Transportation symposium in Smithers Tuesday

On Nov. 24, the Ministry of Transportation and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) will host a transportation symposium in Smithers.

On Nov. 24, the Ministry of Transportation and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) will host a transportation symposium in Smithers.

According to a press statement from the Ministry, the discussions would be attended by representatives from 23 First Nations communities as well as municipalities along the stretch of highway between Prince Rupert and Prince George. Ministry spokesperson Trish Rorison said an itinerary for the symposium had not been finalized.

“Generally, participants will be discussing the results of a recent survey on transportation sent to First Nations in the region and identifying community-based transportation options and solutions that will address both medical and non-medical travel along the corridor,” she said.

Media will not be allowed into the symposium but Rorison said information from the forum would be reported out.

Brenda Wilson, the Highway of Tears Initiative coordinator for Carrier-Sekani Family Services, last month called for the symposium to include the families of Highway of Tears victims, including herself.

Wilson has since been invited to the symposium, where she said she plans to speak on behalf of those families.

“Just to have a voice there because originally we weren’t invited to the symposium and we just wanted to have a voice for all of the families of missing and murdered women along Highway 16,” she said.

“I think what [the Ministry] are looking at is they are trying to put the onus on each of the communities to find solutions.”