Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden, left, met with provincial ministers on Feb. 25. (Contributed)

Mayor asks province for $60M to pay for housing, costs for B.C. tent city

Mike Morden met with a number of provincial ministers on Feb. 25

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden has asked the provincial government to invest $60 million for social housing and to assist with the costs associated with Anita Place Tent City.

Morden met with a number of provincial ministers on Feb. 25 to discuss the impacts of housing affordability, the increasing frequency of ‘renovictions’ and the availability of affordable housing for seniors and those dealing with poverty. He also discussed operational models, accountability of operators and the community impacts for facilities that are addressing the housing needs of those with addictions and mental health challenges in the community.

“While this is a large list of topics, they are interconnected. I got the sense that there is a broad understanding that we all need to work across jurisdictions to identify the problems, assess and enact solutions and ensure that we all understand our roles and responsibilities,” said Mayor Morden who also thanked local MLAs, Minister Lisa Beare and Bob D’Eith.

Residents of Anita Place were moved out of the camp on March 1 after an evacuation order was issued by the Provincial Fire Commissioner following an application by Maple Ridge fire chief Howard Exner.

The site is currently closed, with security personnel stationed at the site 24 hours a day supported by the Ridge Meadows RCMP.

READ MORE: Anita Place camp resident barricades himself in shelter as more inspections take place

READ MORE: Evacuation order granted for Maple Ridge tent city

Accommodations and meals for evacuees from the camp were provided by the City of Maple Ridge’s Emergency Support Services team that opened a reception centre on Lougheed Highway east of 222 Avenue, at noon on Saturday.

Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said the province wants to make sure that everyone who has been evacuated can access shelter, food and health and social services.

“In the longer term, this reinforces the need to act quickly and build more supportive housing in Maple Ridge,” she said noting that dozens of former Anita Place campers have homes and can access support services in modular housing opened several months ago.

Morden asked the province to look into the difficulty that local governments have in getting accurate information on people who are receiving services in the community and what the outcomes are as they move through the network of services and front line organizations. His hope is that by addressing reporting and data collection gaps across ministerial portfolios there can be better coordination and improvement in outcomes for those who are dealing with multiple health issues and housing challenges.

Those who attended the meeting included:

· Honourable Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health & Addictions

· Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health

· Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing

· Honourable Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development & Poverty Reduction

· Honorable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism MLA Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows

· Mr. Bob D’Eith MLA Maple Ridge – Mission

· Mr. Shane Ramsay, CEO of BC Housing

· Michael Morden, Mayor City of Maple Ridge

· Kelly Swift, Acting CAO City of Maple Ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Conflict expert explains how to talk to people who aren’t social distancing

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

COVID-19: Managing your mental health from isolation

Ministry of Mental Health, Addictions recommends numerous strategies for self-care during pandemic

Saanich moves forward with summer camp registration despite COVID-19

District to give full refunds if camps are cancelled

Sunday morning fire damages Victoria gas station

The fire on Fairfield Road caused $75,000 in estimated damages to tires and automotive equipment

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read