Top stories 2014: A change in Maple Ridge

‘Community pride’ is high at the moment.

Maple Ridge had its Christmas parade on the weekend.

It may just be a small thing, being called a city, living in a city – instead of the municipal District of Maple Ridge.

But when you saw tears in the eyes of spectators last Sept. 12 as Maple Ridge moved to city from district, you realized it was about more than that.

“It was really exciting to see the people who have literally spent their entire lives here  in tears … at this next step, of becoming a city,” said city communications manager Fred Armstrong.

One of those Armstrong noticed getting emotional about the big day was former Maple Ridge mayor and councillor Al Hogarth, who was among those who pushed for the change to city status.

Maple Ridge received that status in a proclamation from Premier Christy Clark at the same time it celebrated its 140th birthday in Memorial Peace Park.

“That was the official day we became a city,” says Armstrong. “The proclamation the premier made officially came into effect.”

The event held in Memorial Peace Park featured speeches from Emerald Pig Theatrical Society actors using the words of politicians from long ago.

Those two events, becoming a city and celebrating 140 years were followed by a municipal election in November that saw four new people get elected to council and a mayor with no elected experience, chosen to run the group.

Voter turnout also jumped by five per cent as more people wanted to have a say in how they’re governed.

That fall was a turning point, a change in consciousness for Maple Ridge residents who are developing more of an identity and satisfaction in where they live, says Armstrong.

“If you look at the election … the downtown [Christmas] decorations … there is a lot of community pride right now.”

The newly elected council is tapping into that as well, Armstrong added.

With a population of 80,000, he pointed out that Maple Ridge is larger than any city in New Brunswick.

Armstrong said the city’s efforts on social media are drawing positive feedback. The video posted of the city’s downtown Christmas lights has been seen 4,000 times.

“It’s wonderful for the community.”

The city’s video of the Santa parade has drawn 20,000 views.

While the changeover from district to city is a gradual process that doesn’t seem to have much impact on a case-by-case basis, over the long term, the term city will more accurately depict a municipality with urban and rural qualities.

Similarly, the physical transformation to a city will be a gradual process. Paperwork and stationery that the name from district to city will be done as supplies run out, minimizing costs.

Fortunately, the signs that welcome people to Maple Ridge don’t mention the word city or district.

So far there are no plans to change the metal lettering on the municipal building to show the words City of Maple Ridge.

 

Just Posted

Christmas in Pitt Meadows starts yuletide season

Community service award winners also announced

Westview plays in host tournament championship

First loss of new season for Maple Ridge’s academy hoops team

Funding to train workers 55-plus announced in Maple Ridge

Skills training, employment support for those seeking employment

Maple Ridge wants to push through to 240th Street

Council endorses another step for Abernethy Way extension

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Owners of hotels on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside fight $1 expropriation in court

Vancouver City Council voted to expropriate the properties for $1 each in November

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Braille signs coming to TransLink bus stops in 2020

Transit authority says it’s the first to do so in Canada and the United States

CUPE issues 72-hour strike notice for SkyTrain

Local 7000 release states ‘parties are still bargaining’, union will have job action plan by Saturday

Abbotsford man was ‘unintended victim’ of 2018 fatal shooting, police say

Jagvir Malhi, 19, was gunned down while on his way to university

Most Read