Ryav Svendsen is running for Maple Ridge council. (Contributed)

Candidate wants Maple Ridge to be better

City should make plans for its river front area

A new candidate for Maple Ridge council in the Oct. 20 civic election says that if he’s elected he’ll bring “a fresh perspective, energy and vision to council.

“I want to move us out of the same old, same old,” said Ryan Svendsen. “I want to see us get moving.”

Svendsen said in a news release Friday that his experience as a firefighter will give him insight into how to use resources “to create safer streets and reduce crime.”

He added that Maple Ridge has reached a critical tipping point.

“I would advocate for a swift move towards equally enforcing the laws and bylaws already in place. When laws and bylaws are relaxed, or applied selectively, it creates an ‘us or them’ mentality that divides communities.

“Seniors have a right to walk in their community without fear for their safety or well-being. Families should be able to enjoy local parks and facilities. When the criminal element begins to feel too comfortable and takes up residence, all that goes out the window.”

He adds that Maple Ridge has to plan its transportation corridors for the future.“There needs to be a plan in place to alleviate the congestion we’re dealing with today, as well as a readiness plan to adapt to future services like light rapid transit. Otherwise, what we’re building today will have to be removed to make way for future transportation assets.”

He also wants “thoughtful, environmentally responsible, and balanced development that factors in the needs of all members of the community.

“The sprawling, tired, single-storey buildings along our corridors have reigned supreme for too long. It is time to create a vibrant downtown and neighbourhood hubs that we can all be a part of and be proud of.”

He would also like to see council explore options for its Fraser River front area. “If our waterfront is not suitable for development, we should at least be ensuring we have more public access.

“It’s about vision and imagination,” he said, “two components that have been missing in our city’s evolution.”

As well, he wants to prioritize the future of the Albion flats.

“How many times have we planned and not moved forward on this?”

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