Friday, November 6, 2015

MLA Rice questions Liberals lack of funding for Missing women and transportation concerns

On Thursday in the Legislature
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice
returned to the need for public
transportation options for Highway 16
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice returned to her theme of reproach towards the Liberal Government when it comes to their lack of response to the need for public transportation between communities along Highway 16.

During Thursday's Question Period at the Legislature, Ms. Rice continued to seek out further explanation from Transportation Minister Todd Stone as to why recommendations related to the provision of public transportation options from the Oppal Commission into Missing Women have not been acted upon since the report was delivered.

As part of her line of questions directed to the Minister, the MLA observed that the Liberal Government has in the past provided some five million dollars in funding for commercial wineries, but  when it comes to saving lives of aboriginal women and girls the province pleads poverty, noting for the Minister that instead of real action on the issue, the Liberal government was only offering more meetings on the topic.

In a rebuttal of those points, Mr. Stone outlined a list of measures that the province has put in place to this point in the region, a 1.5 million dollar investment in public transit in communities along the Highway 16 corridor, as well as pointing out the availability of the Northern Heath bus service serving the area as well.

He also outlined for the Legislature such initiatives as expanded cel service across the corridor and an increase in the availability of driver training for First Nations residents.

Ms. Rice, making note of an upcoming symposium in Smithers on Highway 16 issues dismissed the government's belief that more discussions means hard work is taking place. Following up on Minister Stone's list by reminding him that communities across the region have asked for improved public transportation since the Oppal report. Observing that it's affordable, practical and will save lives and asking the Minister why it has not yet been done.

In response Mr. Stone took issue with the MLA's dismissal of the symposium of this month, noting for the North Coast MLA that representatives of the 23 First Nations in the region will be there to look for tangible, practical solutions to the issues. Suggesting that instead of calling into question the worthiness of the symposium, she should be wishing the participants success as they look to identify solutions to make the corridor safer.

You can review the discussion from the Legislature Archive for Thursday morning's Question period, it starts at the 10:40 point of the record.

The video of the exchange between the two can be viewed below.

For more items related to developments in the Legislature see our archive page here.

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