Please sign my petition calling on the Government of British Columbia to publish an Action Plan that would ensure the completion of its section of the Trans Canada Trail by July 1, 2017, and that would give special priority to getting the Trail off dangerous highways near Malahat, Nanaimo River, Coquihalla Canyon, Summerland, Cranbrook, Fernie and Sparwood.

On Saturday, July 14, 2012, my wife, Elizabeth Sovis of Edmonton, Alberta, was killed while on a cycling holiday on Prince Edward Island. She was struck by a full-size van, only moments after leaving the Trans Canada Trail.

Elizabeth was a passionate supporter of the Trans Canada Trail – an 18,000 km greenway and a 5,000 km waterway that will link Canadians from West to East and from North to South –, but she was dismayed that the many incomplete and unconnected sections made it necessary to travel on dangerous roads and highways.

In 2005, for example, during one of her many cycling trips on the Trail in British Columbia, she was terrified to find herself riding down the Malahat Highway, a winding stretch of road that is treacherous even for motor vehicles.

In subsequent years, after many similar experiences, Elizabeth resolved that, beginning on July 1, 2013, she would work to see the completion of a Trans Canada Trail that is accessible and connected and safe.

I have taken up her cause and, in her honour, I will cycle the Trans Canada Trail from Victoria, British Columbia, to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in five stages, beginning on July 1, 2013 and finishing on July 14, 2017. For details of this trip, see my website: www.ridethetrail.ca

British Columbia, like all Canada’s provinces and territories, has promised to complete its section of the Trans Canada Trail by July 1, 2017, as a fitting centrepiece to Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Already, in 1998, the BC Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks announced that “our government has made a firm commitment to complete the B.C. portion of the Trans Canada Trail; in fact, we made it our first millennium project. More than any single project I can think of, the Trans Canada Trail is going to promote progress on an array of goals that are important to both British Columbia and Canada.”

We are now well into the millennium, but British Columbia still has 721 km of Trail left to build – and no plan to get it done.

Petition Premier Christy Clark to publish an Action Plan that would ensure her government builds the Trans Canada Trail.

On behalf of my wife, Elizabeth Sovis, I sincerely thank you.

Edmund A. Aunger

 

Letter to
Premier of British Columbia Honourable Christy Clark
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Honourable Steve Thomson
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Honourable Todd Stone
Please publish an Action Plan that would ensure the completion of the BC section of the Trans Canada Trail by July 1, 2017, in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations, and that would give special priority to getting the Trail off dangerous highways near Malahat, Nanaimo River, Coquihalla Canyon, Summerland, Cranbrook, Fernie and Sparwood.

On June 27, 1997, you praised the Trans Canada Trail as “a great national endeavour” and “a physical symbol of our unity as a country”, and you predicted that it would “remind us of how great our country is for, hopefully, hundreds and hundreds of years to come.”
A year later, on May 11, 1998, the Government of British Columbia announced its “firm commitment to complete the B.C. portion of the Trans Canada Trail” and made it the province’s very first millennium project. The Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks observed that “more than any single project that I can think of, the Trans Canada Trail is going to promote progress on an array of goals that are important to British Columbia and Canada.”

Fifteen years later, British Columbia still has 721 km of Trail left to build – but no Action Plan to get it done.

In requesting your action, I am inspired by the story of Elizabeth Sovis, a homeowner in Victoria, BC, and a resident of Edmonton, AB, who planned to champion the completion of the Trans Canada Trail. She was killed on July 14, 2012, while on a cycling holiday on Prince Edward Island, and only moments after leaving the Trail.

In building the Trail, you and your government will leave a fine legacy that, hopefully, will last for hundreds and hundreds of years to come.