Ernie Daykin, for mayor.
Administrator, Maple Towers.
• Political experience/qualifications for running in this election:
Maple Ridge mayor for six years, with a total of 12 years experience on Maple Ridge city council; Metro Vancouver board and committee member; chair of the Metro Vancouver aboriginal relations committee; TransLink Mayors Council member; audit council member, Auditor General for Local Government; owned and operated my own business for 23 years; volunteered and served on many community boards.
• Reasons for running:
In the four years I’ve been off council, I have seen our community become polarized and divided. And it makes me sad. I want to part of the solution and pull our community back together and be part of getting it back on the track.
I have not been sitting on the sidelines. I continue to be involved in the community. I hear these comments often, as I am out in the community. People do not feel listened to, or feel part of the process.
Homelessness and public safety is a concern for individuals, families, community leaders and business owners. City council seems fractured and not cohesive and there is a perceived lack of support for the business community. I have the skills, experience and passion to work with the community and the next council to move Maple Ridge forward.
• What do you consider to be the top two issues this election and how would you address them?
The first issue under the most scrutiny right now is Anita Place Tent City on 223rd Street and the challenges for our community. It is a complex issue that will require many tactics. Right now, the current provincial government, along with B.C. Housing, has installed modular housing on Royal Crescent. Like it or not, that housing now exists.
As mayor, I would obtain and enforce an injunction to clear the tent city. Just as important as working with and for those who struggle with mental health issues or addictions, there must be supports put in place to help break the ongoing cycle. As mayor, I want those individuals who need help, to be able to get help.
Secondly, relationships need to be rebuilt. Positive relationships are essential in our personal lives, in our work lives, and in our elected lives. Without positive, respectful relationships, we won’t achieve our goals. I hear over and over that council does not seem cohesive or it is fractured.
Quite frankly, people are disillusioned and skeptical of elected officials because of the squabbling and in-fighting they have seen at all levels of government.
It will start with a council that can work together, respectfully, in such a way as to encourage debate and communication, while listening to and respecting different opinions, always looking for areas of common ground. Then working with other agencies and levels of government working on solutions, while always being committed to protecting the best interests of Maple Ridge.
• Facebook page is @ErnieDaykinforMayor