(Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS) Ivan Drury, with Alliance Against Displacement, addresses media, Monday.

Camp closing means it’s time to heal and move on, says MLA

Watershed moment for Maple Ridge, says D’Eith

The closing of Anita Place Tent City in Maple Ridge means it’s time for the city to move forward and heal, the local MLA says.

On Friday, Bob D’Eith praised the City of Maple Ridge, council, staff, first responders and BC Housing for its work in the closing of the two-year-old camp at 223rd Street and St. Anne Avenue, calling the closure a watershed moment for the city.

“There were so many people involved in this that it’s worth saying that everybody from the city and the province… it’s a good day for the community and a good day for everybody,” D’Eith said.

He said the opening of Garibaldi Ridge supportive housing complex on Burnett Street last week, that provided housing for tent city residents, allowed the closing of the tent city.

“That’s a really important piece. We’re just getting started, really. There’s so much more need for housing in our city,” D’Eith said.

He said the province and the city are still trying to find a site for a permanent supportive housing complex.

Garibaldi Ridge and Royal Crescent supportive housing complexes are supposed to be only temporary and are to be removed once a permanent site has been found.

Maple Ridge council and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing have been quarreling over the model of housing provided with most of council opposed to low-barrier complexes such as Garibaldi Ridge.

“We’ve had our differences, but we always had the same goal in mind, which was to resolve the tent city,” D’Eith said.

The MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission was hopeful that Maple Ridge won’t see another homeless camp.

“For the most part, the main bulk of people who are experiencing homelessness have been housed.

“So I’m hopeful that we won’t have another tent city. That’s why I think today is such an important day, because we have a lot of people who needed to be housed, housed.”

But lots of work remains, he added.

The Alliance Against Displacement and Pivot Legal Society also spoke out Monday against the city’s actions.

Ivan Drury, with the Alliance, said that dismantling the camp “was an attempt to destroy the homeless community in Maple Ridge.”

He added that people are still on the street and that supportive housing is a temporary measure, “a band-aid on a festering wound.”

Anna Cooper, with Pivot Legal, said that the issue is of “fundamentally being against the people in your community who need you the most.”

Justin Tottenham, a former tent city resident who’s now in Garibaldi Ridge, said he sees many people in the complex who he doesn’t recognize from tent city.

Mayor Michael Morden said Tuesday the city has done more than its “regional per capita share,” in addressing the issue.

“We do not have enough appropriate resources to assist people with very complex problems, many of whom are in deep drug addiction and mental health problems,” Morden said by e-mail.

He added that council’s social safety plan “will facilitate treatment and long-term recovery for those in substance addiction; various housing forms to address needs for seniors, lower income and the disabled.”



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Former city of Anita Place Tent City now clear as city starts building park. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Just Posted

Maple Ridge councillor runs afoul of Coastal GasLink protester

Northern pipeline not a Maple Ridge issue, insists Coun. Gordy Robson

LETTER: New procedures to address council are a big concern

Donna Clay says asking public to wait until end of meetings to raise questions is inpractical

Ridge Meadows house leage softball sign-up this Thursday

Players have the option to register in-person or online

Ridge Meadows Hospice Society there for seniors dealing with grief and loss

Discussion on grief and loss to take place at the Maple Ridge Public Library

Cyclist hit Monday in Maple Ridge

Collision on Dewdney Trunk Road, minor injuries

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Most Read