Press Release: Rice Holds Government to Account on Highway of Tears Consultations

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For Immediate Release

Feb. 24, 2015

PRINCE RUPERT–– When questioned about when the B.C. government is going to implement the Oppal Commission recommendation of improved public transportation along Highway 16, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice was told that the government had a number of face to face consultations with communities along the highway this past summer and its was indicated communities thought it was impractical.

Rice has been hearing a different story from communities along the Highway of Tears, and through Freedom of Information requested notes from these consultations in November 2014. In December an extension was granted on this request; and a further extension granted in January.

Finally, this past week, the Freedom of Information request was completed – no records of these consultations could be found.

Rice questioned the Minister of Citizen Services, asking why there are no records of any consultations with the residents along Highway 16 when the Minister of Transportation and The Justice Minister both spoke publicly about these meetings. The Transportation Minister answered with excuses as to why the government has not implemented any transportation along the Highway of Tears.

“The people of Northern British Columbia deserve to know why the B.C. Liberal government is hiding the results of any consultations that were had,” said Rice after question period. “We don’t know how many of these meetings actually took place, and whether the minister is misrepresenting what people said. Northwest communities have heard enough excuses, it’s time for action to bring safe transportation options along the Highway of Tears.”