First Nations walked away from their meeting with Premier John Horgan feeling optimistic
following a productive discussion about the Bamfield Main logging road.
disappointed that Horgan’s government is not taking immediate action to upgrade
the road, Huu-ay-aht was pleased the premier is committing to first steps in
making incremental improvements. The premier also shared with Huu-ay-aht that
the ministry has been working for approximately a month on an engineering
report on the road. Horgan committed to meeting with the Nation in October to
review this study.
have been diligent for many years trying to get action on this, with upgrades
to the road as our top priority as a nation,” explains Chief Councillor Robert
J. Dennis Sr, following a meeting with the Premier and Minister of
Transportation and Infrastructure today. “We are saddened that it took a
tragedy to highlight the need to chipseal the road. We want the Premier to
understand that we are not going to rest until our vital link is safe for all
who travel the road.”
Dennis was pleased to hear the ministry was already working on the report prior
to the death of two young UVic students on September 13, 2019. He also looks
forward to taking Horgan down the road in November, as the premier committed to
making the trip.
the recent deaths highlight why this is so important to our Nation, this is
something Huu-ay-aht has been dealing with for decades. Since the Bamfield road
opened in the 1970s, Huu-ay-aht has lost eight citizens and witnessed countless
accidents along this dangerous 78-kilometre logging road. We honour our
hereditary chiefs and the memory of our lost citizens by continuing to press
this important issue.
lives were forever changed when our Tayii Ḥaw̓ił Art Peters, my grandfather,
was killed on that road,” says Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin Derek Peters. “Our sacred
principles of ʔiisaak (Utmost Respect), ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care of….), and Hišuk
ma c̕awak (Everything is One) guide us as we do business, and the discussion today
honours these principles.”
feel optimistic moving forward,” explains Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions. “We
support and appreciate the dedication Huu-ay-aht has made as they continue to push
this issue forward. As a city, we are making this our transportation priority.”
Regional District director Bob Beckett said the Bamfield community appreciates
the efforts Huu-ay-aht as continues to work on this important issue.
am a little frustrated because I was hoping for a better outcome, but I remain
optimistic because the Premier is committed to working together with everyone
involved to come up with a solution,” Beckett says.
raised questions about the ownership of the road, but Chief Dennis firmly
believes the ownership of the road is not going to be an issue, and he is
looking forward to working with the Province to chipseal the Bamfield road. He appreciates
that Horgan is the first premier willing to sit down with Huu-ay-aht and says
it is time to work together to get this done.