Northern problems focus of transportation conference

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A conference is bringing together interested parties from across B.C’s north to talk about the difficulties associated with northern transportation.

The two-day conference, taking place in Prince George, is focused around air, rail, ferry and road transportation in the north, says Fort St. John Mayor Bruce Lantz.

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Lantz says he had chosen to organize the conference since a few years ago he heard Premier Gordon Campbell talk about how the north would be driving the provincial economy. However, Lantz says he realized that there are several challenges surrounding accessible transportation in the north. He says he feels the challenges impede business and is extremely costly.

The conference includes mayors, regional district chairs and other stake holders from across northern B.C. who are discussing the problems surrounding different modes of transportation in the north. As well, Lantz says the group is trying to come up with practical solutions to the various transportation dilemmas.

Lantz says one of his main concerns centres around transportation on the Alaska Highway. He says he would like to have at least part of the highway, between Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, expanded from two lanes to four throughout. He also says he would like to examine ways to make air travel more efficient. Instead of having most flights go through Vancouver before someone can fly to another northern city, he says he would like to have East-West connections.

The ideas from this conference will be brought forward at the North Central Local Government Association.

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