Former Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MP Dan Ruimy is running for mayor in Maple Ridge.
Ruimy made the announcement on Friday afternoon, and said dysfunction on the current council needs to change in the October municipal elections.
“I believe we must do politics differently. During my time as MP I learned quickly that getting things done required me to work with representatives from many parties to come up with solutions,” said Ruimy. “The unfortunate reality of the current council is that it has been plagued with infighting and a failure to work together for the betterment of Maple Ridge.
“I know we can do better. By working with senior levels of government we can bring tens of millions of additional funding into Maple Ridge – for smart and sustainable development, local infrastructure, and to improve traffic, transit and housing.
“Maple Ridge is a spectacular place and with good governance we can make it the best place in our region to live, work, and enjoy.”
Ruimy was part of the federal Liberal government that came to power with Justin Trudeau in 2015. It was the first time a Liberal had won the riding in more than 50 years. He was defeated by Conservative Marc Dalton in the 2019 election.
Ruimy founded the Bean Around Books Café in 2011. After his election, the politician donated the business to the Pathfinder Youth Centre Society, and the café now operates under non-profit status, as a training facility where youth get work experience as baristas and enhance customer service skills.
Ruimy is confident he can work with anyone, after he spent four years as the chair of a “feisty” standing committee on Industry, Science and Technology in Ottawa, which included people from opposing parties.
“You have to give people the opportunity to be heard,” he said. “When you include people in your conversations, you learn more, and make better decisions.”
He would bring a different style of leadership to city hall, he said, and foster a more open and respectful environment.
“For me, the issue is going to be about how we do government. Do we govern in secrecy? Do we govern by limiting debates?
“It’s embarrassing, sometimes, to see the infighting on council.”
His focus in federal politics was on affordability, supporting small business, supporting seniors, building complete communities, and helping youth trying to find jobs, he said, and these same priorities are what Maple Ridge needs in a mayor.
As an MP, some of his grassroots initiatives and local meetings included a town hall event on youth mental health, work on food security, and working with the Alouette River Management Society to bring the issue of salmon passage in front of Trudeau. That inclusive approach, he said, will work even better in local government.
And, he said, he was able to secure federal funding for local projects, from the Haney Bypass and Pitt Meadows railway crossing, to the Albion Community Centre. Even small projects – like starting the Repair Cafe initiative, or buying a commercial dishwasher for a church offering community meals – received federal funds, he said.
“In our current economic climate, we can’t afford to leave a single dollar on the table in terms of funding from other levels of government. As an MP, I listened to our community and worked with the other levels of government to make projects happen. If elected, I would do the same thing as Mayor of Maple Ridge, and I’m looking forward to talking about how we can make a better Maple Ridge over the summer and fall.”
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