Municipality encourages area ‘ghettoization’

Letter writer Sandy McDougall responds to a story about social services being centred in Maple Ridge's downtown core

Editor, The News:

Re: Downtown is the place for help (The News, Nov. 14).

Despite all the self-congratulatory statements issued by do-gooders, municipal bureaucrats and members of municipal council, all of their supposed concern and hard work has done very little, if anything, about the social ills afflicting the downtown area and our neighbourhood.

Their combined efforts and concern have not in the slightest little way been of any comfort to many downtown residents who feel war has been declared on the safety and sanctity of our neighbourhood.

It is interesting to note that only one or two of the defenders of the homeless, the drug dealers, the petty thieves and prostitutes and the surrounding problems live anywhere near the troubled community.

How many council members or city hall bureaucrats or other do-gooders live within a couple of miles of the intersection of 222nd Street and Lougheed Highway?

And, if all the work supposedly being done to deal with the issues has had so little effect on improving things, is it possible that none of those involved in the do-gooder business know what they’re doing?

I have been unable to find even a single neighbourhood resident who can recall being consulted before this invasion of socially maladjusted people into our neighbourhood was allowed to take place.

Over the past decade, city hall has encouraged the ghettoization of the downtown area (such as expansion of the treatment centre, the construction of Alouette Heights, undeterred proliferation of the drug trade and prostitution in our neighbourhood and a seeming disregard for the rights of the existing residents).

Something should be done, but I despair that those in power are totally incompetent to deal with the situation.

Sandy Macdougall

Maple Ridge

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