Two candidates are seeking the BC Liberal party nomination to run in Maple Ridge-Mission in the next provincial election.
Jamie Seip and Patrick Dobbyn both want to be candidates and are awaiting approval from party headquarters to seek the nomination.
“Once we have our set of approved nominees, there will be an announcement to our membership on the timing of our candidate selection meeting,” said Ian Sas, riding association president.
Sas added that several others are also considering the nomination.
Seip, who volunteered during Mayor Mike Morden’s 2018 election campaign, has already set up a Facebook page: Jamie Seip for Maple Ridge-Mission.
On that page, notes that he founded Clean Up Maple Ridge, which he says has 180 volunteers who have removed 227,000 kilograms of garbage from streets and parks.
He also led a rally last March against the supportive housing complex that the province opened in September on Burnett Street.
Seip said that he’s pro-treatment.
Critics of supportive housing say that people don’t receive enough mental health or addiction treatment in such facilities.
“I believe that we truly need to treat our addicted population like we would family. I believe that everybody should have their health needs met,” Seip said.
“I am excited about the possibility to work with the BC Liberals in order to move our province forward in a positive way. Maple Ridge citizens trust in what I say and know I’ll deliver on my promises,” Seip said online.
Seip, a former property manager who’s been a full-time volunteer most the past two years, said Wednesday that he decided around Christmas to seek the nomination.
He’ll stay involved with Clean Up Maple Ridge while he’s seeking the nomination. But if successful, he will step back and would like to see the group become a registered society so that it can continue to be active.
The party has not set any schedule for meetings and hasn’t confirmed any nominees.
Seip has also video recorded confrontations with street people on his own time, in which he has asked people to leave properties. He’s posted those on his personal Facebook page.
“It’s not something I’m hiding,” Seip said, adding he’s not ashamed of standing up for his community and speaking up for others.
Clean Up Maple Ridge members wear body cameras to record activities and ensure safety.
“We have worked with the RCMP and bylaws,” Seip said.
He knows that the group’s activity is controversial, saying there’s always going to be opposition any group.
“The group that is our opposition, honestly feels that clean is a dirty word,” Seip said.
Dobbyn, who’s a land and resource manager for Lafarge Canada, is seeking the nomination because he wants to address the opioid crisis.
He lost a friend to an overdose and also struggled with addiction when he was a teen.
“I am committed to listen, to learn and to provide a strong voice to find real solutions. It is my belief there needs to be accountability from the patient to the provider to the politician.
“Our community is severely divided and what we need are community builders with fresh perspectives and new ideas. It is important a new relationship is built between the government and the people, built on mutually genuine and respectful relationships, and that our community get’s their provincial voice back,” Dobbyn said on Facebook.
Maple Ridge-Mission NDP MLA Bob D’Eith said he was proud of what his government has accomplished.
“We’ve eliminated tolls on the Golden Ears, we’re establishing a new primary health care centre, and we’re tackling our community’s longstanding challenges with homelessness, including successfully shutting down the tent city,” said D’Eith.
But he said Maple Ridge is still facing challenges, “after the BC Liberals took our community for granted for years.”