Abbotsford mayor 'deeply sorry' after homeless man's tent vandalized
Abbotsford’s new mayor is apologizing after a city volunteer allegedly roughed up the tent of a homeless person in a city park.
Henry Braun, who defeated incumbent Bruce Banman in the mayoral race in November, held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the volunteer’s alleged actions.
“Acting as a concerned citizen and local resident, the volunteer met with the camper at the campsite, pointed out the ‘No Camping’ signs and informed him that he must remove his campsite from the park,” Braun said.
The volunteer returned home and printed off another “No Camping” sign which he then left at the campsite.
“I understand that alongside this interaction, the young man’s campsite was disturbed during this time period, and some of his belongings were taken,” Braun said. “Obviously this situation is very upsetting. The actions of the volunteer were outside the city’s protocol, and we do not support the way in which this situation unfolded.”
Braun said the city provides training literature to volunteers but it previously didn’t include policies on coming into contact with urban campers or campsites.
“This process has been remedied as of today,” he said. “The City of Abbotsford is deeply sorry for the upset this has caused for this person.”
It’s just the latest incident to ratchet up tensions between the city’s homeless population and municipal government.
A group of homeless people have launched a lawsuit against the city, alleging the city has used cruel tactics in a bid to evict them from their campsites.
Pivot Legal Society, which is spearheading the case, alleges the city has destroyed homeless tents and structures, spread chicken manure at homeless camps and pushed the group from relatively safe places to more dangerous conditions.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.