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Mayor candidate would turn Maple Ridge into ‘entertainment mecca’

Local entrepreneur Blackstone one of five running for mayor
Jacques Blackstone (Special to the News)

Jacques Blackstone is a Maple Ridge entrepreneur who is running for mayor, and his aim would be to turn the city into an “entertainment Mecca.”

Blackstone explained he decided to run to offer solutions to the city’s problems.

“For my whole life I’ve been frustrated with government, and I sit back and complain,” he said, so now he’s taking action.

Blackstone has worked for more than 30 years running his business, which takes him across the country.

He is the owner of GT’s Projection Ltd., which is a supplier for major post production facilities in the movie industry. They have provided dailies trailers for more than 130 feature films, where film makers can look at daily footage. His business also provides projectors, screens, sound systems and other equipment for movie theaters, and he travels to movie theatres throughout Canada.

He was a longtime Kitsilano resident who moved to Maple Ridge in 2004, to live and run his business.

Blackstone said the city is well positioned for a large Playland-style amusement park, and his vision for the city is a “northern entertainment Mecca.”

Blackstone said visitors could be attracted here by water slides and other attractions. His goal would be to make Maple Ridge a “fun destination,” where hotels would be built, and service industry jobs would be created.

READ ALSO: Five-way race for mayor in Maple Ridge as nominations close

He doesn’t like the city’s style of development, and said the city needs to build more single-family homes.

“Families need green spaces, and kids need to be about to run around,” he said. “It seems the entire focus is on apartments. Enough is enough already.”

He is the father of two sons, and said “I want them to have the Canada that I grew up in.”

Before he got into business, Blackstone was a musician for 15 years, and has a music composition major. His claim to fame is the score for the Banff Mountain Film Festival, and his music was used on television and in other venues.

Blackstone said politics needs people who can unify people, at a time when politics has them divided. He said COVID-19, with its mask mandates, and vaccine passports, has turned some people away from friends and even family.

“Our country has been divided in a very bad way, and it’s time to bring it back together.”

Blackstone ran for council in 2011, but was not elected.

The municipal election will be held on Oct. 15.

READ ALSO: Election issues to be debated in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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