The Province of BC has announced a $3 million transportation plan for the Highway 16 corridor.
The plan comes after the recent ‘Transportation Symposium’ in Smithers which was attended by 92 local government and first nations leaders.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone made the announcement Monday in Victoria. “The goal here being, ideally we would like to see each and every community right through from Prince Rupert to Prince George connected through this transportation network.”
The five point plan includes:
-$1.6 million over 2 years for cost shared BC Transit expansion,
-$750,000 over 3 years for a community grant program for the purchase and operation of vehicles for community based transportation programs,
-$150,000 over 3 years for a First Nations driver education program,
-$500,000 over two years for highway infrastructure safety improvements including webcams and transit shelters and
-An increase in collaboration between existing services such as BC Transit and Northern Health.
Stone says the plan will be guided by a 10 member advisory council. “We really need the advisory group now to go to that next level of detail on a community by community basis. That’s the work that they will be focused on over the next couple months.”
He added that they are open to moving the money around within the plan if that is what the committee sees fit.
The Mayor of Burns Lake, Luke Strimbold is a member of that committee.
“I believe that the 5 transportation actions outlined today will help create safer connections for people living in rural communities along the corridor, connecting them to their families, friends, local services and activities.”
Other members include the mayors of Terrace, Houston and Fort Saint James, representatives from the Gitanyow and Saik’uz First Nations, First Nations Health Authority, Northern Health, Ministry of Transport and Highway of Tears Initiative.