BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson was in the riding of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Monday morning to promise transportation infrastructure and more mental health services.
Wilkinson committed to projects in Maple Ridge, including extending the Abernethy corridor from 232nd to 240th Street, and building the 240th Street bridge to Silver Valley. These projects would cost of $101 million combined, “to be shared around between the levels of government,” he said.
“We support that entirely, because it needs to get done in this growing community,” said Wilkinson.
He also announced “major improvements” to the Lougheed Highway-Harris Road interchange in Pitt Meadows.
“And most importantly, we’re talking about mental health services at Ridge Meadows Hospital, to expand the number of beds, to get effective treatment in place, right here in Maple Ridge,” he said.
He said there is no costing on the hospital beds yet.
“But we’ve got to be committed to this. This is a community that has been plagued by mental health issues, and needs to get people back into the treatment they deserve,” he said. “These are human beings. We’ve got to make sure they are getting treated for mental illness, for brain injury, for the various things that caused them to become homeless in the first place.”
The Liberal Rebuild B.C. plan will invest $8 billion over three years, and would fund the infrastructure projects, said Wilkinson.
Wilkinson was joined at the announcement by local candidates.
“We have needed these investments in our community for years, and I’m so glad that our BC Liberal government would make them a reality,” said Cheryl Ashlie, Liberal candidate for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. “We will build new affordable housing and build the Lougheed Highway-Harris Road interchange. Not only will these projects better equip our communities, but they will also provide much-needed jobs and benefit our local economy here in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, which is needed now more than ever.”
“Our region has seen little investment in three years under the NDP,” added Chelsa Meadus, candidate for Maple Ridge-Mission. “Maple Ridge and its neighbouring communities are rapidly growing, and we need to see infrastructure investment that keeps up with that growth. Our BC Liberal Rebuild B.C. plan will do just that — building the Abernathy Extension between 232 and 240 St. and the 240 St. Bridge into Silver Valley, and working with the local government to expand addiction-treatment and recovery programs that will work for Maple Ridge and Mission.”
Lisa Beare, the BC NDP candidate for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, said her party would also work with Maple Ridge on the infrastructure Wilkinson announced.
“A re-elected BC NDP government would be happy to work with the municipality to support their priority transportation projects, and have already committed to building a new recovery and detox facility in Maple Ridge,” said Beare. “We have also completed the preliminary work on Harris Road and Lougheed and we are going to consultation this fall, and we have over 300 affordable housing units complete or underway in the Maple Ridge area.”
“The BC NDP will invest in a $9 billion Recovery Investment Fund to build this kind of infrastructure and good jobs across the province, including here in our communities. The reality is the BC Liberals, for many years, refused to build much-needed infrastructure projects. Bob D’Eith and I have gotten results for our communities with a John Horgan government. That’s why we’re building a new high school in Pitt Meadows, purchasing land in Silver Valley, doubling youth treatment beds and so much more.”