Almost half a year after the surprise federal Liberal win, the MP for Pitt-Meadows-Maple Ridge now has a place to call home.
Dan Ruimy’s office is about as central as you could get when it comes to the latter community.
His new office is on Lougheed Highway, just west of 224th Street in downtown Maple Ridge.
Until now, he’s been using his coffee shop, just a few blocks east, as a base of operations for helping constituents.
“That’s where people have been finding me,” Ruimy said.
So far he’s talked to or helped about 1,000 people with employment insurance, disability income, immigration and even electoral reform, since his surprise win over Conservative Mike Murray and NDP candidate Bob D’Eith in the Oct. 19 election.
The new office has space for a large table with room for about 15 people so that Ruimy can host gatherings on issues.
Next week, he’s back in Ottawa as the Liberals present their first budget on Tuesday.
He’s been trying to convey local concerns to ministers, such as the possible expiry of subsidies to co-op housing, which could make more people homeless
Ruimy is also getting involved in local issues and attended a recent Maple Ridge council meeting that dealt with supportive housing and homelessness.
“I asked to be part of it. Right from the election I said I would be involved.”
Ruimy says that just by being involved in the issues can possibly lead to solutions.
“What I do is look for opportunities,” he said.
“My role is to support council. I don’t want to be the guy bystanding on the side.”
He sympathized with council’s predicament of trying to deal with the issues of homelessness and drug addiction and the selection of the Quality Inn as location for a long-term supportive complex.
“I don’t think we have a lot of options available.”
It takes a lot of parties to come to the table, on such an issue, he added.