February 25, 2020

MAPLE RIDGE/PITT MEADOWS – BC Liberal candidate Cheryl Ashlie is calling on the BC government to establish an action plan to prevent and resolve disruptions to West Coast Express service. The proposal comes after radical activist groups forced cancellation of the service for the second time in two weeks, stranding thousands of commuters. The latest blockade was removed after Canadian Pacific Railway Police gave the protesters a 15-minute grace period to remove the blockade or be arrested.

“So far, the NDP’s response to these blockades has been tweets and calls for dialogue – and that just doesn’t cut it anymore,” said Ashlie, a former two-term Maple Ridge city councillor. “It’s time for real action that ensures commuters in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and other areas are able to get to and from work each day. Families cannot afford any more disruptions — the government needs to stand up for them.”

While politicians should not direct the operations of police, Ashlie says the provincial government, TransLink, CP Rail, and law enforcement agencies need to sit down and develop an action plan that will ensure a rapid, coordinated, and effective response to future blockade attempts that create chaos throughout Metro Vancouver.

“Our police officers are well trained to de-escalate these situations safely and with minimal use of force – just like the RCMP did on Burnaby Mountain, and CP Police did yesterday,” Ashlie added. “It’s time for our government to give them the backing and support they deserve. If John Horgan’s NDP won’t do it – then Andrew Wilkinson and a BC Liberal government will.”

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Deanie Wong

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