The First Nations Health Authority and B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are partnering to host a transportation symposium that will hear from First Nations communities and municipalities along the Prince Rupert to Prince George Highway 16 corridor. The discussions will focus on finding transportation options to address both medical and non-medical travel and support healthy communities.
“This symposium will build on the work we’ve done to date as we continue to engage First Nations to find practical, affordable and sustainable solutions for the communities along the Highway 16 corridor,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. “I’m confident that, through our partnership with the First Nations Health Authority, and the information and ideas gathered at the symposium, we will be able to develop a vision for a community-based transportation model that is supported by First Nations and municipal communities along the Highway 16 corridor.”
Highway 16 is a main transportation artery in Northern B.C. stretching from Jasper in the east to Prince Rupert in the west. The Prince George to Prince Rupert corridor is home to 23 First Nations who are invited to help shape new transportation solutions. Hearing from First Nations along the Highway 16 corridor is the first step to implementing solutions.
The symposium will take place in Smithers on Nov. 24, 2015, and include representatives from the 23 First Nations communities along the Highway 16 corridor, the provincial government, and municipal government organizations.
“Safe and affordable medical transportation for First Nations along the Highway 16 corridor is our goal” said First Nations Health Authority chief operating officer Richard Jock. “The FNHA assumed responsibility for medical transportation in 2013 and we look forward to working with First Nations, government and other partners to create new models which address transportation along the Highway 16 corridor in a more fundamental way.”
Today, the ministry and First Nations Health Authority launched a broad survey of current transportations issues and challenges along the Highway 16 corridor. Due to the significant distance between communities along Highway 16, a “one size fits all” approach won't address these challenges. The survey results and themes will provide the foundation for discussion at the symposium.
Discussions will also take into account previous community engagement and reports including the 2006 Highway 16 Transportation Symposium Report and the 2012 Missing Women Commission of Inquiry recommendations.
The survey for First Nations communities along the Highway 16 corridor can be found online through this link: http://bit.ly/fnhatransportationsurvey.