EDITORIAL: Cherryville deserves to be consulted

B.C. Hydro has created unacceptable challenges after closing the Sugar Lake lower road

It’s amazing how government agencies make decisions that impact communities without consulting with communities.

Case in point was B.C. Hydro’s closure of the lower portion of Sugar Lake Road three years ago. It may seem like a minor issue given that there is also an upper-level portion of the road motorists can use, but that simple closure has created significant challenges for residents.

Primarily, the upper road has residents and tourists sharing a narrow route with large logging trucks. Close calls have occurred and it’s only a matter of time before there’s a serious accidents.

On top of this, closure of the lower road means easy access to some spectacular beaches along Sugar Lake are difficult to reach. That is an unacceptable situation for residents wanting to enjoy the environment that surrounds them, as well as the tourists the government regularly trumpets as being so important to the province’s economy.

Had B.C. Hydro done some extensive consultation with residents three years ago, the utility would have realized the negative impact closing the lower road would have.

However, this isn’t the first time a government agency has given Cherryville the short end of the stick.

Everyone remembers the lack of consultation by B.C. Timber Sales over the sale of cutblocks on Cherry Ridge, and the concerns that logging will potentially lead to landslides still exist in the community.

It is time for government departments to stop acting arbitrarily and to actually sit down with the public it serves.