Mission resident Yvonne Hale is organizing effort to have a byelection in Maple Ridge-Mission.

Mission resident Yvonne Hale is organizing effort to have a byelection in Maple Ridge-Mission.

New initiative to recall Maple Ridge-Mission MLA

Group wants to launch campaign in spring, Marc Dalton says lots of recall efforts

For the second time in his career, MLA Marc Dalton is facing recall from the B.C. legislature, where he represents Maple Ridge-Mission.

A group of Maple Ridge and Mission residents is pushing for the recall and plans this spring to launch the attempt to collect at least 15,000 signatures from voters to send to Elections B.C.

“We’ve just started getting the word out,” said Mission resident and teacher Yvonne Hale, who’s leading the campaign.

The number of 15,000 represents about 40 per cent of the voters in the riding, the minimum number required for Elections B.C. to call a by-election.

“People are excited and saying that enough is enough and they are taking action,” Hale said.

“We feel that Mr. Dalton is not bringing our voice to the table in Victoria.”

The first attempt at recall was by the Maple Ridge Fight HST group and took place in 2011, collecting about 2,500 signatures, short of the number required to start the recall process.

The effort was abandoned as organizers focused on a mail-in referendum that defeated the Harmonized Sales Tax and returned B.C. to using provincial sales tax and the federal goods and services tax.

A Facebook group has been formed for the new initiative, Maple Ridge-Mission Recall 2014-2015, with a membership of 290.

Hale said the recall effort is “absolutely not” an NDP initiative and that the people involved have a variety of backgrounds, that all parties are welcome.

She doesn’t belong to any party.

“Whoever I think will do me the most good, they have my vote.”

She claimed that Dalton hasn’t advocated for provincial money to save the Iron Horse Youth Safe House in Maple Ridge, which recently closed its emergency shelter because of lost federal funding.

“That’s a big loss to the community. There are actually a lot of issues that people are upset with.”

She also doesn’t like Dalton’s decision to seek the federal Conservative nomination for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.

MP Randy Kamp announced earlier he’s not running in the October federal election.

“I think that goes to show that he’s [Dalton] more focused on himself than his constituents,” Hale said.

She also cited Dalton’s statements last year on poverty in B.C., that people’s basic needs are met in Canada.

He later added that people here have tremendous needs and that he cared about them.

“People are important to me. I have compassion for their situation,” he said then.

Hale also said Dalton is not pushing hard enough for education funding for a new school in Albion.

“He’s not loud enough for us,” she added. “He hasn’t done much for us an MLA and he’s had ample time to do it.”

She wants an MLA who is willing to fight for, and advocate on behalf of constituents.

Dalton said the new recall is one of many going on in B.C.

There are people who would launch a recall campaign within weeks after an election, he added.

“I’m focused on doing my job as an MLA and serving my constituents.”

He’s now sitting as an independent while he pursues the Conservative federal nomination.

“It’s really out of my control as far as the recall goes. I’m not focused on it at all.”

So far, about 45 canvassers are ready to hit the streets some time this spring to collect the names.

Dalton won Maple Ridge-Mission riding in the 2013 provincial election by a margin of more than 1,500 votes over NDP candidate Mike Bocking.