Editor, The News:
As a citizen of Maple Ridge, born and raised, I feel a sense of obligation towards my city and it’s future.
Currently, I don’t like where it’s going. There is something to be said about the feeling you get when entering a community.
And I long to live in one that feels welcoming and caring.
I feel no such vibe in the city I call home.
I have spoken freely about my disappointment in our cities leaders and us, as citizens, and today will be no different.
And although I realize it may seem like I’m contributing towards the pessimism, I hope to encourage, and inspire positive action.
Three major concerns I feel we are experiencing:
• Education: I have mentioned in a former article that I believe homelessness is partially due to our depleting education system.
We should all regard the importance of educating our young, not just parents of children currently in the system, and view education not as a cost, but an investment.
We should at least remember that our current contributions into the Canadian pension plan, along with any other taxpaying citizen, is not being stored away, but going towards those currently retired.
And if we don’t actively take part in the growth of our country, and its future inhabitants, we will be the ones left out in the cold.
Also, where is this money going?
In a city like ours, whose population is rapidly growing, why are teachers being laid off, and schools closing?
We should be standing behind our teachers, realizing that they are molding the minds of our future.
How can we not want to put more funding into that?
• Industry: Growing up, my late father was totally against commercial growth in Albion.
Although I believe he was right at the time, current years have changed my opinion.
We need more jobs.
Despite of a lack of industry, Albion, along with the rest of Maple Ridge, has been building and selling more homes than ever.
Because of the lack, we see more cars headed out of town, earning and spending money where it could and should be kept among the community.
Money is not the only issue I find here. The overwhelming traffic has caused a very noticeable pessimism. I can’t drive down the road these days without seeing road rage, or getting angry myself.
Also I would like to add that I don’t see why with such a great resource like Golden Ears Park we aren’t focusing on tourism, and the industry it would create.
• The poor: I have continuously stated the important role we have as citizens to encourage and aid our local homeless and poor.
My stance on that does not change, but I believe we need help, and today I mention not Nicole Reid or our council members, but arguably a stronger political influence: the Christian church.
I believe its status-quo stance must be called out, and as an active Christian member of the community and volunteer at a small church in Hammond, I feel the church should be the front line on this assault.
And I urge the church to seek an end to the poverty in our streets.
The Maple Ridge Baptist Church is in the heart of the town and its homeless populous, and has the biggest group of active members with so many resources to offer.
I see homeless everyday on the steps of the church, with doors closed behind them.
I fully believe if this church committed itself not just financially, but actively to its city and its lower class populous ,we would prosper greatly as a whole.
These are a few of the very important issues we face as a community. And I hope we take it seriously, for our future, along with those of our children and so on.
As a start, I urge us, as a community, to care for our city and participate in the discussion.
Maybe instead of asking who survives next season in Game of Thrones, we discuss our own survival for next season.