During the Hwy. 16 action plan meeting in Burns Lake last week, Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said that although there has been a lot of discussion on how the plan will affect local economies, that’s not how the plan started.
“We can talk about the economics, but I try to remember what started this conversation in the first place,” he said.
During the Highway of Tears walk earlier this year, Bachrach said he spoke with some of Ramona Wilson’s family members.
Wilson was 16 years old when she was last seen in Smithers in 1994.
“One of the things I heard during the walk was this real desire from her family of seeing government taking that issue [of safety] more seriously,” he said. “They [the family] felt that for years government had been silent.”
“This is an opportunity to make the highway safer, and moving beyond having the highway known as the Highway of Tears,” he continued.
“I think all of us want to see a day when that is no longer the case, and I firmly believe that the only way to get there is by making tangible progress and improving safety.”