Chickens before a road…chickens?

Port Alberni's civic priorities are for the birds when it considers a chickens and bees bylaw before a road.

To the editor,

Don’t get me wrong, I love chickens and bees…  But where have our priorities gone?

Our leaders demand surveys be done on chickens in my backyard, but when it comes to a $100 million highway proposal to Highway 19 through Horne Lake and around the Timberlodge Hotel to Ship Creek Road no one thinks it’s worth asking residents their opinion first?

Dare I even mention the word “Referendum”? Don’t worry, the port authority decided instead to urge the Ministry of Transportation to hurry along planning for their new highway connector… consider yourselves consulted.

When is the public going to have a say?  When are local officials going to show what other options there are to divert truck traffic (like say, rail for one third the cost), and the comparisons of all of it impacting on our watersheds, recreational areas, business growth, and carbon footprint?

Should this highway be built or maybe the road to Bamfield and Cowichan is more important? Or maybe the one out Beaver Creek to the Comox Valley?

And what can be built fastest to get Raven Coal Project trucks out of the city if the mine goes in in 2014, this highway or the rail line?

It seems the port authority would rather just keep all that behind closed doors and leave residents to worry about chickens and bees.

Chris Alemany.

Port Alberni