Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Protect the Guilty, or the Innocent?

The Municipality of Abbotsford BC bought chicken manure, then used that manure to attack the homeless persons in their city.  After the public outrage occurred, the City refuses to disclose the identity of the supplier who sold them the manure.  Is this refusal designed to protect the guilty, or the innocent?

I previously posted about this dysfunctional, disgraceful, and disgusting use of chicken manure (see here and here).

4 BC Cities Alleged to Attack the Homeless with Weaponized Chicken Manure

Previously, I reported that 3 different cities had used the disgusting and disrespectful chicken manure against the homeless.  Today, I learned from CBC News that Port Moody was also involved in this terrible scheme.  It is amazing how quickly a bad idea can spread like an epidemic.

Life Cycle Responsibility

CBC News also reports:
In one email, dated June 3, Eric Fong, a City of Abbotsford forestry official, refers to an agreement between officials from Abbotsford's bylaws and roads departments "to spread the chicken manure around [a] tree to deter homeless encampments being set up under it."

He emailed the city's acting director of parks services, James Arden, for approval to go ahead with "the manure dump" the following morning.

Arden approved the request within minutes, noting: "I am glad that we were able to get the product for free and avoid cutting down a healthy trees [sic] to see if that resolves the issue," he added."
One interpretation is that the city received the chicken manure for free, and tried to construct a smoke screen that the use of the chicken manure to get rid of the homeless was better than cutting down the "Honey Tree".

CAFO chicken farms usually have way too much chicken manure, more than they can possibly use as fertilizer on their crop fields.  That sad evidence of unsustainability of CAFO chicken factories has prompted many CAFO chicken farmers to pay cities to landfill the excess manure, often causing toxic concentrated runoff that pollutes groundwater and surface waters.  Does this explain why a CAFO SM chicken farmer "gifted" the manure to the city (whether for horticulture use, or as a weapon against the homeless), glad to get rid of it, thereby saving money for the landfilling of this excess manure?

I suggest that whether the city received it for free, or paid for it, this doesn't absolve the chicken farmer of any responsibility.  I also suggest that wherever the farmer's chicken manure goes, or how it gets there, the farmer has a duty, responsibility, and stewardship as originator and trustee to ensure that manure is used properly, cradle to grave, source to final use, the manure's entire life cycle.

For an example of life cycle stewardship, the Responsible Care Codes of Chemistry Industry Association of Canada state:
"Under the Stewardship Code, companies must regularly review the value, impact and safety of the products that they make, and the services and technologies that they use. They must also work with their business partners – suppliers, distributors and customers – to ensure the stewardship and security of their products over their entire life cycle."
As a specific case example, cancer causing PCB oils will burn and produce heat (as well as toxic smoke).  A chemical company pays some poor person to haul away PCB oils, knowing that these toxic wastes will likely be used as a cheap source of fuel for these poor people's home furnace, thereby placing that poor family and all those downwind at significant risk.  Is that chemical company acting in a socially acceptable manner?

Does it matter if the chemical company writes on the Bill of Sale:
 "Buyer assumes all responsibility for meeting all environmental laws and the safe disposal of these PCB oils hereby sold."
I suggest that the poor person doesn't care what is written on the bill of sale, they just want the oil as an affordable source of heat; even better when the chemical company pays them to take it away.  The poor person just doesn't want to freeze to death in the cold winter, and needs some pocket money too.  The poor person solves two problems all at once.

I suggest the same answer for PCB oil sales to the poor should apply to chicken manure that is likely to be weaponized and used against the homeless.

Source of the Chicken Manure

Yesterday, I found an interview of Mr. George Murray ("GM"), Abbotsford's City Manager.  In that June 10, 2013 interview with the online newspaper Abbotsford Today ("AT"), the  following Q & A occurred:

AT: From what company did the City purchase the chicken feces used to chase the homeless from in front of the Salvation Army?

GM: The City uses chicken manure for horticulture work and went to a local supplier that we have used in the past. I don’t believe it would be fair to the company to name them as they merely provided us product and did not participate in the decision or actions of the City.
Was the "local supplier" a chicken farmer operating under BC's Supply Management rules & regulations, or some intermediary organization (eg. a garden supply, nursery, horticultural store, or someone else)?

George Martin claims that the supplier didn't participate in the city's decision, but did the supplier know what the City intended to do with that chicken manure they bought?

To clarify the morals of this situation, let's consider a hypothetical example.

If someone comes into a sporting goods store wanting to buy a hunting knife, and that customer happens to mention their plan to use that newly purchased knife to stab & kill somebody, what does society expect that shop keeper to do?

Is it any different for a knife or chicken manure, either one usable as a weapon?

If it was you or one of your loved ones who were subsequently attacked by this newly purchased knife, would you be upset with the store that sold your attacker the knife?  Would you have grounds to seek damages against the store clerk and the store that sold the attacker the knife?

It is unlikely that the chicken manure used against the homeless had been purchased weeks or months before.  Chicken manure naturally starts to compost as soon as it leaves the back end of the chicken.  After a few weeks or month, aged chicken manure doesn't stink as bad as when it's fresh.  Therefore the city wouldn't be interested in aged chicken manure.  The city's evil plan required the maximum levels of stink and gross-out capabilities.  That's the role of fresh chicken manure.  By definition, fresh chicken manure is biohazardous.

If the supplier had been a long term supplier of fresh chicken manure for city flower gardens, and it was Abbotsford who routinely composted that manure before use on the city's flowers, then this is a different scenario.  In that case, the city may have secretly planned to buy an extra load to attack the homeless, and diverted that fresh load, bypassing the usual composting, sending it directly to the homeless encampment so as to maximize the effect of this biohazardous weapon.  In that case, assuming the supplier had no way of knowing the evil that the city intended, I don't think the supplier is to blame.

However, if the supplier of the chicken manure knew, or ought to have known what the city intended to do, then there is a conspiracy.  In that case, when George Martin refuses to name the supplier of the chicken manure, he is protecting a con-conspirator.

Why would George Martin protect a co-conspirator?  Perhaps the co-conspirator knows too much, and if the city rats him out, the co-conspirator has no further reason to remain silent, and might tell all the gruesome details to the authorities.  In that case, it could become much worse for George Martin, and/or the city.  Perhaps George Martin decided (or was pushed) to fall on his sword so as to protect all the other guilty parties.

Is it more probable that the chicken manure supplier is an innocent party, or a co-conspirator.  I believe  it is more likely the supplier is a co-conspirator.

Anyone using chicken manure will soon learn that fresh manure is very "hot", meaning it will burn the plants, killing them due to the highly concentrated nutrients present in fresh manure.  Chicken manure must be composted for 1 to 6 months before it can be used as a horticultural fertilizer.  Alternatively, fresh chicken manure can be roto-tilled into a flower bed and it can compost in the bed for 1 to 6 months before the flower beds are planted.

If the city was buying chicken manure for horticultural purposes, somebody (eg. either the city, or the supplier) was composting the manure before it could be used as a fertilizer.  As it composts, the level of stink drops significantly, making it better as a fertilizer, but worse for the city's new found nefarious purposes.

Therefore, if the city was looking for a disgusting and stinky weapon for use against the homeless, the city wanted extremely fresh manure, not composted.

If the city had been buying composted manure for years, then suddenly showed up wanting the freshest, most stinky manure possible, wouldn't you be curious as to why the sudden change?  If the supplier asked, the city might have told the supplier "Don't ask, you don't want to know".  Perhaps the city told the supplier all about the city's evil plan, and they all had an evil laugh about it together.  Whether the supplier knew, or turned a blind eye so they wouldn't know the details, either way, there seems to be culpability there.

However, if the city was secretive about their evil plans, and the supplier truly didn't know, and the supplier had no reasonable means to know, then perhaps the identity of that supplier should be protected.  In that case, it would be prudent and proper for someone other than the guilty city from making that determination and decision.

So who should be investigating the involvement of the supplier of the chicken manure?

I notifed BC's Fraser Health, Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Agriculture about my concerns about biohazardous chicken manure being used as a weapon against the homeless.

On 2015/10/27 (just 2 days after my first contact), Rebecca Middleton of Fraser Health informed me:
 "If you have concerns that chicken manure is being used outside of common agricultural practice, the Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment should be alerted. They will be able to address your concerns best."
 My response:
Thank-you for your prompt response.
My purpose is to ensure that this (and all similar risks) never happen again.

I have already contacted BC's Ag and Environment ministries, and await their reply.  My concern is that all three of you may point to the other as the one who is responsible, thereby ensuring that nobody is responsible to investigate.

There seems to be reasonable & probable grounds for believing the chicken manure used was infectious and biohazardous (see link to Blog, previously provided).  Does Fraser Health have other evidence that contradicts this prima facie evidence?  If so, please disclose it.

Assuming Fraser Health does not have other evidence to the contrary, could you please explain why Fraser Health is unwilling or unable to investigate the use of a weaponized infectious material against humans?
On 2015-11-12, I received the following response from Public Health Agency of Canada:
"Although we appreciate being made aware of this matter, it does not come under our purview. The Agency is a federal government department responsible for promoting and protecting the health of Canadians at the national level. We suggest that you contact Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at this link:"
To me, it seems the homeless are Canadians, and the weaponized chicken manure put their health at risk.  If someone is threatened by a biohazardous substance used as a weapon, I assume that is something that falls under the purview of an agency charged with the responsibility of protecting the health of Canadians.  Since this disgraceful conduct has happened not once, not twice, not three times, but a full four incidents that were separate and apart, that seems to be more than a fluke.

Does weaponized chicken manure have to be used a few thousand times, or a dozen people die before some governmental agency adds it to their priority list?

Around in a circle we go, everybody pointing at the next as the one to contact about this disgraceful use of chicken manure as a weapon.  Nobody sticks up their hand, nobody says we are responsible to ensure these terrible incidents never happen again.  Unfortunately, everybody looks the other way.

Hopefully we will soon receive the responses of the other bureaucracies.

Solving Homelessness

Rather than attacking the homeless with weaponized chicken manure, why can't municipalities sole the homelessness problem?

Medicine Hat, Alberta was the first Canadian city to do just that.

What about the extreme cost of giving every homeless person a place to stay?  How could a city afford to do that?

A homeless person causes about $100,000 per year in additional costs to society (police, shelter, food banks, health care, dysfunctional behaviours associated with living on the streets such as drugs, crime, etc.).  Once a homeless person has a place of their own, the costs to society drop to just $20,000 per year, one fifth the cost of living on the street.

Save the chicken manure for use as fertilizer, and save $80,000 per year per homeless person.

What a deal!

Unfortunately, there is significant stigma attached to homeless persons.  Recently a charity pretended they were going to install a new shelter in Leaside (a suburb of Toronto, on Eglington Ave E, NE of the downtown, one of the oldest and most popular suburbs).  Hidden cameras and messages left at the hotline showed how upset the neighbourhood became.

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