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Critics want action, not another meeting – Highway of Tears Symposium to be held in Smithers tomorrow

Critics want action, not another meeting – Highway of Tears Symposium to be held in Smithers tomorrow

At least 100 people are expected to gather in Smithers tomorrow to consider transportation options for Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, a stretch also known as the Highway of Tears.

Community leaders say government roadblocks to a solution must be removed.

Eighteen women have been murdered or disappeared along the Highway of Tears and its feeder routes since the 1970s.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says he won’t attend because he doesn’t want politics to interfere in the discussions, but North Coast New Democrat MLA Jennifer Rice says she’ll be there even though she and several other high profile politicians have not been invited.

Rice says the meeting is excluding important stakeholders.

She says it sounds like it’ll be a meeting of bureacrats rather than those who are closest to the issue.

Rice is critical of the province, saying what’s needed isn’t another meeting.

The symposium is held by the First Nations Health Authority and the BC Transportation Ministry.

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