Editorial: A new year

The past year was one highlighted by local elections, a teachers strike and big birthdays.

The past year was one highlighted by local elections, a teachers strike and big birthdays.

Maple Ridge, in celebrating its 140th anniversary, became an official city, while Pitt Meadows turned 100.

Both cities also elected new mayors.

Whereas in public schools, not much has changed.

“Class sizes have never been higher, and teachers struggling to deal with composition issues has never been worse,” according to Maple Ridge Teachers Association president George Serra.

We hope that changes in 2015, starting in spring, when the B.C. Court of Appeal is to decide on teachers’ right to bargain working conditions.

The delivery of public education will not improve until teachers get some respect.

We wish for more of that in 2015 with respect to homelessness.

Maple Ridge Coun. Robert Masse had a hand in helping open 40 new beds  at the former Riverview Hospital site, to help treat people with serious mental illness and addiction.

More such beds will hopefully get those in need off the streets and get them the help they need. All levels of government need to find the will to make that happen.

What residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows need are commercial options to spend their money locally. For 2015, we hope, for their sake, to see a resolution to the North Lougheed Corridor and Albion flats land issues. If either city is going to grow its commercial and business tax bases, it should be on land along a major transportation corridor, such as the highway.

And, lastly, we hope for taxpayers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows that both councils continue the harmony that seems apparent since the November elections.

Do not let personal conflicts impair performing your duties as elected officials.

Resolve to research topics thoroughly and debate intelligently and check egos at the council chambers door.

Study the agenda. Be informed on every item.

Lead projects and drive issues forward.

Taxpayers deserve no less.

Happy New year.

–  The News


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