City of Abbotsford apologizes for using manure to drive out homeless

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Homelessness in Vancouver

Manure is usually used as an agricultural fertilizer in these parts the last time we checked. But for some, it is also a homeless pest deterrent. The City of Abbotsford apologized this week after it was revealed publicly that it had been spreading chicken manure at popular sites where homeless people camped.

The municipality’s approach according to the Abbotsford Today was one close to whack-a-mole. Wherever the homeless were found camping, city sanitation employees would not only spread chicken manure on the site but also remove any of their belongings and take it to the dump. Not to mention the unsanitary nature of the entire process, with chicken poop being spread at public thoroughfares: bird flu and salmonella, anyone?

However, using chicken manure as a way of fending off your city from the homeless isn’t exactly a new approach here in the Lower Mainland. In 2009, according to the CBC, the City of Surrey “left chicken manure on the grass, along sidewalks and in an empty city-owned lot beside the Front Room, a busy resource centre for the homeless on 135a Street in North Surrey.”

Not too long ago, an Alberta Premier (recently deceased) tried to rid Calgary of its homeless people by giving them free one-way bus tickets to British Columbia. Indeed, it was quite the simple solution to the homeless problem, in very stark contrast to the “build it and they will come” social housing and services approach of Vancouver.

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