EDITORIAL: Stickle issue rises again

Local environmentalists see an opportunity and you can't blame them for taking it.

Local environmentalists see an opportunity and you can’t blame them for taking it.

With the shift in B.C. from Liberal to NDP, the Sustainable Environment Network Society hopes a more sympathetic administration will overturn plans to extend Stickle Road through BX Creek Delta Park.

“Send a strong message that we want to keep the wetland as is,” said Keli Westgate, SENS representative.

Now unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’re aware of the whole Stickle Road saga. Many residents and businesses wanted a traffic signal to improve safety at the Highway 97 intersection, but instead, the Liberal-controlled Ministry of Transportation kept coming back with other options. Ultimately, it decided to extend Stickle Road through the park to 20th Street.

One of the biggest boosters of the ministry design was Liberal MLA Eric Foster, who still stands behind the road link.

“The professionals have said the best and safest plan is the one on the table,” he said.

The challenge for Foster, though, is that he is now a backbench MLA and his influence in Victoria has been diluted. Given the criticism the Liberals took over Stickle Road during the election campaign, the NDP may try to make some long-term political points by shelving the $9.5 million extension altogether.

SENS is holding a rally Saturday and even though Foster may not agree with the concerns being raised, we trust he will do his job as the area’s elected representative and forward them on to the government.

Vernon Morning Star