Liberals must stop stalling on Highway of Tears shuttle service

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PRINCE RUPERT — The Liberal government needs to make good on their commitment to bring shuttle service to the Highway of Tears, say New Democrats.

“In 2006 the Highway of Tears symposium, which was convened by northern communities, First Nations and service organizations, recommended that shuttle service be brought in to serve communities along the Highway of Tears. Six years later the Commissioner for the Missing Women’s Inquiry said the shuttle should get up and running immediately,” said Jennifer Rice, the New Democrat MLA for North Coast.

“After the Commissioner made that recommendation the Liberal government committed to working with Northwest communities to make the shuttle a reality. Yet nearly a year later, the Liberals have yet to take action.”

Rice, who raised the issue in question period on Thursday, noted that in addition to stalling on bringing shuttle service to Northwest communities, the Liberal government actually allowed Greyhound to cut bus service between Prince Rupert and Prince George.

“We’re going backwards after the Liberal government promised to move us forward,” said Doug Donaldson, New Democrat MLA for Stikine. “Many villages in the northwest have no public transportation options whatsoever. It’s not enough to tell young women ‘don’t hitchhike’ when for many there is simply no other option if they want to leave their communities.”

The Missing Women’s Inquiry report was harsh in its assessment of the government’s failure to take action on known solutions, saying, “the government has conducted surveys and consultations on root causes of hitchhiking, such as poverty and lack of transportation infrastructure, but never does anything to implement programs.”

The B.C. Liberal government campaigned on dubious promises of eliminating debt, balancing the budget, and retaining critical services. B.C.’s New Democrats will hold the government to account for these promises, and fight to protect the services that British Columbians depend on.