Maple Ridge, BC: The City of Maple Ridge continues to support the work of the Federal and Provincial Governments in the response to COVID-19. “We are a month into the COVID-19 health emergency and, on behalf of Council, I want to thank our citizens for the sacrifices that people are making to flatten the curve on this virus. I would also like to acknowledge the work happening in the community to support our most vulnerable citizens. Organizations like the Friends In Need Food Bank and Ridge Meadows Seniors Society have been doing extraordinary work in these difficult times,” said Mayor Morden.
He continued, “Staff have stepped up big time to meet the challenge of doing business differently with professionalism and innovation. We are here to make sure that essential services continue to be delivered.”
Maple Ridge was one of the first communities in BC to deploy virtual meetings to ensure legislative processes remain functioning and citizens can stay connected with their local government even as we stay separate to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Council meeting schedule has continued uninterrupted since the start of the health emergency. Staff continue to adapt digital tools to improve the user experience for citizens. You can find meeting agendas and live streams at mapleridge.ca/640.
While City Hall and other civic buildings are closed to the public, virtual tools have been deployed to conduct the day-to-day business of City Hall. Quick work by the City’s technology team has allowed many employees to work from home to maintain physical distancing and protect staff. For employees who are reporting to work every day at civic facilities there are enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols in place. These new guidelines apply in City vehicles and for outside workers deployed around the community. Police, Fire, Operations and Bylaws staff have all implemented enhanced safety protocols so they can continue to provide essential services throughout the pandemic.
The City is working closely with BC Government agencies to help educate and enforce Dr. Henry’s health orders. Bylaws officers are working with Fraser Health to monitor compliance with social or physical distancing guidelines for essential businesses. Bylaws is also responding to calls for service to ensure the closure of local facilities and amenities, as required by Public Health Orders, is respected. The City redeployed staff to the ‘Park Ambassador’ program to help educate citizens on the importance of following health orders and to ensure there is signage and information around the community. Park Ambassadors have instant communication with bylaws and police resources as required. A new ‘Who to Call’ page is available on the City’s website.
We continue to connect people with new program announcements from the Federal and Provincial Governments and from local agencies working in the community, including Fraser Health, Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Maple Ridge BIA. Links can be found at mapleridge.ca/2408. The City is also sharing information on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It is critical that citizens get their information from definitive and accurate sources. The City has curated a list of resources that will help citizens stay informed throughout the health emergency.
“The level of cooperation between all levels of government has been quite extraordinary as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the work of all members of Council who are diligently advocating behind the scenes on behalf of citizens. We hear the challenges you are facing and we are sharing this information with decision makers in Victoria and Ottawa as they develop aid programs,” said the Mayor.
“The response to this health emergency is a team effort, each level of government and all citizens play an important role. We are working together and bending the curve. Keep it up. The work we are doing each day lays a strong foundation for the future when we move forward guided by Dr. Henry. We’ve got this Maple Ridge,” he concluded.