The most recent declared candidate for Maple Ridge mayor is vowing to end homelessness within city limits in the next two years.
Nicole Read plans to establish a mayor’s task force within the first 60 days of the election to bring together RCMP and senior leaders from across Metro Vancouver.
“I plan to hit this issue hard,” Read said in a press release, stressing two words “No More.”
She also wants to reduce addiction-related crime by 50 per cent within the next 48 months.
A business owner whose company researches Aboriginal claims against the Crown, Read announced her intentions to run for council in August, but was undecided on seeking a seat as councillor or mayor.
To tackle homelessness and addiction, Read plans on targeting businesses and groups that support the economy that enables the problem to persist.
“If a business or group profits one dollar off of the backs of our marginalized citizens, I plan to reduce their ability to operate within this community,” she said.
“Mental illness and addiction will be given the attention they deserve.”
She intends to pressure the province to bring funding to the table to help Maple Ridge achieve its goals.
“I will leave no stone unturned ,” said Read.
“I will bring this problem to its knees so that our community can thrive again, our seniors can feel safe again, our families can enjoy the downtown services and events again, and our marginalized people left on the streets can feel like citizens again.”
So far, four candidates have already declared for the mayor’s chair. Besides Read, Ernie Daykin is seeking a third term, while Coun. Michael Morden, Graham Mowatt also want the leadership position.
Tyler Shymkiw initially decided to seek the top position, but announced last week he will instead be running for councillor. Shymkiw feels he will be able to make the greatest contribution to Maple Ridge as a councillor.
“It is becoming evident … that my candidacy is opening the door for a vote split that could allow an anti-business candidate to enter the race with the possibility of success; this is not acceptable,” said Shymkiw.
“The decision to withdraw, while extremely difficult, is made with the interests of the community at heart; I am not willing to be the reason candidates who either have a track record of obstructionism or who lack a deep and meaningful history with our community are elected.”