(THE NEWS/files) Mayor Mike Morden speaks at a rally opposing the B.C. government’s decision to place modular housing for the homeless on Burnett Street.

Maple Ridge mayor says ‘raping and pillaging’ comments weren’t appropriate

Mike Morden says words in video were ‘an expression of frustration’

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden is being criticized for saying drug addicts are “raping and pillaging” in the city.

“I see us becoming, for some reason, a hot spot in the Lower Mainland for people coming here to carry on doing drugs and basically raping and pillaging all of our community and our businesses and that’s got to stop,” Morden said in a YouTube video interview.

It is called “The Full Story with Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden – in conversation with Susan Einarsson” and is almost 35-minutes long.

Einarsson is a former broadcast journalist and news anchor who is president of Kingman Communications.

Coun. Kiersten Duncan said Morden is being rightly criticized in social media.

“His comments were grossly inappropriate, and it was disappointing to hear the mayor speak that way,” she added. “It makes the city look terrible. It reflects poorly on all of council.”

She said the mayor should apologize, and strive to “carry himself better in the future.”

Morden said the words were “an expression of frustration and probably weren’t appropriate.”

However, he added, his comments were a reflection of the frustration felt by citizens and businesses about prolific theft he feels is being driven by drug addiction.

“Housing doesn’t solve addiction,” said Morden.

The YouTube video addresses what he calls a “battle of the wills” between the provincial government and the city over homeless issues.

The provincial government has announced it will place 51 units of temporary modular homes on property it owns at 11748 Burnett St.

Morden took part in a rally against the project on March 30. Another rally is planned for Sunday, 1-3 p.m. at Memorial Peace Park.

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