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HomeNewsCariboo North MLA looks back on tumultuous 2020

Cariboo North MLA looks back on tumultuous 2020

Coralee Oakes, the Liberal MLA for Cariboo North, says 2020 has certainly been a year with some challenges.

And on that note, she says she would like to thank those who have helped us to get through it…

” I think we all need to express our absolute gratitude to all of the front-line workers and the healthcare professionals, and all of the incredible individuals who are taking care of our loved ones and our seniors. I know those folks are absolutely exhausted.   We feel the pressure as individuals by COVID-19, but for all of the folks who are on the front lines, I just say thank you so much for the effort and the work that you’re going.  You’re there with our loved ones when often we can’t be.”

Despite COVID though, Oakes says there was a lot to celebrate in the riding this past year…

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“I mean we are seeing the work being done on GR Baker Hospital and that’s fantastic news, we’re seeing the incredible work at the middle school and having a new school announcement is great news, it’ll be huge for our entire community, we’ve got some low income housing that is being built, so I think there are a lot of things that are positive that we should recognize.”

Oakes is hoping for more investment in the region, especially when it comes to rural roads.

She says it is even more important In light of what is happening in the wake of the wildfires of 2017 and 2018…

“Ground zero of that really is about road infrastructure and what is the necessary investments that need to be made.   We need to be doing things a lot differently, we need to be doing things in a lot more in a preventative type of nature.   With over 200 areas impacted on roads this past year, this past spring freshet, that is an enormous, not only in cost to taxpayers, but just the impact that it has on our constituents.”

Oakes says she has raised deep concerns she now has with the 2021 spring freshet…

“With the amount of water that we have, the ground is absolutely saturated, and whether people want to call it climate change, whether it is the result of the wildfires, whether it’s just the changing environment that we have, the reality is I am very concerned we’re going to have difficulties come this spring.”

Oakes says hydrology reports and lidar is already available for some of the more challenging areas in the region…

“We know where some of those roads are.   You look at Knickerbocker and the amount of money that’s put in year after year, should we not be looking at doing something different ?   Look at Quesnel-Hydraulic Road and the amount of damage that was done this past year and the investment in French Road.   And then down toward Williams Lake you look at Soda Creek and 150 Mile and Horsefly and Likely, there are a lot of roads that we need to be taking a serious look at.”

Oakes says rather than patch them up year after year, she would like to see a long term investment strategy.

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