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Battle looms over Alaskan road into B.C.

TERRACE, B.C. -- The battle lines have been drawn between an Alaskan group planning a new highway through B.C. wild...


TERRACE, B.C. — The battle lines have been drawn between an Alaskan group planning a new highway through B.C. wilderness areas and a group of Canadians opposed to the idea.

The proposed road would link up with Hwy. 37 in B.C., cutting through undeveloped Canadian wilderness. But Jim Bourquin, a local resident who is part of the group Cassiar Watch, says the implications of the new highway are far-reaching.

Bourquin insists if the road is built, resources such as timber and ore will be trucked to Alaska costing Northwestern B.C. ports business.

The proposed road would run from tidewater on the Bradfield Canal in Alaska through a tunnel in a high mountain pass into B.C. along the Craig River and then up the Iskut River to mine roads that connect to Hwy. 37.

A Web site has been set up by the project’s detractors at www.roadtoruin.ca.

As opposition grows, Skeena MLA, Roger Harris, admits "I’m getting letters from Seattle opposed to this road." However he adds all the facts will be explored before a decision is made. Harris says the road could open up more logging opportunities or extend the life of the Eskay Creek mine.

"Those jobs are still in B.C.," Harris tells local media. "We have to look at the jobs that are created, not just the movement of what that product is."


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