Letters to the Editor

A reader writes about the Ashcroft Terminal’s need to be good corporate citizen

Dear Editor,

I would like to take issue with a letter addressed to the principal of Desert Sands Community School dated Nov. 27, 2019 from Kleo Landucci, Chief Commercial and Corporate Affairs Officer for Ashcroft Terminal.

Ms Landucci commences her letter by stating “It has come to our attention that members of the Desert Sands Community School administration and student body have been vocal in encouraging the School’s support of a private group of community members that are building a walking path along Evans Road.”

If her declaration is indeed true, I would like to extend kudos to the administration and students for getting behind an initiative that has real meaning to them. The youth in our community have demonstrated that the environment is important to them and that they care about where they live. How better to promote a deeper appreciation for the environment and higher quality of life than by supporting a walking path along Ashcroft’s greatest, yet most unrecognized, natural asset?

Ms Landucci continues by saying “It is our understanding that the proposed walking path on public property has not been endorsed by the Village of Ashcroft.”

It is true that the Village of Ashcroft mayor and council did not resolve to provide a letter of support to the Ashcroft Pathways to Wellness Task Force, a citizen’s group working on the construction of a three-kilometre community pathway along Evans Road in Ashcroft. They opted instead at their Nov. 12, 2019 meeting [to vote that] “That Council include at the 2020 Budget discussions, consideration of a Trails Master Plan that could identify feasible trails and pathways for the development of a trail and walking path network in the Village of Ashcroft.”

The resolution does not exclude Village support for a walking path down Evans Road. It is to be noted that all councillors, when asked at an all-candidates meeting held before they were elected a year ago, publicly supported such a pathway. The mayor also signed the Task Force’s petition earlier this August in support of the development of a riverine pathway, along with over a hundred other electors of the Village of Ashcroft.

Ashcroft Terminal was asked to support the walking path initiative, but declined, requiring a detailed analysis of the project scope and impacts, which included an engineering/civil works report and plans, liability and insurance coverage details, an ongoing maintenance plan, and a safety plan with respect to the impacts of increased foot traffic on the road. Perhaps Ashcroft Terminal should be more proactive, rather than reactive, in showing that it is “committed to being an active corporate citizen” as claimed in the letter.

Ms Landucci, who speaks on behalf of Ashcroft Terminal, implores Desert Sands Community School to consider “the best interest of the safety and security of the students and their families.” Yet the heavy transport vehicles to and from Ashcroft Terminal, now common and destined to increase with the trans-loading and bulk handling facility’s expansion, are largely responsible for the increased safety concerns on the road.

Let’s not forget that taxpayers have contributed more than $14 million dollars through federal grants to Ashcroft Terminal’s development. Since Ms. Landucci states that “the safety of our staff and the community are the first priority for Ashcroft Terminal,” I would expect significant community investment on their part to ensure that this is the case.

As Ms Landucci acknowledges, Evans Road is a public road. The roadway has been used by the public for over a hundred years, and the public has an inherent right of access. Citizens can cycle, walk, or run along the roadway and cannot be prohibited from doing so. Motorists and pedestrians should not feel intimidated from accessing this right.

It is my honest opinion that the letter by Ms Landucci trespasses beyond the corporation’s boundaries and transgresses into the jurisdiction of public educators and officials.

Perhaps the school, as well as the entities to whom Ms Landucci sent copies of her letter (MLA Jackie Tegart; Ashcroft Village mayor and council; and School Board Trustee Vicky Trill), will respond and take a stand to demonstrate what it actually means to “work to build a vibrant community for all residents.”

Gloria Mertens

Ashcroft, B.C.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Historic Hat Creek finds novel way to keep part of site open

VIP shopping experience offers people private visit to site’s gift shop

Ashcroft food bank benefits from donation as demand increases

Community Futures Thompson Country provides much-needed cash donation

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Time for some tick talk to keep people and pets safe from pests

Pesky creatures peak in June, but are out there lurking throughout summer and fall

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Most Read