Mayors laud funding for Highway of Tears

By Doug Collins
December 15, 2015 - 6:55am Updated: December 15, 2015 - 10:19am

PRINCE GEORGE — Two mayors along the so-called Highway of Tears are lauding a government funding announcement to improve safety along the highway.

The Mayors of Smithers and Burns Lake say they're optimistic the three million dollars committed by Transport Minister Todd Stone will enhance transit routes and expand roadside webcams.

While Mayors are speaking positively about the plan, they say the government will still need to commit more resources to make the highway safer.

The lonely, desolate stretch of road between Prince George and Prince Rupert is the home of many First Nations, and there are few transportation options in and out of reserves.

That has led to many incidents involving aboriginal women being assaulted, kidnapped and murdered over the years.

The federal government announced in the Commons last week they would conduct an inquiry into the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. 

The plan sets out five course of action:

•$1.6 million over 2 years to extend or enhance BC Transit services to better connect communities,

•$750,000 over 3 years  to support community-based transportation programs operated by First Nations, local governments or non-profit organizations,

•$150,000 over 3 years for a First Nations driver education program,

•$500,000 over 2 years for highway infrastructure safety improvements including webcams and transit shelters,

•Collaboration to increase inter-connectivity of services.

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