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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

“I am completely underwhelmed,” was one of the milder terms McComb used



THE SIDEWINDER:  Following the election of the NDP, anyone expecting quick action on social housing issues in Maple Ridge, and the rest of British Columbia, will likely be in for a huge disappointment.
NDP MLA Selina Robinson
Coquitlam - Malardville

As part of his gender balanced cabinet, Premier John Horgan appointed Coquitlam - Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson as the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.  Other than having served as a member of Coquitlam's city council, it is not clear what other expertise Robinson brings to the table, particularly on the demanding housing portfolio.

Robinson's performance on Jon McComb's CKNW talk show on Monday morning revealed her seemingly total lack of ability to answer even the simplest of questions on housing issues.

Robinson said there was no clear timeline on how or when the NDP government would tackle the housing crisis.

McComb is usually thoughtful and polite, regardless of who he is interviewing but following Robinson's less than stellar response to questions concerning housing, the normally genial talk show host offered a very harsh critique of her performance.
“I am completely underwhelmed,” was one of the milder terms McComb used.

He added that she was mealy-mouthed and was still campaigning.

How all of this plays out in Maple Ridge could result in further delays in dealing with the homeless issue, and low cost social housing.  It seems that Nicole Read's 2014 campaign goal of dealing with homelessness within a few months of her election as mayor could be even further delayed. 

Even though BC Housing still has $15 million set aside for a purpose-built shelter in Maple Ridge, and city hall has had the report of the MLAs committee on a proposed shelter, Mayor Read's council appears stuck and totally lacking in direction on the topic.

With the next municipal election only 16 months away, I guess we can expect that the mayoralty campaigns will soon begin to heat up with new and even bigger promises on issues such as homelessness, drug addiction and related crimes, and alcoholism and mental health.

The almost certain promises and commitments of the coming campaign remind me of a few lines from a soliloquy in MacBeth,

“It is a tale told by an idiot,
Full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”




SANDY Macdougall (aka The Sidewinder)... is a retired newspaper reporter. He was elected for three consecutive terms to Maple Ridge municipal council in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and also ran for the Progressive Conservatives in Kim Campbell's ill-fated federal election campaign

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