Maple Ridge a rural Downtown Eastside

This misguided attempt to secure provincial grants is having many deleterious “unintended consequences.”

Editor, The News:

It is time for Maple Ridge council to rethink its strategy to secure the maximum amount of social service funding from the provincial government.

This misguided attempt to secure provincial grants is having many deleterious “unintended consequences.”

As recently as two years ago, I could walk with my dog along Dewdney Trunk Road, along the avenues connecting Dewdney Trunk Road and Lougheed Highway, through the civic park by city hall and arts centre and so on and meet other people enjoying the downtown area of Maple Ridge.

That is no longer the situation.

A walk through these areas today brings the risk of being pestered for money, cigarettes, drugs or by a prostitute. These people are becoming more numerous and more aggressive. Plus many of them have no regard for the common property, throwing cigarette butts, coffee cups and anything else they have on the streets, sidewalks, parks.

I routinely pass the nice new building on the corner of Brown Avenue and 222 Street. It is a rare day that I am not assaulted by the stench of marijuana smoke wafting out of the building. This is where our hard earned tax dollars are going – to build nice warm buildings for people to smoke dope and stay warm and dry while they satisfy their habitat and make drug dealers rich.

I bet the local drug dealers must vote for you every time.

Their profit margin and sales volume is escalating as more and more  of these people find their way to Maple Ridge.

These are not the unfortunate people who have development or physical disabilities, those who have been handed challenges that they did nothing to deserve. These people all to often get glossed over by mayor and council unless there is a photo op, such as with the people who truly need assistance like those working in the recycling centre.

Who is in charge of planning when just across the street from the building on Brown Ave. and 222 St., council has approved a multi-story family oriented building.

Why  would council put these two buildings side by each?

Not to mention that immediately next door and within two to three blocks there are several complexes specifically for seniors and retirees.

Many of these people will become targets for harassment and theft by these people looking for their next fix and have already spent all of their government largesse.

Another unintended consequence?

Maple Ridge used to a desirable place community, a fine mix of rural charm, environmental attributes and many honest, hard-working people.

Its reputation is quickly becoming a drug source and a rural Downtown Eastside.

The good, taxpaying residents of Maple Ridge deserve better.

Council has the responsibility to grow the community by attracting real business and investment, not taking the easy route by taking the provincial funding to keep supporting more and more people who have made an art form gorging at the public trough.

John Kelly

Maple Ridge

 

Do something

Editor, The News:

Re: We care, but where’s the accountability of Caring Place (Letters, Oct. 26).

I am in complete agreement with Diana Nelson.

The Caring Place needs to be relocated, because the clientele are indeed destroying downtown Maple Ridge.

The things I have observed since moving here a year ago are quite shocking.

I find it hard to believe it has been there as long as it has without more of a public outcry.

I assume that it is because, as long as it’s not in your neighborhood, then who cares.

If we complain, we are considered cruel and heartless.

It seems like those people have more rights than law-abiding, taxpaying citizens.

Something needs to be done.

Rosie Colbeck

Maple Ridge

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