Work towards improving the homeless and addictions crisis in Maple Ridge (lowering the rates of both homelessness and addictions). Move away from the current model of care (referred to as Housing First) used by B.C. Housing for those who are street entrenched and addicted and use a Treatment and Recovery-Based Model. The current model isn’t working to provide effective treatment for those that are homeless and struggling with addictions. There are also ample research studies by experts in the field that show the positive outcomes that can be realized from the Recovery-Based Model. This will include providing housing AND effective treatment (including cognitive-behavioral treatment, psycho-social rehabilitation, and increased access to traditional drug treatment counselling and resources). Additionally, more treatment centers need to be built so everyone needing access can get into treatment, as well as employment and life skills training.
Keep property taxes at 0% increase over the next three years, then review this at the end of the period. There will be enough revenue collected from increased population growth and new homeowners in Maple Ridge, increases in businesses and their taxes, gaming revenue and grant funding from government partners to accomplish this. The current council also has 5.5 million in revenue collected from developer DCC and CAC fees, and another 8.5 million to be collected by the end of the year. Additionally, there is $30 million in a developer investment fund that can be used to offset expenses. I will use these revenues to pay for our current level of services and any increases necessary.
Create an RCMP Special Outreach Team (SOT) to attend to spikes in crime and related issues affecting residences and businesses as the homeless population moves into their new housing. From my experience with the move into modular housing in Surrey these transitions can be volatile in the early stages. Surrey currently has an RCMP SOT group, and these can be existing RCMP members with no need to hire new officers.
Work with the RCMP to target the recent increases in property crimes, assaults, and drug-related crimes. I will advocate for RCMP bike and foot patrols in these neighbourhoods, and will look at measurable outcomes in terms of charges laid, prosecutions, convictions, and incarceration rates. I will improve street lighting in these neighbourhoods to expose criminals operating at night to provide a greater sense of community safety and security.
Recommend a full review of the $50 million allocated for spending on improvements and upgrades to the leisure center, ice rink, two soccer fields, and development of a community social area in Silverdale. I will not halt development, but will look at accomplishing the same results and saving the taxpayers millions of dollars. For example, by not doing a full overhaul of the leisure center lobby area and locker rooms a cost savings of $8 million dollars can be realized.
Continue to encourage commercial development so that it is more proportionate to the large scale of recent residential development. Incorporate this into a Strategic Plan that promotes our current OCP. Create a business-friendly atmosphere by cutting bureaucratic red tape that leads to development delays, offer property tax incentives, lower DCC and CAC fees, amendments to zoning and density levels, and a business access center where businesses can meet directly with council and community business partners (similar to business centers in other large municipalities).
Work with council colleagues to ensure council is open and accountable to the public and all decisions are completely transparent. I propose council be open to public meetings every Tuesday. Currently, council only has open meetings for 28% of their meetings annually. I will also propose that the attendance records of council and the mayor be publicly available on the open government website portal.
Protect and preserve the Agricultural Land Reserve. Propose tax incentives to farmers on ALR lands actively farming traditional food crops so residents can enjoy local produce.
Improve street lighting in areas of Maple Ridge with dim, inadequate lighting, such as along parts of Lougheed Highway and Old Dewdney Trunk Road. Review high-accident areas of Maple Ridge with recommendations for road, sidewalk and crosswalk improvements where needed, to reduce traffic fatalities.
Advocate against mobility pricing for automobiles.
Invite ride sharing programs like Uber and Lyft into Maple Ridge.
Propose a B-Line bus route from the Haney Place Station directly to Coquitlam Center Mall, with one stop at Meadowtown Center.
Create incentives for developers to create affordable housing for seniors and low-income families.
Advocate for the $10 per day childcare expense promised by the provincial government.
Recommend Green Wave Technology (GWT) to increase greater and more efficient traffic flow. This technology is used throughout many North American cities, and uses sensors to time traffic lights so that they stay green while there is a long line of vehicles travelling in one direction. This will show reductions in commute times during rush hour, and would work well on large arterial routes like Lougheed Highway. It also will lower car exhaust emissions by keeping cars moving more quickly with less time on the road, and studies have shown it will also cause less wear and tear on vehicles through less stop-and-go traffic.
Create bike pathways in park and forested areas. Also, create more multi-use lanes for both bicyclists and pedestrians along major corridors, like Lougheed Highway, as long as it doesn’t lead to greater traffic congestion. This will be done as funds become available in the budget and with subsidized funding from major stakeholders.