Dialogue Between Councillor Loewen And Candidate Braun

I feel compelled to respond to more of the “water issues” in this blog for two reasons;

  1. Councilor Loewen has engaged me directly with questions that the public needs to see.
  2. The City has taken out a full page ad regarding a ‘water issue’ that occurred 30 years ago. The ad would have us believe that the former District of Matsqui ran out of water due to a supply shortage. The truth is that the shortage resulted from a mechanical problem related to the booster pumps, not a shortage of supply. The picture being painted by the City (using our money!) is wrong and appears intended to scare the good people of Abbotsford into voting “yes”.

The dialogue between Councilor and me is posted verbatim below.

Councilor Loewen Wrote:

Henry has identified a concern that I raised from the outset – one of several reasons why we MUST proceed without delay. I am speaking of redundancy. Even IF Henry were correct on timeline, his arguments cannot negate the threat of having our water supply threatened through a natural event (eg. earthquake, mudslide, etc.). Abbotsford cannot and should not continue trusting that our one source will never be interrupted. Stave Lake will provide redundancy and a greater certainty that any natural event that disrupts one will not deny Abbotsford residents and business community a secure and constant supply of water.”

Henry Braun Replied:

Dear Dave; it is extremely important that you not lift words out of context, as this often has the effect of distorting the intention of the writer. My point is clear, “we can never cover off every feared eventuality.”

Councilor Loewen Replied:

Henry – the 1981 water crisis was the result of poor planning by the engineering department of the day. If you check, you will find that the pumps were under-capacity and did not anticipate the growth rate. Yes, it was human error, but it was an error that could have been avoided by more far-sighted individuals of the day. Our Council and our staff have proposed the most cost-effective delivery of water to meet a projected and anticipated growth rate. We have no desire to take chances with 140,000 people and the future prosperity of our City. I would much rather err on the side of caution than on the side of chance.”

Henry Braun Replied:

Dear Dave;

I believe that the people of Abbotsford want to know the facts, all of them, not just the ones that support the “yes” vote. I know that I do. Rhetoric, scare tactics and high-priced promotional material are not helpful in weighing the choices. It is understandable that elected politicians must take positions to justify their prior actions. But why is the City spending so much of the taxpayer’s hard-earned money to promote only one side of what is a political issue? Why has the City chosen to ignore its own post-2007 ACTUAL water usage numbers and rely instead on projections that are obviously wrong? Why was it necessary to have such a confusing, mind boggling, 185 word Referendum question? Let’s face it. The answer is quite simple. A vote “yes” means a vote for the incumbent Council members. As for me, I will trust the decision that the residents of Abbotsford make on November 19. You see, I did not take a “vote no” position because it would win votes. My approach has always been to investigate the facts fully, approach the issue with an entirely open mind, listen carefully to all views, then make and communicate a principle-based decision as to how I will vote. I hope that every voter does the same. I will respect the voters’ decision on Saturday, regardless of the outcome.”

HJ Scheirer Post

If ever there was a time for reason and clear-thinking logic to prevail in city hall, this is it. In the event of an earthquake (pointed out by Mr. Loewen) it is unclear to me how the Stave Lake project would guarantee a secure safe water supply. Would this territory not be in as great jeopardy as any other source? Because I cannot in good conscience vote an unequivocal “yes” to a ten-fold far-reaching question that impies my full support during impending world economic crisis more certain than an earthquake, I am voting “No”. Thank you, Mr. Braun, for your unrelenting persuit of the facts, in spite of the glossy, publicly funded, over-the-top promotion of the projections.”