Maple Ridge candidates want to form slate before next election

The slate would shadow council's last two years of term

Christian Cowley (far left

Christian Cowley (far left

Several unsuccessful candidates in the Maple Ridge municipal election want to keep a close watch on the new council, particularly during the latter part of its term.

Christian Cowley, who finished 15th out of 28 candidates on the ballot, wants to form a shadow council that will keep an eye on the elected politicians during the last two years of their mandates.

He’d like to see a nominating committee that, by next November, would select four people to form a slate to follow council’s actions in its last two years.

That slate would act as an alternative voice to council decisions and as a “reliable source” on municipal issues, then come election time in November 2014, put their names up for election.

Cowley said he’s considering putting his name forward in an attempt to improve the balance on council next election.

“I think this council is too heavily weighted to irrational development. The Agricultural Land Commission decision is one indication of that,” Cowley said.

The ALC recently rejected Maple Ridge’s concept plan, calling for development of most of Albion flats.

Cowley said people who try for a position on the slate have to agree not to run in the next election if they aren’t selected for it. That’s to avoid possible vote-splitting at election time, he added.

Cowley thinks one of the reasons for the recent election’s low 25-per-cent voter turnout was the inability of people to know who were voting for.

Members of the slate would also attend council meetings and would be politically non-aligned, he added.

Cowley welcomes other slates coming forward, “to make our municipal politics more functional.”

The present Maple Ridge council may not have an explicit slate, but “to my perspective, it’s a develop-everything slate,” Cowley said.

“They’ve rarely turned down any development outside the urban boundary.”

Development of the Silver Valley, at the north end of 232nd Street, “never should have happened.” Cowley said council doesn’t want to fix the road and sidewalks leading to the area until development funds it, which results in service shortages, and there’s no chance of stores opening there in the next 30 years because there’s not enough population in the area.

“If you have leapfrog development, you end up with those kinds of problems.”

Carly O’Rourke, another candidate who didn’t make it on to council, after a second attempt, said a council watch committee could form in the interim, “so we do have an eye on what’s going on up there.”

The committee would be issue-oriented. “We really need to support [new councillor] Corisa Bell,” O’Rourke said. “She needs a lot of people behind her and we are behind her.”

Newcomer Coun. Bob Masse welcomes the group.

“I think that’s fine. I think that’s healthy. Both O’Rourke and Cowley are credible people, he added.

However, “I think you’ll find that the council we’ll have will be a very effective council.”

Just Posted

Maple Ridge’s Johanne Bolduc, a self-proclaimed bird lover, shared a picture of a Kingfisher and its prey that she spotted Tuesday along the dikes in Pitt Meadows – along the North Alouette River. She labelling her photo “Great Catch.” It was a great catch for the bird and Bolduc. Kingfishers are known to be very timid of people, so getting a picture of the majestic bird, she said, tends to be difficult and uncommon. Send us your photo showing how you view this community, email to: editor@mapleridgenews.com. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Fine-feathered friend motivates Maple Ridge bird lover to learn more

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Platinum Enterprises is building a 330-unit apartment complex on Brown Avenue in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)
Council okays huge apartment complex in downtown Maple Ridge

330 units in three five-story condo buildings on Brown Avenue

Maple Ridge Coun. Ahmed Yousef says observing Ramadan during a pandemic was very different. (News files)
Maple Ridge city councillor celebrates Eid al Fitr after 30 days of fasting

Coun. Ahmed Yousef said this year’s Ramadan was lonely without close community contact

Tori Peterson has been named a first team all-star in the NCAA Ohio Valley Conference. (Facebook/Eastern Kentucky University)
Pitt Meadows pitcher an all conference player in the NCAA

Tori Peterson has been outstanding this season for Eastern Kentucky University

Lorna Seip touches up the mural on the wall at MRSS, working with students from the Rainbow Club. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Rainbow club puts message of inclusion at MRSS main entrance

Maple Ridge secondary grad says SOGI symbols are powerful

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read