Records contradict B.C. Liberal spin on the Highway of Tears

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vulnerable_womanVICTORIA— It took a whistleblower and a damning report from the Information and Privacy Commissioner, but the B.C. Liberals have finally released some notes requested almost a year ago regarding meetings held along the Highway of Tears.

“For the last year the B.C. Liberals have been excusing their failure to bring in an enhanced public transportation system along Highway 16 by saying that people don’t want it and don’t think it’s practical,” said New Democrat Women’s spokesperson Maurine Karagianis.

The notes contradict the spin given by the Minister of Transportation, who told the public that an enhanced public transportation system “was not identified as a practical solution by the people who live up there.”

“What these newly released notes show is that far from saying it was a bad idea, people were brainstorming about what public transportation connecting communities would look like and how to best make it work,” said Karagianis.

Suggestions offered in the notes include asking the government to “create an interconnected network through which passengers might travel from Prince Rupert to Smithers…then connect with another bus” and “a feeder system where buses would connect with the mainline.”

“Three years ago the Missing Women’s Commission urged the B.C. Liberals to immediately bring in an enhanced public transportation system along the Highway of Tears,” said North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice.

“After three years the only thing the B.C. Liberals have done is put up a website that shows just how few services there are. This is not what the Missing Women’s Commission recommended,” said Rice. “Contrary to Minister Stone’s deception, it’s not what communities have asked for and it’s just not good enough.”

VIDEOS: Karagianis and Rice demanded answers from Transportation Minister Todd Stone in the legislature Tuesday:

Karagianis’ questions to Minister Stone:

Rice’s questions to Minister Stone: