IMG_4466The writer (below) asks “WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?  We can assume that neither the City, nor CP Rail dumped garbage in the heart of Abbotsford, but the letter was written Feb. 25th, some days after the pile first appeared.  This morning, March 3rd the filthy mess was still there for thousands of people to look at.  A crew of men were at work there yesterday, but no one, of the authorities seem to have noticed, or care to clean up this mess.

Letter to the Editor of the Abbotsford News printed Feb 25, 2015 (Mrs. Pool writes about the east side of town, this IMG_4513IMG_4512 is one I took of the knoll facing Highway 1, on the north side of the Freeway.  That pile of rubbish has been there for many months, though I know the city does occasionally send a crew to clean up such filthy messes.  I feel sorry for the people tasked with these jobs.)

Does anybody care?  (Gertie Pool)

Yes, a large pile of rubbish is steadily spreading at the Gateway to Abbotsford, right along one of the main streets when entering Abbotsford off Mission Highway onto George Ferguson Way.

The ugly trash has been there in plain view for two months now. Sickening indeed.

It all started with a grocery buggy full of items. It grew steadily until one day the buggy was tipped over. Next the buggy disappeared, Now, eight weeks into its journey, this dumping sight is proudly raising its ugly head, and spreading,  as if it belongs there.

My sincere question is, just who, in management, is responsible to remove such ugly rubbish?

I can not help but wonder just how fast such garbage dumping site would be removed if it were started at the lawns of city hall.IMG_4514So, who is responsible? City workers, residents or just nobody at all? Are there no rules to go by? Any taxpaying house owner creating such ugly messes would soon find a hefty fine on theirdoorstep. And rightly so. But, are City workers fully aware of their responsibilities?

So, what’s up anyhow? Let’s get some constructive action, please. And soon, preferably.  – Gertie Pool, Abbotsford

ANDREW HOLOTA wrote in his Feb. 27th editorial:  (excerpts)

“One again, Abbotsford is in the news for its “treatment’ of the homeless………this city is caught in a level of political correctness beyond reason and reality.

What dramatically changed the tone and tempo of the issue in this city in comparison to all the other communities that experience homelessness, was the launch of a lawsuit by non-profit Vancouver social justice lawyers.

Abbotsford is now ground zero for another test case on whether banning the homeless from camping in public places is unconstitutional.  Do the rights of the homeless trump those who are not in similar life circumstances?

The city is under a legal and media microscope, justifiably paranoid about creating a juicy sound bite or vulnerability in court.

Thus, city hall can’t move to clean up the awful mess at the “protest” homeless camp on Gladys, …….”   ( Andrew Holota)

(My thoughts)…….Andrew is right, and this city is fast becoming a rat-infested dump.

How does Abbotsford solve this growing problem when our senior level of government, in Victoria has abdicated its responsibility?  Then to compound the problem, as Mr. Holota says, the city has to spend time and money fighting for the right to keep private and public land from being taken over by squatters, in provincial court.

Residents in Hope have had some 5 years of low-barrier housing under the care of BC Housing, and many residents around the Thunderbird Inn tell stories of theft and trespassing and harassment  traceable to the occupants of the T Bird Inn.  There is no supervision evenings and weekends.

BC Housing gets provincial tax dollars but the story of Marc Townsend and his Portland Hotel Society in the DTES tells a story of sloppy oversight by the governing bodies and of exorbitant, lavish lifestyles by Townsend and his crew of ‘caregivers’ to the poorest of the poor.  (Townsend, in his defence says, well,… the staff of BC Housing do the same lavish living as him. That should make us all feel better.)

If our city tries to put a stop to this growing blight in Abbotsford, the CBC, and assorted media will be here, reporting in tones earnest and grave on the cruel Bible Belt, (somehow forgetting they had to drive away from seeing Vancouver’s DTES squalor, that under Townsend’s millions of public dollars, never improved as far as anyone can tell.)

How can the public support the expanding tent cities?  A friend once put up a little plastic-covered frame to protect her tomatoes from late blight.  A few strong winds later and her frame lay in tatters.  The next year her property tax had been increased to reflect the value of her new greenhouse.

Many, many people have had the city descend on them for minor alterations and repairs that were deemed out of line with building codes.   Now these same people who faithfully submit a portion of their toil into three levels of government taxation,…..iIn return are mocked for their lack of love in thinking there are rules and regulations that fairly govern all citizens.  They don’t understand why some folk can set up tents and structures anywhere they wish.  And woe betide any Abbotsford citizen who dares protests those ‘camps’.

This is a terrible situation.  Some of those people would no doubt be greatly helped by a swift kick, (metaphorically speaking).  But probably the majority need help with the most basic aspects of living, and there is money, but the provincial government squanders obscene amounts of our tax dollars.  This is a problem that cannot be dumped on municipalities.

Come on Premier Clark!  Step up to the plate.