Chelsa Meadus, Liberal
Entrepreneur and sales vice pres., age 45
Chelsa Meadus has held many leadership positions in the public, private, and non-profit sector. Citizen engagement, public safety and community development have always been her focus as a member of the Maple Ridge City council.
Meadus’ extensive work in the community spans 25 years she has led many local non-profits, including Fraser River All Nations Society, an Indigenous advocacy group, Ridge Meadows Hospice Society, Adopt A Block, and MRPM Youth Centre Society.
Chelsa promises as the MLA for Mission-Maple Ridge she will be available and responsive to the residents of both Mission and Maple Ridge. She is committed to meaningful relationships with every member. In Victoria, Meadus will assure your voices are heard, just as she has done on council.
To help voters make their choices on election day, the Maple Ridge News is asking local candidates a series of questions on issues of importance, asking each candidate to participate.
They were asked to a ‘yes’, a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y,N,D) response to EACH of the numbered questions for the grid published in the Oct. 15 edition of The News. Candidates were also invited to expand on ANY OR ALL of the questions (to a maximum of 250 words each), with one of their choice to be included in our print edition on Oct. 22. Here’s all their replies.
1. Has supportive housing made a difference in addressing homelessness in Maple Ridge?
Answer: Everyone deserves a place to call home and Chelsa Meadus along with the BC Liberals know that people are more stable when they have a roof over their head.
The modular housing built by the Bob D’Eith and the NDP on Burnett Street is housing, yes, but not supportive housing.
There is only one rotating nurse for three Maple Ridge sites and liaison visits from Fraser Health.
Residents use drugs in their rooms as they see fit.
Crime, drug use, and prostitution are a daily occurence at this site.
The BC liberals want to provide housing with wrap around services, including mental health and addictions recovery.
Until we treat the root cause of homelessness we will see communities, citizens and business’s effected.
2. Are you in favour of government providing drug users with a safe supply to address the opioid overdose crisis?
Answer: The NDP have been literally giving out prescriptions to people for injectable narcotics.
The BC liberals want to conduct a proper, supervised clinical trial – like you would with any other medical intervention to see if supplying safer drugs is a scientifically proven way to fight the opiod crisis.
Safe supply is only one approach to look at.
Currently, the ministry of mental health and addiction has the smallest budget of any ministry, this is not good enough.
We want to focus on the four pillars prevention, treatment, enforcement, and harm reduction.
The NDP seem to have forgotten about the first three.
3. Can Pitt Meadows count on highway improvements actually being realized at the Harris Road/Lougheed Highway intersection in the next four years?
Answer: This is outside of our riding Maple Ridge-Mission.
4. With Golden Ears Provincial Park and others in the area at capacity during peak times, should camping and park expansion be a priority in the riding?
Answer: Golden Ears park is a popular attraction for tourism in B.C. and a favourite spot for local residents.
However, it has become very difficult to visit the park.
The reservable site model does not allow local residents to enjoy the park.
Penalties need to be handed to those that reserve and do not show up and repeat offenders tracked and prevented from future reservations.
Moving back to a combination of reserved sites and first-come, first-serve sites would also allow more people to enjoy the park.
The current reservation system for day passes and overnight passes is flawed.
Day passes need to be reserved the day of at 6 a.m. or they miss out and overnight passes need to be purchased months in advance.
It makes it impossible to plan a family trip.
There is a very passionate group on Facebook that has been advocating for change.
When I am MLA, I will make it a priority to consult with them as well as other local residents to improve the system, so everyone can enjoy our beautiful provincial park that we are so fortunate to have in our own backyard.
5. Do you support the expansion of $10 per day daycare?
Answer: The BC liberals want every family to have access to affordable quality childcare.
The NDP failed to deliver on their promise and only had a few failed pilot projects take place.
We will offer $10-a-day daycare to families earning up to $65,000 a year, $20-a-day daycare for families earning up to $90,000 a year, and $30-a-day daycare to those earning up to $125,000.
6. During a second wave of COVID-19 would you support closing schools?
Answer: Yes, if it is necessary.
The BC Liberals are committed to working with all parties and provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, in a collaborative manner, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and not each other, working in the best interests of all British Columbians.
7. During a second wave of COVID-19 would you support closing businesses?
Answer: As mentioned above, we are committed to working with Dr. Bonnie Henry and all parties in the legislature to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
That might mean making difficult decisions about closing sectors of our economy again in the interest of containing the virus and keeping British Columbians safe and healthy.
We will establish an emergency pandemic response committee to work with all parties and the provincial health officer on a collaborative approach to managing the current and future pandemics, including accelerating provincial aid and supports for small businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19.
8. Is government spending the best way to stimulate the economy as it recovers from the global pandemic?
Answer: Right now is the time in invest in B.C.
We need a plan that leaves more money in peoples’ pockets, creates good jobs, and grows the economy so that B.C. can thrive once more.
The BC Liberals plan will do just that.
We are eliminating the PST and the small business tax so that families and business owners can make ends meet.
We are committing to important infrastructure projects that will get our province moving and create thousands of jobs.
We are going to make childcare more affordable so that more parents can get back into the workforce and provide for their families.
These are the kinds of measures that B.C. needs as we recover from the pandemic and emerge stronger than before.
9. Should government divert funding away from policing, and toward social and mental health services?
Answer: The BC Liberals will improve the policing system and create partnerships between police, psychiatric nurses, and registered nurses.
The BC Liberals would provide $58 million to hire 100 psychiatric social workers and registered nurses to staff integrated mobile crisis response teams to respond to mental health-related emergency calls.
The BC Liberals have also committed to hiring 200 more police officers to fill vacancies across Canada and 40 new Crown prosecutors.
We need to strike the right balance by making sure the police have the tools to do their jobs and by working with mental health professionals to tackle both issues together.
10. Should the province provide B.C. residents with a universal basic income?
Answer: The BC liberals believe that British Columbians – through no fault of their own – need support, should receive those supports.
We also believe that British Columbians should have every opportunity to succeed and fulfill their dreams.
The BC liberals will continue to deliver necessary programs to those facing specific challenges such as poverty, mental health, old-age, and people with disabilities.
However, a universal basic income would be extremely costly and would inevitably mean much higher taxes for those who pay income tax.
OTHER LOCAL CANDIDATE Q&As:
Maple Ridge-Mission riding
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows riding
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