To the Editor,
For almost 50 years, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations and the citizens of Bamfield have been asking for a paved road.
On average, 340 vehicles a day dare to travel this hazardous and deplorable logging road. Despite its condition, it is an important route that serves not only the communities of Bamfield and the First Nations but is also home to the Canadian Coast Guard and the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, which brings in scientists from five Canadian universities.
Even more important to the global community is that Bamfield is at the head of the world-famous West Coast Trail. I imagine that visitors to the area are shocked by the road conditions. This is not the case at the other end of the trail in Port Renfrew, from where you can travel all the way to Victoria or Lake Cowichan on nicely paved roads.
One excuse often bantered about is that Bamfield Road is primarily a logging road and therefore beyond provincial jurisdiction. But this is a rather lame argument as almost all roads in B.C. were once logging roads.
Another excuse is cost. But the total cost for paving Bamfield Road is now estimated at $30 million, which is relatively cheap compared to the $92 million recently paid out to build one intersection at MacKenzie Road in Victoria.
How long will our provincial and federal governments go on ignoring the needs of Port Alberni and our West Coast communities? Will it be another 50 years?