Numerous people offered written feedback at Monday night’s information session, but B.C. Housing ran out of comment forms. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Numerous people offered written feedback at Monday night’s information session, but B.C. Housing ran out of comment forms. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge shelter info. session ran out of comment forms

More were printed; about 450 people attended event

Critics are complaining that Monday night’s B.C. Housing information session about the proposed Burnett Avenue homeless shelter, modular housing and other initiatives was poorly organized.

Not everyone who attended was able to fill out comment cards because they ran out with about an hour left in the four-hour session at Haney Presbyterian Church, which needed parking attendants to handle the overflow that spilled on to 216th and surrounding streets.

Jesse Stretch, who was an outspoken opponent of the proposed shelter at the Quality Inn, said he was asked the leave the hall after he had been there for more than two hours talking with people.

He was waiting to speak with Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare, he responded, but was asked to wait outside.

“I heard at least a dozen people say they couldn’t fill out a form,” said Stretch.

“The consensus I heard was it was poorly organized.”

He noted there was a long lineup to get into the event, where admission was controlled by security, and some people left rather than wait a half an hour or longer to get in.

B.C. Housing said there would have been enough forms for everyone, but some people used more than one.

“There was a period of approximately 30 minutes when the supply of comment cards ran out due to some attendees taking multiple cards,” said Andre Coutts, of B.C. Housing. “Event staff had more printed and they were available soon after.”

She said there were 500 comment cards printed to bring to the session, and another 100 printed when the first batch ran out. That would be 600 comment cards total, but Coutts said approximately 450 people attended the event.

Another information session is being planned for early in February, but details have not been finalized.

“Yes, there will be more opportunities for members of the public to provide feedback and comments,” Coutts added.

• Those unable to attend the sessions are also able to provide comments by emailing communityrelations@bchousing.org.