Much more can be achieved by working together with senior governments constructively to manage issues such as social, education, crime and transportation. How else are we going to get money for roads, buses, parks, schools, social and recreation needs?
Currently there is no advocacy plan. This results in the ongoing default to municipalities for supply and pay for resources such as social housing for the homeless, treatment for the addicted, schools for children, major road network building and repair – all of which are the responsibility of higher levels of government. It is simply not reasonable nor sustainable to ask the municipalities to bear these expenses. If we do not come up with a strong advocacy plan there will be no significant change regarding these much-needed resources.
Over the past six years on Council one of the most important things I have learned is that relationships are critical for knowing how and where to access needed resources. In order to make our needs known and to receive the necessary funding for required resources in Maple Ridge, it is key that we build strong relationships with higher levels of government.
As you are probably aware, there really isn’t much money left for our community’s needs these days. Regardless, we must position ourselves strategically to even be considered for funding by provincial and/or federal government. This is done, in large part, by using relationships, carefully cultivated, rather than by being critical of others. Care must be taken to ensure accountability from all the various levels of government for our citizens’ needs. In my work with UBCM, FCM, and other committees and organizations, I have spent a great deal of time building the necessary relationships with staff and elected officials in both provincial and federal government. These are valuable relationships that, if elected as mayor, will serve our community well in the future.