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Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News - August 3, 2011 Online Edition

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News - August 3, 2011 Online Edition

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The complete August 3, 2011 issue of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, visit www.mapleridgenews.com
The complete August 3, 2011 issue of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, visit www.mapleridgenews.com

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Published by: mapleridgenews on Aug 03, 2011
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Another Tamil ordered deported
.
p
8
B.C. Views
Green Party gets lost in the static.
 
p
6
NDP MLA Michael Sather willbe retiring from politics.Sather, who has held theseat for the Maple Ridge-PittMeadows riding since 2005, an-nounced Friday that he will notrun again, but will remain asMLA until the next election.“I love the job, actually, and itwas a very, very difficult deci-sion,” he said.“I sweated about it a lot.”A passionate environmental-ist, Sather is known in provin-cial politics for standing by hisbeliefs, even getting expelledfrom the party caucus in 2007for voting against the Tsawwas-sen First Nation treaty becauseit removed protection for morethan 200 hectares of farmland.Sather was also among a groupof dissidents who opposed Car-ole James’ leadership of the B.C.NDP last fall.He is im-pressed withthe party’snew leader,Adrian Dix,praising hisability tobuild bridges.“He is abit of a risktaker. I kindof like that,”Sather saidof Dix.“If you are going to make amark in this world, you’ve gotto take a few risks. If you arenot willing to take risks, it’svery difficult, in my mind, to becreative and to adapt to currentrealities. You have to have thosenimble skills, especially in poli-tics.”Sather, who vied for positionas mayor of Maple Ridge in 2008,has no plans to enter civic poli-tics, either.He intends to take six monthsoff after the next election andreassess his life.
Will remain as MLA untilnext provincial election
THE NEWS
Sather announces retirement
Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
River runs yellow
A volunteer from the First Laity View Scout Group dumps rubber ducks into a corral at the start of the first Rotary Duck Race on the South Alouette River byMaple Ridge Park on Sunday, when 7,000 ducks were sent down the river. Each one was sold to a sponsor, from which proceeds benefit local charities for youth.
See story and more photos,
p4.
Man stabbed,womanarrested
 staff reporter 
A woman was been arrested aftera man was stabbed at an intersec-tion in downtown Maple Ridge ear-ly Sunday.Ridge Meadows RCMP were calledtoabout a disturbance at DewdneyTrunk Road and 222nd Street ataround 5:30 a.m., said Insp. DavidWendell.They found a man suffering from“knife” wounds. He was taken tohospital, where he remains with“extremely serious” but “non-life-threatening” injuries, Wendellsaid.Police arrested a woman at thescene. She could be charged withassault with a weapon, at least,Wendell added.He said the man and woman werewell known to each other.The intersection where the in-cident occurred remained closedSunday morning while police in-vestigated. Blood was evident onthe pavement and on plastic sheetspolice were using.• RCMP ask anyone with informa-tion about the knife incident to call604-463-6251.
See
 
Sather
, p
12
Opinion
6
Tom Fletcher
6
Seniority
20
Arts&lie
23
Community Calendar
29
Sports
29
Classifeds
32
Index
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 · Serving Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows · est. 1978 · 604-467-1122 · 50¢
www.mapleridgenews.com
Arts&life
Maple Ridgestar stillin diapers.p
23
Sather
M
aple Ridge Burrardsqualiy or WLA playos.See story
 ,
p29
by
Monisha Martins
 staff reporter 
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THE NEWS
-- Wednesday, August 3, 2011 --
3
 staff reporter 
It’s going to be easier to get through PittMeadows and across the Pitt River Bridge nowthat there’s an extra lane to move you west.The opening of the $20-million westboundhigh occupancy lane will cut down traffic jamsand get motorists on to the Pitt River Bridge.Bus riders heading to Coquitlam will geteven more of a break with the addition of busqueue-jump lanes in both directions at theKennedy Road intersection at the east end of the Pitt River Bridge.Those lanes allow buses to skip ahead of regular traffic thanks to the operation of traf-fic signals.“These improvements on the LougheedHighway will make travel through this busyarea more convenient and safer for motoristsand buses,” Transportation Minister BlairLekstrom said. “This project will make a realdifference to people living in these busy com-munities as it provides better and faster traveloptions.”The HOV lane that begins west of HarrisRoad is now extended east for about two kilo-metres so it begins at Dewdney Trunk Road.A new metre-high centre median barrier onLougheed Highway also improves safety forbuses and other vehicles.The project advances the objectives of theProvincial Transit Plan by making transitmore attractive.In 2008, the government launched the planto double transit ridership and reduce green-house gases by 4.7 million tonnes cumulative-ly by 2020.Meanwhile, Maple Ridge is getting on with afew of its road fix-up projects.Starting this week, repair and resurfacingbegins of River Road between Carshill andDarby streets, following the installation of thestorm sewer upgrade. Most of the work willtake place in August.Another storm sewer project along ShadyLane (124th Avenue, between 216th and Laitystreets) will see a new multi-use path go atopthe utility line, making it easier for pedestri-ans and cyclists, while preserving the heritagetrees that give the road its name. Only one treewas chopped down because of that project.The district also recently resurfaced ashort stretch of Lougheed Highway, justeast of 228th Street, and applied lane mark-ings.In Pitt Meadows, repaving is going onNeaves Road between the south and northAlouette rivers, as well as on Ladner Road,east of Rennie Road.Old Dewdney Trunk Road will also berepaved -- supposedly from McKechnie toSharp road
Pitt River Bridge HOV lane now open
A publicly-traded companyfocused on consolidating Can-ada’s fragmented childcareindustry has acquired at leasttwo daycares in Maple Ridgeas it rapidly expands acrossthe country.Edleun Group Inc. complet-ed it purchase of the MapleRidge businesses earlier thismonth and has agreementsfor two other redevelopmentproperties, as well an addi-tional centres in B.C.“Closing of these acquisi-tions cements our initial moveinto the British Columbiamarketplace, which broad-ens national awareness of the Edleun brand and cre-ates new childcare spaces inunder-served communities,”said Leslie Wulf, chief ex-ecutive officer of Edleun in apress release.Located in Maple Ridge, Co-quitlam, Port Moody and Kel-owna, the five childcare cen-tres with 422 licensed spaceswere purchased for price of $4.1 million.Maple Ridge Learning Cen-tre, 21593 Dewdney TrunkRoad, and Maple Ridge WestLearning Centre, 12209 –206th Street are listed on thecompany’s website.Edleun did not return callsfor comment on the take-overand calls to the Maple Ridgedaycares were directed to thecompany’s Calgary head of-fice.A press release issued byEdleun, however, stressedthe value of its recent acquisi-tions.“We are extremely pleasedwith the closing of thesetransactions,” said Wulf.“These acquisitions arequite material, both strategi-cally in terms of entrenchingour expansion into British Co-lumbia and financially due totheir contribution to our bot-tom line profitability and cashflow.”Edleun estimates there are8,800 childcare centres acrossCanada and aims to become alarger player through acquisi-tions of new and existing op-erations, with plans to control10 per cent of the Canadianmarket.A 23,550-square-foot earlylearning and care facilityis targeted to open in early2012 in south Calgary. whichwill create 247 new licensedchild care spaces and provideemployment to 33 early child-hood educators.All Edleun-owned centresare standardized and offera set curriculum, as well asmenus, planned by a regis-tered dietician.The company’s aggressiveexpansion plans, however,worry childcare advocateswho characterized Edleunapproach as “big box childcare.”“They are not really in thebusiness of childcare, theyare in the business of makingmoney for their investors,”said Michael Lanier, chairper-son for CUPE B.C.’s childcareworking group.Edleun Group Inc., whichbegan trading on the TSXin 2010, reported unauditedconsolidated earnings of $3,501,973 for the first quarterof 2011.Lanier points to Australia’sABC Learning Centres as anexample of a large-scale cor-porate childcare operationsgone awry. At its height, ABCLearning Centres owned 25per cent of the daycare spac-es in Australia – more than1,000 – centres but folded in2008 with $1.6 billion of debt.Wulf, Edleun’s CEO, waslinked to ABC Learning Cen-tres Canadian arm, 123 BusyBeavers.“The Edleun Group is real-ly involved in the real estatemarket,” said Lanier.“They drive the competi-tion out of the area. Theybuy buildings, set it all upand then they’ve got them-selves a real estate invest-ment. They are not really inthis because they believe inchild care. “As Edleun expanded acrossCanada, the company active-ly sought out private daycareoperators, including many inMaple Ridge, asking if theywanted to sell.Sanya Boatter, who ownsStart Smart, a for-profit day-care with 170 spaces and astaff of 28, confirmed thecompany was sniffing aroundthe Maple Ridge childcaremarket.She, too, worries about alarge corporation, focusedon racking in profits for in-vestors, caring for kids.“I’ve heard a lot a talkabout big box daycares,” saidBoatter.“It’s just so large you losethose inter-personal connec-tions.”
THE NEWS/files
Buses will also be able jump the queue in both directions at Kennedy Road intersection.
‘Big boxdaycare setting up in Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge also workingon road projectsCUPE concerned aboutEdleun Group moves
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 staff reporter 
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