Horgan says Maple Ridge’s approach to housing homeless ‘make believe’

City expects some better solution on the horizon: Horgan

As Maple Ridge’s mayor continues to be under fire for controversial comments made about the city’s homeless, Premier John Horgan didn’t pull punches while criticizing the city’s approach to housing the most vulnerable.

Horgan said during a news conference in Victoria Thursday that, where possible, there should municipal buy-in for supportive housing complexes that BC Housing wants to install in cities.

“But in the case of Maple Ridge, there’s a sense of make-believe, that somehow there’s a better solution on the horizon,” Horgan said.

“We’ve been grappling with this for two years, as the previous government did.”

Mayor Mike Morden said in a YouTube video last week that he sees Maple Ridge becoming “a hot spot in the Lower Mainland for people coming here to carry on doing drugs and basically raping and pillaging all of our community and our businesses and that’s got to stop.”

However, on Wednesday, he said those words were “an expression of frustration and probably weren’t appropriate.”

Coun. Kiersten Duncan has now asked Morden to apologize for the remarks, saying in a Tweet she’s “deeply concerned.

“I will be asking him to make a formal apology to council, residents, and the homeless residents he vilified,” Duncan added.

Morden continues to oppose B.C. Housing’s plans to build 51 temporary, low-barrier supportive housing units at 11749 Burnett St., on the same location rejected a year ago by the previous Maple Ridge council. He wants a facility that offers longer term mental health or drug treatment.

The online controversy is continuing with B.C. Housing releasing Facebook video vignettes about Maple Ridge residents who need housing.

Also Thursday, the B.C. Liberals called the province’s housing plan “botched,” and said Horgan is “forcing an unworkable plan onto Maple Ridge that doesn’t include enough mental health and addictions supports and is ignoring the huge rise in crime at a similar location the NDP forced upon Nanaimo.”

A YouTube Q and A info session about the Burnett Street supportive housing complex takes place next Monday at 7 p.m.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan presents Christmas concert

Queen Margaret’s School students performed in their Christmas Concert on Dec. 5,… Continue reading

Sonia Furstenau column: Forestry workers, communities deserve long-term solutions

We know with the right policies and oversight, forestry can be a truly renewable industry.

Drivesmart column: What I’ve learned from a year of driver monitoring

Over all, I’m pleased that I have taken the time to use the app.

Quamichan Lake area a hot spot for bear sightings

WildSafeBC continues education programs for Valley residents

Robert Barron column: School bus rules should be respected

Motorists must NEVER pass a school bus with its stop lights flashing.

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Pacioretty scores 2, Golden Knights top Canucks 6-3

Vegas goalie Fleury gets win No. 452

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Most Read