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October 28, 2017 1:25 am

Searching for Hwy 16 Transportation Solutions

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 @ 9:09 AM

Smithers, B.C. – The  Highway 16 Transportation symposium  is underway in Smithers   to address the  transportation challenges  along  the Highway 16 corridor. 

Transportation Minister Todd Stone  says the one day  symposium  is “An excellent opportunity to bring all of the communities and representatives together to engage in a productive dialogue and to focus on transportation solutions along the corridor.” The agenda doesn’t  indicate Stone will be in attendance,   however, a deputy minister from his ministry will  be  on hand.

Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief Terry Teegee  remains  hopeful  the symposium will produce some solutions for  providing  safe and adequate transportation along the highway “This is more of a working group type of meeting, where they don’t want  any political pressure, so I hope they find some  solutions.” There   is only one politician on the list of  invited participants,  and that  is the  Mayor of the District of Fort St, James who will be making a presentation.

Representatives from  First Nations  from Prince George to  Prince Rupert  have been invited to take part.  There were also invitations sent  to  Chief Administrative Officers  from every  community  along the corridor.  In  the case of Prince George,  the  invitation to the symposium  was sent to  City Manager Kathleen Soltis.   Jim Martin, the  CAO of the Regional District of Fraser Fort George was also invited as was  Oliver Ray, the Executive Director of the North Central Local Government Association.

The  symposium  agenda  calls for discussion  on the following areas:

* Sharing information about services that are available and what approaches could be undertaken to improve and or expand medical and non-medical travel along the Highway 16 corridor from Prince Rupert to Prince George;

* Building on the results from the recently conducted First Nations Transportation Survey along with lessons learned from previous community engagement, surveys and reports;

* Identifying First Nations and community solutions to increase availability and access to practical, sustainable and safe community transportation models.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says  the Province remains “committed to working together with community representatives to find practical and sustainable solutions to help provide safe travel options for citizens living in remote communities along Highway 16.”

Carrier Sekani  Tribal Chief  Terry Teegee is taking a wait  and see  approach ” I will  evaluate after  this meeting is over to see where they get and determine from there what the next move is in terms of trying to  get adequate transportation.”


“In the case of Prince George, the invitation to the symposium was sent to City Manager Kathleen Soltis.”

Well, there you go!

I am not sure this is a provincial government matter. IMHO I think it is a community issue but also I believe that we are all responsible for our own lives and if we can’t afford to travel to different communities for various services, WE (as an individual) need to do something about that.

I am truly sorry to all the families who have lost someone along this highway. I do think though that the healing and help needs to come from within, from the family and the local community.

Free transportation – at what cost? – will not solve the fact that someone (or multiple people) are out there looking to harm others.

So there was some miscommunication in City Hall yesterday from the looks of it.

Sometimes assumptions are made, e-mails are lost or not passed on to the appropriate persons, the importance of sharing info and deciding which is important info … all those things get in the way.

Internal communication improvement is often the most important issue for those charged with the responsibility of “communications” through their title and job description. It is also often the most difficult issue to face.

As far as whether the CAO was the proper person to inform and invite, given that this is a non-political working session event, it was exactly the right person to invite. Should a copy have been sent to the Mayor? Maybe it was and it got lost in the shuffle as well.

Lesson to be learned? Do not got to the media or talk to the media unless you have your facts straight. ;-)

BTW less than 95% of the people in the province do what you said. You have not considered the young as well as the older people who no longer drive or can afford to own a car and do not have the strength or balance to ride a bicycle or all those who are physically handicapped.

I don’t think we’re ever going to fix it. Even if we had free transit there would still be people hitchhiking because it doesn’t work for their schedule.
Greyhound cut back from twice daily each direction to once daily each direction because the demand isn’t there. Still people would be hitchhiking with twice daily service because they wanted to travel on their own schedule.
VIA is practically empty, and it doesn’t get much better travelling than that. Can drop a person off pretty much anywhere they want.
Short of having a shuttle on call 24/7 available in every community, which just isn’t feasible, there is no answer.

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