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Coun. Doug Lamalice says the road off of Highway 5 to K’atl’odeeche First Nation is poorly maintained, and people should start sending the territorial government the bills for fixing their damaged vehicles. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC) The road off of Highway 5 to K’atl’odeeche First Nation is littered with signs warning drivers of loose gravel and rough surfaces — and according to residents, it’s been that way for a long time and they want change.

Coun. Doug Lamalice said the poor state of the highway is so bad that he’s had to do about $2,000 worth of repairs on his vehicle annually for the past four years. This includes worn ball joints, re-alignments and repairs to tires.

"It’s getting to the point where I’m suggesting to the chief and council that we take over the road," said Lamalice.

He’s also suggesting to people that they start sending the territorial government the bills for fixing their damaged vehicles.

"Because they haven’t addressed the road, some of the bills and invoices from what we’re paying should be passed on … to prove a point."

Lamalice said he’s been advocating to get the highway repaired for about three years. The road has long stretches of gravel, mixed in with sections of paved road. The speed is set at 60 km/h in some areas and 40 km/h in others. The road is in desperate need of chip sealing — a protective coating treatment to extend the road’s life — which the community was promised two years ago, said Lamalice. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC) Lamalice said the road is in desperate need of chip sealing — a protective coating treatment to extend the road’s life — which he said the community was promised two years ago.

"Is it going to take a bad accident?" said Lamalice, adding it’s not just bad for vehicles, but it’s hurting the community’s economy.

Elaine Rene Tambour, manager of the K’atl’odeeche daycare, said they have lost clients because of the condition of the road.

"We’ve had a lot of our parents who have complained about the road. We’ve had a lot of parents who have quit using our service because of the road," said Rene Tambour.

Right now, there are about 20 kids in the program.

"I’m sure if the road was better we’d be at capacity [of 30 kids]," said Rene Tambour.

She said the daycare fills up in the winter when the ice road opens and the parents don’t have use the highway.

"When it was newly chip sealed… we had a lot more kids. We had people coming to town all the time," said Rene Tambour. There was no conclusive answer from the Minister of Infrastructure Wally Schumann as to when and if the road would be repaired. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC) "And every year we think they’re going to replace the gravel with chip seal again, and they never do so the gravel parts are getting longer and longer and longer." Minister of Infrastructure ‘deflecting’ answers: MLA

MLA Michael Nadli brought up the issue of the road at the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

"I’m very optimistic, but I’d like to see at least some action play out maybe by this spring… When will the department repair the access road onto the reserve?"

Minister of Infrastructure Wally Schumann told Nadli that he would be "glad to answer these questions" at the committee meeting."[These are] the typical replies and answers that I’ve received from the minister," said Nadli."He’s basically deflecting any kind of answers and hope that he can give to people at the K’atl’odeeche reserve."There was no conclusive answer to when and if the road would be repaired.For now, people will continue to use the access […]

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