Highway 1 between Revelstoke and Golden has been getting a lot of attention for the dangers it poses, but still isn’t getting the funding it needs in the provincial transportation plan.
NDP Transportation Critic Claire Trevena toured the section of highway to better understand the needs of the residents in the area.
“I’m here very much to listen to you,” she said during a meeting with community members and local MLA Norm Macdonald. The two also appeared before council on the same visit.
The Province has been making promises to fix the highway for years now, and although Trevena says that’s admirable, it’s not good enough. They have made commitments to four-lane Highway 1 from Kamloops to the Alberta border, but until those dollars are seen in the budget, no one knows when it will really happen.
“I applaud that commitment, but I can’t see it happening very fast, especially without a funding commitment.”
Macdonald has been advocating for proper funding for the highway for years, and he encourages local government and any other local organization to do so as well.
“It’s like a teeter-totter. You never know what that one little thing will be that tips it over,” he said. “At the end of the day it is people making decisions. And sometimes it’s the most unexpected thing that can change someone’s mind. And quite often, we never end up knowing what that thing is.”
With a death rate being as high as it has been on the Rogers’ Pass, and still seeing little action being taken, Trevena says the sad truth is that economics may play a larger role in the government’s decision than safety will.
Stressing the economic impact that highway closures have for the whole province may make the strongest case she says.