CRD votes to oppose Malahat alternative through watershed
Published Thursday, March 14, 2019 4:04PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 14, 2019 6:52PM PDT
The Capital Regional District Board of Directors has voted to voice opposition to an alternative route to the Malahat going through neighbouring watershed or parklands.
CRD Director and Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday says he doesn’t personally favour an alternative road to the Malahat – which would be used when the highway is shut down due to a crash.
Loveday says many voters he’s heard from agree that the environment can’t be compromised to build a new road.
“I heard from many residents from across the region who showed their support for maintaining and protecting the Sooke Hills wilderness. as well as for our watershed and water supply," he said.
But politicians from Langford say some kind of alternative, even if it's the temporary use of an existing logging road, is important. And the need for it is felt acutely on the West Shore.
Langford Coun. and CRD Director Denise Blackwell says she doesn’t think an alternative route should be built through the parkland in the Sooke Hills, but she thinks some kind of emergency route is needed.
Blackwell said politicians living in Victoria’s core don’t appreciate how important another option is.
“They never experience having to drive around for four hours, waiting to get into their house or to see their doctor or to their hospital," she said. "That’s not something in Victoria they would ever have to experience. So they don’t see it the same way we do."