In a unanimous decision, the Maple Ridge city council agrees that public workers will deliver programs and services at the Albion Community Centre. The decision follows an extensive campaign by the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows municipal workers of CUPE 622 calling for the soon to be opened facility to be community controlled and publicly run.
“On behalf of all CUPE 622 members, I want to thank and congratulate the Mayor and Council for backing a publicly run Albion Community Centre,” said Rob Letts, a worker for the City of Maple Ridge and president of CUPE 622. “This was the right decision for the City and the people who will enjoy using the Albion Centre for years to come.”
The council decision comes after a report by the City’s senior management staff evaluating options for the delivery of programs and services when the Albion Centre opens later this year. The report evaluated the many benefits of a publicly run facility and found that it “would provide a higher level of control of the facility…. (and) provide citizens with seamless service delivery.”
During the discussion of the report, councillors praised Maple Ridge workers for their past work in providing recreation programs and services. “To think of anyone else to run the Albion Community Centre just doesn’t make sense to me,’ said Councillor Chelsa Meadus. Councillor Kiersten Duncan added, “We have an opportunity to create something really amazing, and I don’t want to risk that by contracting services out.”
The CUPE 622 campaign encouraging people in Maple Ridge to voice their support for a publicly run Albion Centre was also cited. “It’s refreshing to have received those emails from the community and to hear the voices. For me it certainly played a part in my decision as it was a reflection of what the community wants,” said Councillor Ahmed Yousef.
CUPE 622 is again encouraging the community to contact the Maple Ridge Mayor and Council and thank them for listening to their points-of-view and for keeping the Albion Community Centre public.
“CUPE 622 members proudly serve our community, and we sincerely want to thank all of our neighbours for showing how much they value the public programs and services we provide every day,” said Letts. “This decision is testament to how much this community cares, and how powerful our voices can be to make Maple Ridge a place to live for everyone.”