City of Abbotsford were represented and the idea of spreading chicken feces was discussed?
3. Did the Salvation Army participate in, actively discuss and/or approve of the decision to spread chicken feces on the property?
4. From what company did the City purchase the chicken feces used to chase the homeless from in front of the Salvation Army?
5. Has the Salvation Army or the City of Abbotsford provided any indication to the homeless people who are not registered in the Salvation Army’s programs or able to afford to rent or purchase real estate where it is they are supposed to move to?
6. Who do the homeless complain to about the removal of their belongings when their sleeping quarters are disturbed and they are dispersed?
7. Can the homeless get their belongings back or are they disposed of in some fashion?
8. Who, at the City of Abbotsford and at the Salvation Army, is responsible for the decision to treat the poor in this manner?
9. Is anybody at the Salvation Army or the City of Abbotsford tasked with arriving at a better solution or are the City’s and the Army’s efforts being directed solely at public relations, and, as representatives from both were quoted last week, moving forward and putting this incident behind us?
Addendum: We have added the following question to this public declaration of our questions in order to protect any City employee or Salvation Army employee who might be put in a comprising position if they were to tell the truth.
10. Has either the Salvation Army, or the City of Abbotsford, or any of their representatives threatened employees of either organization with dismissal if they speak to the media?