Mayor Mike Morden speaks at a rally opposing the B.C. government’s decision to place modular housing for the homeless on Burnett Street. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge mayor under fire after saying homeless ‘raping and pillaging’ city

Mike Morden says words in video were ‘an expression of frustration’

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden is being criticized for saying the city’s homeless are “raping and pillaging” in the city.

The comments were made in a 35-minute YouTube video posted Friday.

“I see us becoming, for some reason, a hot spot in the Lower Mainland for people coming here to carry on doing drugs and basically raping and pillaging all of our community and our businesses and that’s got to stop,” Morden can be seen saying in an interview with Susan Einarsson, president of Kingman Communications.

Since the video was published, Morden has been under fire for his comments. While he did not apologize for his comments, Morden said Wednesday that they were “an expression of frustration and probably weren’t appropriate.”

However, he added, his comments were a reflection of the frustration felt by citizens and businesses about prolific theft he feels is being driven by drug addiction.

READ MORE: B.C.’s homeless, vulnerable only receive adequate care when nearing death

“Housing doesn’t solve addiction,” said Morden.

Coun. Kiersten Duncan said Morden is being rightly criticized in social media.

“His comments were grossly inappropriate, and it was disappointing to hear the mayor speak that way,” she added. “It makes the city look terrible. It reflects poorly on all of council.”

She said the mayor should apologize, and strive to “carry himself better in the future.”

READ MORE: Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

The YouTube video addresses what Morden calls a “battle of the wills” between the provincial government and the city over homeless issues.

The provincial government has announced it will place 51 units of temporary modular homes on property it owns at 11748 Burnett St.

Morden took part in a rally against the project on March 30. Another rally is planned for Sunday.

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