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Council takes on feds over Fisheries Act changes

Maple Ridge council has voted to give a piece of its mind to the federal government over changes to the Fisheries Act that kills protection of fish habitat.

Politicians at Tuesday’s meeting demanded that Ottawa explain the scientific basis for making the changes. They also wanted the federal government to reverse those changes, which result in protection of only commercial, aboriginal or sports fisheries. Council also sought clarification of what the Fisheries Act means when “death or killing” of fish occurs.

Maple Ridge is also seeking support for its stance.

The resolution will be fired off to Metro Vancouver and its member municipalities. Local MPs, MLAs, First Nations and the Union of B.C. Municipalities will also get copies. Council voted 6-1 in favour, with Coun. Mike Morden opposing. Morden said later he wanted to be sure council was addressing municipal issues and was concerned about being shut out of future consultation on the regulations.

 

Cut us in

Council wants its big brother government in Ottawa to cough up some cash so it can move ahead with some of its pricier projects.

Tuesday council called on the government to find a replacement for its Building Canada Plan which expires in 2014. Council made the request by endorsing a Federation of Canadian Municipalities campaign called Target 2014, which calls for the replacement of the Building Canada Plan. The government has said it will develop a new plan.

And it wants the feds to adopt a new plan that will replace the $2 billion annually that funded municipal projects around the country.

According to the FCM, Ottawa collects half of all tax dollars in Canada while provincial governments take 42 per cent, leaving eight per cent for cities, towns and municipal or rural districts.

A staff report notes the district doesn’t have the cash to pay for bigger projects. It mentions two specifically, the extension of Abernethy Way to 256th Street which would provide a second access to the industrial parks in that area.

An overpass over the CP Rail lines that would provide access to Albion Industrial Park would allow that area to develop.

That was passed unanimously.

Homes higher up

Approval has been given to raise the height of houses in upper Jackson Farm from nine to 11 metres and to narrow three of the roads in the new subdivision from 18 to 15 metres wide.

Braynor Financial is putting in 108 homes in the area that was allowed for development as part of an agreement with land owners that resulted in lower Jackson Farm on 102nd Avenue being preserved as a park.

The developer wants to raise the height of the homes to improve appearances. The height relaxation is consistent with what is allowed in the surrounding Albion area.

The request for narrower roads are in areas where there are homes on only one side of the street. The narrower roads are similar to those in the Silver Valley area, says a report.

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