Huu-ay-aht eye better road to Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht push for new circle route connecting Port Alberni to Bamfield to the Cowichan Valley.

The Huu-ay-aht First Nation is promoting a road connecting Port Alberni and Lake Cowichan through Bamfield and Anacla.

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has thrown its support behind the Huu-ay-aht First Nation in its push for a circle route connecting Bamfield and Anacla to Port Alberni and the Cowichan Valley.

Huu-ay-aht representative John Jack said they would be working with the Ditidaht First Nation, whose traditional territory runs from Lake Cowichan to the west coast, encompassing Cowichan Lake and Nitinat Lake.

The route, Jack said, would improve existing roads between Port Alberni, Bamfield, Anacla and Duncan, the closest city to the Ditidaht.

Jack said talks between the Huu-ay-aht and the Ditidaht have taken place.

“My first nation, specifically through Chief Councillor Jeff Cook, has previously met with representatives of the Ditidaht First Nation in regards to an initiative to improve the roads between our communities and the more populated part of the Island,” Jack said.

The Huu-ay-aht First Nation met with the Cowichan Valley Regional District on May 13 to discuss the idea.

Cook told the CVRD that he hoped the road would help the Huu-ay-aht attract business and lure the 85 per cent of Huu-ay-aht citizens who currently live off-reserve back to their treaty lands.

“What we’re trying to focus on is improving the west coast Vancouver Island road,” said Huu-ay-aht executive director James Edwards.

“So the road through Cowichan, through Cowichan Lake, into Nitinat and on into Port Alberni and Bamfield.”

According to Edwards, the Huu-ay-aht are gaining traction at the provincial level.

“We’ve been talking about this road for the better part of 30 years but we think we’re starting to get some traction now,” said Edwards, referring to plans to improve the road out to Bamfield and Anacla.

“We’ve spoken at length with the provincial government and we know while there’s an interest— in fact they’ve been very clear that it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when—we just want to make sure that the when is soon,” Edwards said. The circle route the Huu-ay-aht and the Ditidaht are currently pursuing is an amalgamation of an improved road out to Bamfield and an alternate route out of the Alberni Valley, he added.

Edwards said that the Huu-ay-aht wanted to ensure that any road considered by the provincial government during their $100,000 business case review of an alternate route out of the Alberni Valley included Bamfield and Cowichan.

Lake Cowichan director Bob Day told the Huu-ay-aht delegation that adding the new route to the region’s existing road network “would most certainly benefit not only our communities but yours as well.”

Just Posted

Port Alberni Black Sheep fall to Surrey Beavers in rugby action

Three tries late in the second half cemented the win for Beavers

Addiction should be treated, not criminalized, say health professionals

Port Alberni Shelter Society forum talks opioid crisis

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Drivers’ bad habits on Port Alberni RCMP’s radar

Seatbelt, cellphone violations handed out in distracted driving campaign

City of Port Alberni takes over McLean Mill pond project

Alberni Valley Enhancement Society received grant for work that went sideways

AFN national chief suggests moving Trans Mountain pipeline route

Perry Bellegarde said many Indigenous communities believe in the need to diversify export markets

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Saganash drops F-bomb in Commons over federal approach to Trans Mountain

NDP’s reconciliation critic accused federal government of ‘wilfully’ violating constitutional duties

B.C. cancer patient denied chemo due to condition of homeless shelter

Victoria housing and health advocates say this isn’t an isolated case

VIDEO: B.C. dairy farmer says Trump doesn’t understand the industry

‘They need supply management just as bad as we need to keep it’: sixth generation farmer Devan Toop

VIDEO: Death threat, racist comments spewed over empty seat on B.C. bus

Transit Police are investigating the incident, shared online by fellow passengers on Vancouver bus

Sister of plane crash victim that went missing in B.C. starting support network

Tammy Neron wants to help families who are searching for missing people

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

Most Read