NDP leader promises four lane Trans-Canada from Kamloops to Alberta

Horgan talks of need for upgrades to the national highway

Provincial NDP leader John Horgan hit on an issue of regional importance to the East Kootenay during his address at the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) meeting, when he talked about the need for upgrades on the Trans-Canada Highway.

During his speech, Horgan said the highway was a critical transportation corridor linking the province, and promised that if the NDP were to be elected in 2017, upgrading the highway so that it is four lanes all the wayf rom Kamloops to the Alberta boarder would be one of the party’s biggest priorities.

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald added further comment, slamming the B.C. Liberals efforts on twinning the highway, saying much of the road is unsafe and is full of high-risk areas.

“People along the highway are used to B.C. Liberal promises that turn out to be empty after an election. We have seen government signs put up along our highway that promise four-laning before the 2009 election, and again before the 2013 election. And then we’ve seen government budgets project a pace that means it will take 60years to complete the project,” said Macdonald. “This clearly is not good enough. Those of us that travel theTrans-Canada regularly recognize how unsafe and undependable this highway is. We know how much truck traffic travels through this route.”

He added that twinning the highway from Kamloops to the Alberta border would provide employment and economic benefit across the region.

“Even though the Trans-Canada is a national highway, the actual responsibility for the highway is provincial,outside of the national parks,” Macdonald told The Echo, adding that although there are a fair number of national parks between Kamloops and the Alberta border Yoho, Glacier, and Mount Revelstoke that still leaves hundreds of kilometres worth of highway falling under provincial responsibility.

“It is a significant commitment by John Horgan. I’ve always felt this is incredibly important, going back to when Iwas mayor in Golden,” he said. “We’ve seen some improvement work recently, but at the current pace it’s goingto take 60, if not 70 years, to finish. It has to be more of priority. It is the national highway.”

Macdonald added that although the Trans-Canada doesn’t come to the Columbia Valley, it still brings a lot of people here.

“A lot of traffic to Invermere comes down Highway 93, through Kootenay National Park, but the Trans-Canada does take a tremendous amount of goods into and out of the valley, and people coming into the valley from the coast travel on the Trans-Canada,” he said.

Macdonald called the road “unnecessarily unsafe” and pointed out that many accidents on the Trans-Canada lead to serious injuries and even deaths.

“A national highway must be divided and must be four lanes,” he said. “That’s what you have when you cross into Alberta and it continues like that right across the Prairies to Ontario. That’s what we need here.”

For an overview of the B.C. Liberal government’s Kamloops to Alberta four-laning program, visithttp://engage.gov.bc.ca/bchwy1/.

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read