Tuesday, March 11, 2014

MLA Rice seeks progress on Oppal Commission recommendations

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice continued her reproach of the provincial government on the theme of the Oppal Commission recommendations. Returning this week to her questions and concerns regarding the need for access to transportation across Northwest British Columbia.

Her comments from the Monday morning session, follow on her inquiries of Justice Minister Suzanne Anton last week, as the North Coast MLA sought to gain a commitment from the Provincial Government, towards a shuttle bus service between the isolated communities along Highway 16.

In December 2012 Commissioner Oppal's recommendations included to develop and implement an enhanced public transit system to provide a safer travel option connecting northern communities, particularly along Highway 16. Oppal called on the provincial government to immediately commit to such a system. 

The government will boast that they are now enacting missing-persons legislation, as recommended by Commissioner Oppal. However, they have done next to nothing to bring in the other recommendations called for by Commissioner Oppal in 2012.

The topic of the shuttle bus has become one of Ms. Rice's leading issues since her arrival in Victoria last spring and one which she makes frequent mention of with her time in the Legislature.

Through the course of her review of the transportation issue Monday morning, Ms. Rice, calling on personal experience along the highway, also expressed concern over the sporadic nature of cellular phone service across the highway corridor, something which she would like to see addressed as well.

I just think that this is such a simple and easy thing, an easy tool that we can use to make it safer for women and their children in the north. Alternatively, I think the next best thing would be to have cell service — continuous cell service — between Prince Rupert and Prince George...

The province has yet to make a commitment towards any shuttle bus service, advising last week that they are in contact with local communities across the region to seek an answer to the transportation issue.

You can review her full contribution to the discussion at the Legislature on Monday from the Legislature record her comments begin just past the 1050 marker on the right hand side.

You can also watch her comments to the Legislature from the House Video Archive for Monday morning, Ms. Rice's discussion points start at the 51 mark on the video counter (10:51 AM)

You can review more of our items of note on Provincial politics from our Legislature Archive page.

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