Premier John Horgan plans to discuss the state of a treacherous logging road, the site of a crash that killed two UVic students, next week.
Horgan says he will meet with members of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations on Tuesday.
Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. was one of the first to come across the crash site on Friday, where John Geerdes and Emma Machado, both 18, were killed when the bus rolled over. The bus was heading to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.
Several others were injured in the crash, which is the latest of many to have happened on the road.
Dennis says his nation has long been seeking upgrades to the privately-owned gravel road that is the only vehicle access between Port Alberni and Huu-ay-aht communities in Bamfield.The road, called Bamfield Main, is an 85-kilometre road that connects Bamfield and Anacla to Port Alberni. The Huu-ay-aht First Nations said there are many issues including potholes, industrial truck traffic, poor driving conditions, steep embankments, slipper conditions in the winter and dry summers that cause dust and limited visibility.
“It is unfortunate that it took a tragedy like we witnessed last Friday to bring about action, but we are pleased that yesterday Premier John Horgan vowed to upgrade the logging road that connects our community to Port Alberni,” Dennis said in a statement.
A petition has also been created on change.org, asking the provincial and federal government to improve the quality of the road to Bamfield.
B.C.’s Forest Safety Ombudsman called on the province to upgrade the logging road 11 years ago.
With files from Canadian Press