After two terms on council and three years in the legislature, Ken Stewart is putting his name out for another term as a municipal politician for the District of Maple Ridge.
“I’ve always enjoyed being on council,” said the former Liberal MLA.
Stewart says he has the experience in government to get things done and cites previous tasks he accomplished when he was MLA and councillor.
He says he played a key role in getting money for the Ridge Meadows Hospital emergency ward expansion and getting the new Pitt River Bridge built.
“There were all these highway projects that were on the books, but [the Pitt River Bridge] was pushed to the front of the line. I like to think I had a little bit to do with that.”
He lists working with the Alouette River Management Society and helping the Asante Centre for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome get a large grant, and securing funding for Codd Island nature reserve as other accomplishments while in office.
Stewart was Liberal MLA from 2001 to 2005 and a Maple Ridge councillor from 1996 to 1999 and from 2005 to 2008. He still sits on an advisory committee to the auditor-general.
“I’ve been around for a while. I haven’t been slacking when I was there.”
Stewart said the present council has done some good things, but wants to review its financial accountability to the public. His two priorities, if elected, are to continue with implementing the downtown plan and choosing a direction for Albion flats, once comments are available from the Agricultural Land Commission.
While Stewart is a veteran politician, a newcomer is also seeking election to Maple Ridge council.
Kiersten Duncan is only 18, but says in a news release that she “will bring a new, youthful perspective to the many issues facing Maple Ridge.”
By running in the election, she hopes to inspire other youth “to get involved with politics, while building trust in voters that I will listen and be accountable.”
She also would like more activities for youth and more jobs downtown while protecting farmland and preventing urban sprawl.
“Maple Ridge can work in the direction of maintaining a sustainable region by producing its own food. This again will support good, local jobs.”
Another goal is to ensure that Maple Ridge communities all have local halls to connect residents and provide a meeting place. She notes, Albion doesn’t have a community hall since the old Albion hall was torn down earlier this year.