Fire chief seeking secondary emergency route to Whalebone

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, June 16 2015

Gabriola Fire Chief Rick Jackson is still hoping to have a secondary roadway for emergency access in to the Whalebone area and expressed as much to roadways officials at a recent meeting on Gabriola.

Jackson was speaking to Johnathan Tillie with the Transportation Ministry and Rob Heaslip, area manager with EMCON.

The path for the emergency roadway would connect from Pequod Crescent to Wild Cherry Terrace along an existing Ministry right-of-way.

Fifteen years ago, according to Jackson, the road was driveable with a 4x4 vehicle, but it has since become overgrown.

“We really do need to think about this again,” he said, explaining there had been discussions two years ago involving the federal government and Snuneymuxw First Nation and an agreement in principle was put in place.

“Can we still look at that?” he added.

Tillie said the provincial ministry looks at road construction when development occurs, but suggested if the federal government were to get involved, that might mean progress could be made.

Jackson said he didn’t know if the federal government was going to provide money.

“Snuneymuxw gave their permission.”

Jackson said he would like to have a conversation with Tillie and other Ministry officials to get the access opened up.

He has previously expressed concerns about the fact there is only one roadway (Barrett) which can be used by residents as well as emergency responders to get to the Strand and Whalebone areas.

Tillie said to start with, he would want to have a longer conversation with Jackson, as well as with whomever Jackson was talking to in the federal government.