Food for Thought

imageThird Crossing Society‘s mission is to promote a new east-west transportation corridor in and out of Powell River via a road between Highway 101 and 99 that goes around the head of Jervis Inlet.

Following a full house Town Hall meeting in November, government interest in the Third Crossing Society’s proposal has gained steam with the announcement that Transportation Minister Todd Stone would hire a consultant to look into the costs and benefits of building a highway – and/or bridges – between the Sunshine Coast and Metro Vancouver.

Third Crossing Society is currently seeking support via a survey found at  scfixedlink.polldaddy.com the survey ends Sunday, January 10th. The survey reads:

As you are no doubt aware, the British Columbia Ministry of Transport has announced plans to fund a feasibility study to compare a fixed link options to the current ferry system. This will look closely into the best route(s) for a fixed link to the upper and lower Sunshine Coast, BC. As supporters of this idea, we have put together a survey in order to gauge interest from Sunshine Coast residents. In order to confirm your place of residence, your name and location will be required (but WILL NOT be published). Only completed survey results will be counted. If you do not add your name and location, it is an incomplete result and WILL NOT BE COUNTED.

Third Crossing Society is getting some help from local resident Chris McMillan who has put together a petition imploring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to construct a road from Powell River to Squamish. His petition  reads:

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Now that the Liberal red tide has swept across our nation and we have elected Justin Trudeau, let’s hope that just a few of the billions of dollars he has promised to Canadians in infrastructure spending, land right here in beautiful British Columbia. One potential project worth looking at would be a road linking the Sunshine Coast to Squamish.

The cost of servicing these land-locked communities increases each and every year due to fuel, wage and maintenance costs of an aging fleet of ferries. The only solution implemented so far has been to cut those very services, leaving thousands of people stranded in the process. We could embark on a new road to economic success through tourism. To do so will take some redistribution of tax dollars we currently spend on an antiquated ferry system and some forward thinking.

How will tourism increase with such a project? The answer is simple. Easier access at an affordable cost combined with the natural beauty of the area.

Savary Island, for instance. Known as the “Hawaii of the North” and for its white sand beaches and stunning ocean and mountain views. The island is surrounded by warm water, making it an excellent location for paddle boarding, kayaking, scuba diving and swimming of course. Savary Island also has network of scenic hiking and biking trails which wind through the lush forest.

A short boat ride away is the quaint seaside village of Lund which offers access to Desolation Sound and the Copeland Islands where there are eleven designated campsites located throughout the Marine Provincial Park. The 180 kilometre Sunshine Coast Trail begins at nearby Sarah Point and stretches all the way to Saltery Bay. This epic backcountry trail, similar to the popular West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, now boasts 13 huts and is the longest hut-to-hut hiking experience in Canada. The trail winds through a variety of landscapes from breathtaking coastal shorelines, scenic mountaintops and old growth forests. The best part is…It’s free!

Come tackle the sheer rock faces in the Eldred Valley and Stillwater Bluffs. These awe-inspiring bluffs contain some of the most incredible granite climbing walls in the world and have been compared to Yosemite. There is some excellent bouldering nearby as well.

There are plenty of thrilling mountain bike trails throughout the communities of the Sunshine Coast as participants of the BC Bike Race can attest. There is also a brand new skate and bike park.

The proposed road would link with Highway 99 in Squamish and would bring a vast amount of people through town and would definitely stimulate both commerce and tourism in the area. Upgrading the existing logging roads would create many well paying jobs just as the project to upgrade the Sea to Sky prior to the Olympics in 2010. Economically, the beauty of this project is that many of its components are already in place, from Highway 99 to forest service roads.

Constructing this new highway would bring access to huge amounts of waterfront property in a friendly community that is packed with amenities and is great for raising a family. Powell River, deemed the “Least Polluted City in the World” by the Guiness Book of World Records, has untapped, affordable potential where you can purchase a million dollar home for $400000.

Infrastructure spending is now a reality in Canada and investing in projects such as this one is important for sustained economic prosperity. The decisions we make today to invest in our province will affect what we can access, where we can travel, and shape the future of BC.

I say…Let’s lobby for our share of those federal infrastructure dollars and build a road with a toll on it so that we can increase tourism and grow our local economy. We will be paying for them either way.

This petition currently has 746 supporters.

 

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One Response to Food for Thought

  1. Randy Bennett says:

    I fully support this project, I feel it long overdue and should be completed, we have so much to offer in Powell River and the rest of the Sunshine Coast, and I for one would love to have the option of growth and jobs to keep our younger families here. We pay taxes like the rest of the province,yet we are almost held captive by B.C Ferries, due to high costs to travel, and often short changed by the Federal Government on the B.C coast and often B.C in general.

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