The NDP are calling on the provincial government to create a shuttle service along Highway 16 to make it safer for people travelling in northern B.C.
During question period in the legislature Thursday, NDP MLA Jennifer Rice cited the 2006 Highway of Tears Symposium and last year's Missing Women Inquiry report, both of which called for safer transportation options along a 700-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert.
Rice pointed to service cuts by Greyhound this year, resulting in less service along the highway made infamous for the high number of women who have gone missing or been found murdered along its route.
In January, the Passenger Transportation Board approved changes that would see the minimum number of weekly Greyhound trips from Prince George to Prince Rupert reduced from 22 to 14. The bus company cited business reasons for requesting the reduced schedule.
"Seven years have passed since the recommendation was first made, and we've gone backwards, not forwards," Rice asked. "When will the communities along Highway 16 get this shuttle?"
Justice Minister Suzanne Anton replied that work is ongoing to ensure the highway is safe.
"The Transportation Ministry is working to identify considerations and solutions to enhance safety for travellers along Highway 16 because there are many women missing on that highway and unaccounted for," Anton said. "That's a terrible, terrible situation."
According to the RCMP's Project E-Pana, since 1969 there have been 18 cases of women who have gone missing or have been murdered within a mile of Highways 16, 97 and 5.