Masse making the Monday morning meetings

Maple Ridge Coun. Bob Masse is back at Monday morning meetings after missing three of the workshops over concerns about...

Maple Ridge Coun. Bob Masse is back at Monday morning meetings after missing three of the workshops over concerns about the city’s new homeless shelter, situated across from his chiropractic clinic downtown.

Masse had missed three Monday morning workshops. His explanation that he was worried about his business being affected by its new neighbour sparked “a fairly boisterous conversation” on social media and in the local press, he said.

He operates Focus Chiropractic, located at 22234 Selkirk Ave., across the street from the new homeless shelter, operated by Rain City Housing.

Masse told councillors on Monday morning that he watched the homeless camp on Cliff Avenue from March through September, was in the camp several times per week, and spoke with the businesses owners who were most effected by it on a regular basis.

“It was just a horrible situation,” he said.

He had related problems at his clinic during that time, and had security cameras installed. “They promptly came and stole the security cameras – twice,” he said.

He said he and his staff were forced to deal with discarded needles, feces and passed-out people when arriving for work some mornings – Mondays in particular.

He expected the shelter to make the situation worse.

“It was determined the shelter had to be about 25 feet from my office parking,” he said, noting that he was not part of the discussion about potential locations, because of his conflict.

“Nonetheless, I was really traumatized, undeniably really mad and admittedly really scared. And I was expecting an absolute horror show,” said Masse.

“I determined I needed to be at my office Monday mornings, and I expect most small business people who have worked to build a business can somewhat relate to that.”

His position was criticized by the public.

On Facebook, Phil Grey said: “Collecting his pay cheque from the city hall while grandstanding instead of going to council meetings is not what we voted for. Time to resign.”

And Kerry Verchere: “You will never get a vote from me again. You ran on a promise to serve the community. Hire someone to clean your shop on those Mondays and get to work doing what you promised to do. Your sense of entitlement disgusts me, how much are you being paid to be a council member?”

In a letter to the editor, R.J. Resek said: “Maybe they should think first on how they will prioritize their time and handle their own affairs before accepting these positions.”

Masse told council there have been some incidents involving shelter users. On Friday, staff dealt with a woman who was holding her jeans and shoes in one hand, and a needle full of drugs in the other. Later that day, and ambulance and other emergency responders were at the shelter.

“But those events have been unusual, and most of my fears have not been realized, and the shelter providers Rain City do a good – a great – job,” he said, noting the neighbourhood is actually cleaner.

“I’m happy to be back here,” said Masse at the council table.


Just Posted

Being Young: ‘Golden period,’ after exams

I should be plenty entertained over the summer.

Presbyterians of Port Hammond

The core group of the Ladies Aid were the wives of the men on the managing board.

Easter egg hunts and fun for families

More events scheduled for Sunday in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Bobcats, bears, and otters, oh my!

Critter Care Wildlife Society’s 20th anniversary gala set for next Saturday in Langley

Victoria ‘reviewing options’ for removing convicted councillors

Pitt Meadows lobbied for change after David Murray’s sex assault conviction

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Most Read