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October 27, 2017 6:23 pm

Highway 16 Transportation Plan Gets Budget Boost

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 12:13 PM

l-r Lheidli T’enneh  Elder Janet Kozar,  MLA John Rustad,  Chief Jackie Thomas, Mayor Lyn Hall, and MLA Mike Morris – photo 250News

Prince George  BC  – The plan to provide safe affordable transportation along the Highway 16 corridor has been given a budget boost.

A dozen northern communities and organizations will be receiving grants  for community vehicles and that has added another $1.2 million to the project bringing the  total  budget to  $6.4 million dollars over the next three years.

The Province will be picking up the tab for 70% of the vehicle costs,  and 70% of the operational costs for the  vehicle. Those receiving grants can purchase the  vehicle that best suits their community’s needs.

The issue of  safe transportation along the 16 corridor  has been an issue for those who live along the corridor  for many years,  as  a number of  women  have been murdered or  gone missing  along that  stretch of highway.   Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation  is grateful  for the  news  today,  “I was there in  2006 when we did our first symposium  here in Prince George and we gathered the families together.  This was the first recommendation of the 34  we made that year,  it is the most important,  I am so  happy to be standing here and saying thank you  and I also look forward to more on those files,  those 34 recommendations.”

MLA John Rustad  noted transportation along the Highway 16 corridor  “is always a challenge.  It’s also particularly  challenging  because it’s tough  because  you don’t have taxi cabs for the most part,  it’s tough to be able to  work through various options, so people  rely on their own vehicles,  or rely on friends and family for the most part.”  He says the  transportation plan  is a result of a symposium held in  Smithers on how to improve safety  along highway 16.

He says one of the things that a came out of the symposium was that  different  communities have different needs.  The community  vehicle  program  is a result of that  consultation.

Communities receiving  grants  for community  vehicles are:

* Binche Keyoh Bu Society – Binche and Tl’azt’en Community Connector
* Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society – Community Connections
* Fraser Lake and Area Community Bus Service
* Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert – 3 Sister Community Transportation Service
* Gingolx Village Government – Gingolx Transportation Service
* Gitanmaax Band – Gitanmaax Transportation Service
* Gitanyow Human Services – Gitanyow Connections Program
* Granisle Better at Home / Village of Granisle – Granisle Better at Home Transportation Services
* Kermode Friendship Society – Kermode Transportation Partnership Initiative
* Nee Tahi Buhn – Nee Tahi Buhn Community Transportation
* Saik’uz First Nation – District of Vanderhoof – Saik’uz – Vanderhoof Community Transportation
* Takla Lake First Nation – Driftwood Corridor Transportation Services

The City of Prince George has made a  five year commitment of $50 thousand a year to the overall Highway 16 transportation plan.


Gee, I remember just a little over two years ago this government’s position on the Highway of Tears Public Transportation issue being; “The Ministry of Transportation has quashed hopes for a shuttle bus along the Highway of Tears by confirming it has abandoned the concept, saying any further public transit expansion would be up to local governments.”


Ah, the difference two years makes, an election that ushered in a Federal Liberal Government committed to a National Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, and an upcoming provincial election.

Hard to figure this two faced, hypocritical, Christy Clark government out; today showing so much care and concern about the Highway of Tears Transportation issue, yet two years ago caught triple deleting critically important Highway of Tears emails and documents.

    Sure hope you’re not the reason we lose the Friday Free for All.

      This guy’s been banned a couple of times already, we can only hope it happens again and happens quickly. The same old, same old wears pretty thin after a while.

      This guy? May claim to be a guy but I am certain its a woman. Way to much harping and complaining to be a guy, gotta be a woman.

      Most definitely using Opinion 250 for a personal agenda. Maybe Elaine should charge her for advertising.

      Either way I believe the constant copy and paste campaign is going the opposite direction of what she hopes for and making most realize how bad it would be with an NDP government.

      Does Sophic Sage, People 1st ring a bell!

    Keep up the good work BH. The liberal lovers of BC hate being reminded of the history they plan on voting for.

That elder is Janet Kozak, with a “k”, not Kozar.

Question ,just curious, is this service free and for everyone and anyone who needs a safe ride? Is there a schedule online available ?

    As far as I can tell, the kind of information you are looking for is not available. Maybe I have missed it, but I am pretty good at Google and quite familiar with the various aboriginal organizations, and I can’t find it. There are a variety of press releases and information about the survey and so forth but nothing that actually says what services will be provided, on what schedule, to whom, at what cost.

The focus is on the Highway of Tears other women have disappeared not just first nation women, what about them?? How is this going to affect the Greyhound Bus service?

Just watched Mary Teegee on our local CKPG news, where she stated:

“When you look at the reason to have these community vehicles, really comes from a place where we’re looking at safety of individuals, not just First Nations but all individuals in the north and also access to services, so for me this transportation piece is important because it’s not only a social determined(?) of health, it’s also a human right, a basic human right that everybody has to access services”


So Mary, if this is how you feel, how come you and others in the local First Nations governance haven’t made any effort in the past to buy community vehicles within your communities? If access to services is a “basic human right” as you state, then are you now guilty of denying your communities these “basic human rights” for years and years?

First Nations bands receive a lot of Federal Funding. Chiefs and Councils have routinely been very well paid. Perhaps the pay should have been scaled back a bit so that funds would have been available for each Nation to purchase a community vehicle in order for the Nation to be able to provide these “basic human rights” to their members?

I wonder what will happen when the rest of us start demanding that the Government provide us with funding to help cover the costs of accessing services? After all, these now appear to be basic human rights!

Got a medical appointment? Don’t drive your own vehicle anymore! Instead, call a cab and send the bill to the Government!

What’s next?

    Mary Teegee is from Takla Lake First Nation. Her community has in fact operated a van between Takla Landing and Prince George for many years.

    “Got a medical appointment? Don’t drive your own vehicle anymore!”

    ht tps://nhconnections.ca/

    Cheap too, Prince Rupert to Vancouver costs $80.

      Peeps. $80.00? Shouldn’t it be free? After all, according to Mary Teegee, it’s a basic human right!

      Since Teegee states that accessing services is a basic human right, will we need shuttles and community vehicles in each and every corner of the province?

      So what if Greyhound, Air Canada, WestJet, Central Mountain Air or even CN services an area, they might not fit with everybody’s schedule. No problem, the Government should provide whatever we need, whenever and wherever we need it! After all, basic human rights are basic human rights, right?

      To heck with the costs! To heck with personal responsibility! To heck with everything because we’ve got human rights Peeps, basic human rights!

    I have to agree with HG

Used the service several times and found it to be top notch. Excellent driver too.

    NH Bus is the best service if you’re not flying, I agree Hartly, good bunch of folks and funny drivers.

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