Opposition New Democrats accuse the Liberal government of failing to listen to northern BC residents and downplaying their concerns about transportation along the so-called ‘Highway of Tears’ between Prince George and Prince Rupert.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone has said public consultations along Highway 16 determined it’s not practical to improve transportation on the corridor — but the NDP disputes that, claiming documents newly released under a freedom of information request reveal area residents are deeply concerned about transportation services and are anxious to see Highway 16 improvements.
As reported earlier, at least 18 women and girls, many of them aboriginal, have been murdered or disappeared along highways 16, 5 and 97 — since 1969.
Again we note one of the victims was Tribal Chief Terry Teegee’s cousin Ramona Wilson who died over 20 years ago, and he’s skeptical about the time line given a former privacy commissioner, to create a government response plan after it was found government staff deleted sensitive e-mails relating to the investigation.
Chief Teegee understands victims’ families want answers now, but is also worried releasing a report by December 15th just ten days before Christmas could see it get lost in the holiday chaos.
He remains optimistic David Loukidelis will deliver a thorough report and appropriate action plan recommendations into the “delete-gate” scandal, but concedes it’s frustrating the investigation has come to this.
Mr. Loukidelis was assigned the challenge of preparing the government response after whistleblower Tim Duncan said his Transportation Ministry supervisor deleted potentially sensitive e-mails about the Highway of Tears investigation.