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Editorial: Sproat Lake residents need a voice

It's time for the ACRD to speak up for the more than 800 residents who live at the lake.

There’s nothing like a big weather event to point out shortcomings of roadways or the way they are maintained.

At least one Sproat Lake resident has had enough. Gail Horvath says road maintenance through the snow and ice in December and early January have underlined how dangerous the road situation has become in the community west of the City of Port Alberni.

There are four roads that lake residents use every day, and Horvath has done the math: with people commuting into work, local traffic accounts for approximately 7,000 trips per day on those roads. Yet, when it came to clearing snow, provincial contractors Emcon Services were slow to respond.

Changing the status of some of these roads will help, Horvath says, and she has approached the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District for support.

The ACRD, for its part, says road maintenance is out of its bailiwick and residents will have to approach the provincial government. Except residents have already gone that route, and it appears their pleas have either not been listened to, or have been outright ignored.

It is time for the ACRD to speak up for these residents. While the regional district may not have the power to change provincial road policy, its board does have a voice; and collectively, it is much louder than that of the more than 800 residents who live at the lake.