(Cartoon by Gabriele Venditti)

EDITORIAL: Safe water should trump traffic plan

Emergency Malahat route through Sooke watershed a non-starter

Let’s face it.

Most of us are inextricably tied to the belief that we have a basic human right to get where we’re going in the comfort of our own vehicles.

There are a lot of problems associated with that concept, not the least of which is the fact that our transportation routes have frequently proven unable to keep up with the ever-increasing number of cars making their way down what, in essence, are updated wagon trails.

Highway 14, with it’s roller-coaster-like series of twists and turns is the only real viable route in and out of Sooke, and despite a claimed $10 million in improvements, any trip on that stretch on a dark, rainy night still inspires the sort of white-knuckle, soul-sucking fear generally reserved for Wes Craven film festivals or a three-day visit from the in-laws.

The Malahat is a little better, as evidenced by the fact that accidents on that route regularly lead to hours-long shutdowns that drive frustrated drivers to distraction.

RELATED: An alternate route for Malahat shouldn’t go through Sooke watershed, says CRD director

Improvements are needed and it’s clear that an alternate emergency route around the Malahat seems like a no-brainer.

But not so fast.

The recent suggestion to explore an alternate route through the Sooke Water Supply Area is a wrong-headed step too far.

RELATED: Malahat closed an average of once per month, says Transportation Ministry

The proposal is to explore a route though a land reserve that is currently out of bounds to pretty much everyone by virtue of the fact that it is the site of the Sooke Reservoir. That’s where much of the drinking water for the CRD (including Sooke) is held.

The flippant observations of Chris Foord, the vice chair of the CRD Traffic Commission, were less than inspiring when he referenced to the 40,000 litres of diesel that spilled into the water around Goldstream Park some time ago and said that he seriously doubted that the watershed route could do worse.


In response to this proposal, CRD director Mike Hicks, has suggested that we’d be better served by pursuing improvements on the Pacific Marine Circle Route.

We agree.

It’s two hours longer and by no means perfect but at least, once the commute was completed, drivers would still be able to have a drink of water.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Police identify man found dead in Saanich, seek his backpack and shoes

Investigators seek shoes, backpack that Andrew Michael Sidor was seen wearing

Protester threatens citizens arrest during morning federal funding announcement in Oak Bay

Police escort protester away after confronting federal minister

Oak Bay police arrest one of two suspects after resident held at gunpoint

Police expect second arrest ‘in the very near future’ after armed robbery

Uplands Park designated a national heritage site

Feds make $4.3 million announcement in Oak Bay

Westshore Rebels reel of third win in a row

The Rebels visit the Langley Rams Aug. 24 before returning to Westhills Stadium Sept. 7

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Most Read