The MLA for Cariboo North says she continues to repeatedly ask the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure when there will be an update to the community on West Fraser Road.
“We keep getting from the Minister that it’s highly complex and that they keep sending out people to do the drilling and to keep looking and evaluating the road,” said Coralee Oakes.
“But to be clear the landslide happened last April.”
Oakes said if a landslide has happened in other parts of the province, the expectation isn’t that people wait for over a year for the Ministry to come out and report to the community what they’ve been doing.
“We have residents of West Fraser Road, Narcosli, and Esdilagh First Nation that continue to travel a forest service road, we continue to see our children on a bus route that takes over two hours, and we continue to get delays from the Ministry of Transportation, ” Oakes said.
“They said that they would come back to the community in September, then they said late fall, then they said before Christmas, then they said in January, then they said in the spring, and we’re heading into a year since this route has been damaged by the landslide which was a cause by the 2017 Plateau Fire.”
The Ministry states on its website that once geotechnical investigation, conceptual designs, and cost estimates are completed and funding opportunities explored, it will present options to the community for feedback.
There is currently no estimated time frame for re-establishing service.
“Part of the efforts we have been pursuing here in Victoria is to make sure that the Minister recognizes that we’re taxpayers too and that there needs to be a critical infrastructure investment in things like roads that have been impacted by wildfires and floods,” Oakes said.
(Editor’s Note: Listen to Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes on West Fraser Road in the audio file below)