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Canada

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows results: New mayors sweep to power

Former Pitt Meadows Coun. Bill Dingwall has been elected mayor. PNG

Change was in the air in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows on Saturday, with new mayors elected in both municipalities.

In Maple Ridge, Mike Morden handily beat former mayor Ernie Daykin and councillor Craig Speirs. In Pitt Meadows, councillor Bill Dingwall trounced incumbent mayor John Becker.

Morden and Daykin both ran in the 2014 election, but split the vote, allowing Nicole Read to win. Read didn’t run for re-election this year.

The big issue in Maple Ridge was the Anita Place tent city, where up to 80 homeless people have been living for the past year-and-a-half.

Some of the homeless were housed in a new 53-unit modular housing project that opened this week, but some remain at Anita Place.

New Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden. PNG

New mayor Morden wants to tear it down.

“Tent City is just a symptom of much larger problem,” said Morden, a 58-year-old owner of a security company.

“What I intend to do is close tent city, because it is not healthy for anybody, and it’s having tremendous impacts on the neighbourhoods. Crime is taking place in all the surrounding neighbourhoods.”

There were other contentious issues in the election, such as whether to take land out of the agricultural land reserve for industry.

“There is not enough industrially and commercially zoned lands out here, so there will be some land-use decisions required, without doubt,” said Morden.

Dingwall is a 62-year-old retired member of the RCMP.

“For me, this election was about bringing respect back to the community,” he said. “It’s about having a respectful environment.”

jmackie@postmedia.com

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