News Views: Going their own ways

B.C. Summer Games a good opportunity to emphasize Maple Ridge

Pitt Meadows

The impending separation of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge in providing joint recreation services is becoming more real as the fall deadline looms.

It became appparent last week after Maple Ridge council declared that any bid it puts in for the 2020 or 2022 B.C. Summer Games will be for Maple Ridge alone, excluding Pitt Meadows.

That’s as it should be.

While the joint recreation-services agreement between the two cities has lasted 20 years, recent developments demonstrated that it had to end.

Maple Ridge has been struggling trying to provide recreational services to a growing population.

It’s now trying to address that by embarking upon an ambitious infrastructure program that will cost millions, but at the end of which, should make residents feel much better about living in Maple Ridge.

As noted at council last week, hosting the B.C. Summer Games could be a way of Maple Ridge debuting those new facilities and demonstrating that it has a stronger identity.

New or renovated ice rinks, swimming pools and sports fields are all on the to-do list, once the public has its say this fall and a work plan is established.

All of the above will come at a cost, which it’s hoped, will be balanced out by a stronger, healthier growth, including commercial and industrial expansion, all of which will create a more balanced community.

And with such facilities in place, Maple Ridge will be able to step forward as its own city, without the obligations of trying to please, and subsidize to some extent, Pitt Meadows.

For Pitt Meadows, running its own recreation department could also make sense, allowing it to partner with whoever it chooses.

In this case, it’s hoped, the children, or the taxpayers, likely won’t be hurt from the divorce.

– The News

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