[Re: Maple Ridge council proceeds with Yennadon Lands project, May 24, The News]
I participated in a meeting that was suppose to allow community involvement in the Yennandon Land project, as set out by rules of governance in B.C.
What a scam.
This sham of engagement by citizens to an elected council was clear from the first speaker.
The mayor and two other members of the city council, from my perspective in the gallery, did not want to be there and their minds were already made up. Several councillors were texting and playing with their phones while citizens were presenting.
Totally disinterested. A bit of history, as I see it.
These lands have come before council on other occasions, to be turned down for many of the same reasons currently presented. Nothing has changed re: the reasons for turning down the industrial application.
It feels like the planning department, that work for the city and we citizens, went out of its way to make sure concerned citizens were not made aware of this project before this meeting. And the written presentation and documentation to council ticked every box that was needed to make sure this project passed as per instruction from four members of council.
It is too bad they did not look at the whole picture.
I asked the question, “Was a valid, independent environmental assessment conducted?” I did not receive an answer. I now doubt it.
The infrastructure of roads we have today can’t support this massive project.
A second concern was the lack of signage around this project.
If it were not for a citizen, at his own expense, putting a two-sided document regarding this industrial plan on each and every door adjacent to the Yannandon Lands project, we would not have had the representation at this meeting. At least 100 concerned ratepayers spoke, and many more via Zoom.
Our democracy is under attack from within. I can no longer trust a council that holds so many meetings behind closed doors. Nor can I trust a planning department that can’t do its job.
This council also passed a code of conduct for councillors, which is nothing but a muzzle for dissenting members who may make the community aware. Oh, and by the way, it was passed by the same four councillors. It was four to three, as is every thing in this city.
Is this democracy at work?
This letter is late in the day, but should be put on record, not stashed away in a drawer of unwanted public input where no doubt all of the dissenting citizen’s voices from the meeting were hidden.
This is how I see it.
Dan Wallace, Maple Ridge
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