Riverview Resurrection Resolution Rebuked. "RRRR": that's chiropractic Councillor Bob Masse's response to the rejection by the Preem of a UBCM resolution - introduced by Maple Ridge - to open the old nuthouse as a way of solving some or all of the mental health issues facing municipalities, in particular, the RCMP who receive, in our case, 600 mental health act calls annually.
This was Bob's baby; he's done the research, he's gone along on the ride-along with the cops to see firsthand the problem with mentally ill on the streets of Maple Ridge.
And, now Christy has squashed the proposal like a spider under her spiked heels. Woe that she ever finds herself in Bob's office complaining of a bad back.
Christy says we have a new set of problems, that all the homeless aren't mentally ill and that the province is investing in affordable housing and treatment and will invest more once the economy picks up. Cut into that $61 per diem meal allowance for MLAs; they don't have Subway in Victoria?) Masse counters that we spend more per capita on health care than any other province with fewer results and we have the longest waits for psychiatric care. (Are we supposed to rely on Oprah and Doctor Phil for advice?).
We're not just talking about warehousing the whackos here. That's just the stigma talking: old black-and-white films about asylums, full of people screaming or aimlessly wandering the halls.
Riverview, in its day, offered much in the way of treatment, socialization, and recreation, but tended to isolate patients from friends and family and society. Ideally we want to reintegrate the mentally ill with expanded resources available in the community.
As it stands now the police have a mental health liaison and they work with health care professionals, but obviously it's not enough. We're waiting for Christy to buck up.
I've never been to Riverview, but apparently it's a beautiful piece of real estate, more than 400 acres and I'm wondering - at the risk of sounding naïve, or skeptical - if the Liberal-friendly development community doesn't have its eye on the place.
In the meantime, Dr. Bob has hooked his wagon to a garbage truck, riding shotgun for Corisa Bell who wants to see municipal garbage collection in Maple Ridge. They argue that it would be more efficient and cheap for homeowners/voters. Currently, we have multiple operators picking up trash around town.
Then there are those of us who drive our refuse to the transfer station and throw it in a big truck bound for Cache Creek, all for $10 a pop; which means, if you want to keep your personal costs down you recycle and take less to the dump.
According to Bell, 41 per cent of residents polled listed garbage collection as a desired service (I think the other 59 per cent wanted booze sold in grocery stores).
Masse and Mike Morden both supported Bell but were rebuffed by the heavy-hitters on council some of whom were worried about creating a contractual obligation by requesting expressions of interest (!?).
There was also concern about increased cost to the harried homeowner who, I would speculate, has greater issues to ponder than how his waste is handled.
That's one of our problems in these environmentally sensitive times: we don't care enough about our garbage, or our mentally ill. Last word is, we're waiting and seeing.
Personally, I would love to see a composting program here, as they have in Pitt Meadows: either a pickup service or some location to which people could take food scraps - especially occupants of apartments and condos who haven't the luxury of being able to compost in their backyard.
I think this is something that Masse could really sink his teeth into - contractual obligations notwithstanding.
Hey Hammond: you may not be getting sidewalks, stop signs, or traffic circles. But, you are getting a drug and alcohol treatment centre. Yeah!
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