Coralee Oakes is making a desperate plea to provincial officials to address the state of roads in the Cariboo.
The Cariboo North MLA is set to deliver a call to action to fix a road system she said “was on the verge of collapsing.”
“How many more roads need to collapse, many destroyed forever; others with detour roads that are a glorified goat trail that more often than not require 4×4, before this government and this Premier understand that the Provincial transportation network is currently in jeopardy,” Oakes said in a speech she has prepared for the Legislature.
Over a dozen roads in her riding are listed as having major problems on DriveBC, including Kersley Dale Landing Road, Quesnel Hydraulic Road and Horsefly Road.
“Every hour as the rain comes down as we speak I live in fear of what the consequences will be,” she said. “I know we have yellow school buses with our school children on these roads and I pray that nothing will happen.”
Oakes guessed more than 200 roads were impacted in the Cariboo in 2020. Despite those statistics, there is no disaster funding in the budget for the region’s roads. Evacuation alerts have been common as landslides threaten homes across the region.
“Many of these people have raised their families in these homes, celebrated all of the important milestones of their lives, many are seniors and now they are not getting covered by insurance because the evacuation is a landslide,” Oakes said. “[Evacuees received] no disaster financial assistance because the Provincial government has not made the agreement with nor have the thought of negotiating with the Federal government on how landslides will be compensated as unlike wildfires and floods landslides are not tied to a weather event.”
Oakes is calling on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to provide reports on affected roads in the Cariboo, and take action to fix them, calling their rhetoric “insulting.”
“To the Premier and his cabinet, come ride one of our yellow school buses with our students for several hours each way on these detour roads,” she said. “On this journey really contemplate if you still feel the policies, budget and action you are taking a really delivering meaningful results for people.”
Oakes thanked her constituents for sharing their frustrations, adding speaking the list of affected roads would be too time consuming to recite.