The municipality is looking to make the East Clearwater highway the primary transportation priority in the RMWB.
During a special meeting on Monday, council passed a motion 7-3, that will see a letter drafted to the Federal and provincial governments outlining the need for the route.
Mayor Don Scott tells Mix News it would give emergency response teams three choices to move people from harm in case of an emergency.
“It’s also going to provide us with a firebreak,” Scott said. There were some great arguments made tonight on all those points so, I would encourage anyone who’s interested to go online and check out the debate tonight. It was really vigorous.”
Councillor Verna Murphy attempted to defer the motion to the fall, with councillors Sheila LaLonde and Claris Voyageur also opposing the motion.
Murphy cited the end to the Spring session as her reasoning for the deferral – noting there’s not much that can be done until the Legislative Assembly resumes in the fall.
Scott feels while those concerns are warranted, there’s been far too many delays on this project, and it’s good to see progress finally being made.
“There were reports done in 2013 and 2014. You know, if some of those reports had been implemented, we would’ve had a dangerous goods route and we would’ve had an evacuation route when we had the fire. So, any more delays, I am just tired of it. We need to start taking action and doing things.”
Scott also notes the countless economic and safety benefits of getting the highway built.
“It’s going to cut down on the number of people who are Fly-In-Fly-Out – they can start living in our region. The other thing it does is gives us a dangerous goods route, which is obviously critical. We do not want all of our dangerous goods in this region going right by our hospital and our new aging-in-place facility.”
Another council meeting is set for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, in the council chambers.