With the rain in September, there is no doubt: fall is here. Next week, I’ll be heading back to Victoria as the legislature begins its fall sitting. Since we formed government two years ago, its been busy. I don’t expect the pace to let up.
Housing in our community remains a challenge, but it is one that we can tackle when we work together. Recently, we broke ground on 94 units of mixed affordable housing for families, seniors and individuals here in Maple Ridge. Led by Community Services with BC Housing funding and supported by the City of Maple Ridge, it’s the kind of project that gives me hope.
Garibaldi Ridge Supportive Housing has opened. It is now a providing a home to 51 people before winter begins. Opening these modular housing units allowed the closure of the Anita Place camp. I look forward to cooperating with all levels of government in working to build affordable homes here in our communities.
We’re working to make quality childcare more affordable and accessible to young families. We’ve taken steps as a government to help communities build more child care spaces. This summer, we announced $1 million in funding for the City of Maple Ridge to build a new child care centre. We’re working with providers offering start up grants to become licensed, capital for them to expand, and supporting fee reductions for parents. We’re also expanding spaces for more child care professionals to train at institutions across the province.
Like so much else, transportation and infrastructure needs of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows went by unaddressed for far too long. Lougheed Highway is increasingly busy, and we’re delivering safe and effective infrastructure that will keep people moving through this busy corridor. We’ve installed specialized aggregate and resin treatment at high collision locations, lighting improvements between Laity Street and 220th and work has begun on the Haney ByPass.
Road changes are also underway on Lougheed to accommodate new Rapid Bus service to Coquitlam. Launching this January, the Lougheed RapidBus from Haney Place to Coquitlam Central Station will connect Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam. It will be a fast and reliable service much needed by commuters in our community.
It has been a busy summer. I want to thank everyone who took the time to meet with me, or simply stopped to talk at one of the many community events. Your ideas are invaluable help to our government as we build a province that’s better for everyone, and to me as I advocate for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows in Victoria.