Mayor accepts challenge for debate

Ernie Daykin, Craig Ruthven will go head to head

He wants to knock off the guy in the top spot, so Craig Ruthven wants Mayor Ernie Daykin to lay it all on the line in a public debate.

A date has yet to be set, but Ruthven wants a meeting early in November.

“I’m challenging the mayor. If he agrees to it, then we can set a date,” he said.

“I’m hoping he’ll say yes.”

Ruthven, who recently switched from being a council candidate to running for mayor, said the debate will cover the whole gamut.

“Everything from business development, to shopping, to servicing – to what’s your vision for Maple Ridge, the broader vision.”

Where do you see things going?”

While there’s no date set yet, the venue will be the ACT. Ruthven is also inviting downtown businesses to set up displays in the entrance for the event.

“We talked about it casually before. I think he’ll say yes,” Ruthven said of Daykin.

“He wants to have a chance to showcase what [council has] accomplished. The public will like it because it’s two mayoral candidates.”

Daykin accepted the challenge Tuesday. But he’d like a third party, maybe the chamber of commerce, to host the debate, as well as a moderator.

“We need somebody to keep things on track. But I think it’s a great idea.”

He said he’ll defend his record by reiterating the approach council has taken since he was first elected in 2008.

“Relationships equal results.”

Daykin cited as accomplishments the new North Alouette Greenway bridge, the extension of the Metro Vancouver sewer line to the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre, the rebuild of 224th Street, and allowing construction of the new two-storey Westminster Savings Credit Union building on 224th, when the downtown plan called for three storeys, as well as the reno of the Haney Place Mall exterior and the arrival of Thrifty Foods.

The public utility projects were done with a minimum of $11 million in senior government funding, he added.

“Looking forward, there’s still a ton of work to do.”

Based on the Agricultural Land Commission’s review of the development plan for Albion flats, soon to be released, “we’ll put forward a strong [exclusion] application process,” to allow development in the area on Lougheed Highway and 105th Avenue.

Daykin also said he wants to do an area plan for the Albion industrial area on the south side of Lougheed Highway.