VERNON, B.C. — The Okanagan Indian band says it will start charging permit fees to commercial truck drivers using the section of Westside Rd. that runs through their reserve.
Westside Rd. links Vernon to Kelowna, and the Department of Highways insists the natives have no right to charge a fee for its use, as it is owned by the province.
Local residents will not be charged to use the highway, although they will require a permit to do so according to band members. That has residents furious, especially considering they expect rates will increase for essential services such as fuel delivery.
“We all bought land…thinking that this highway was the Department of Highway’s and I think that the Department of Highways should just make it a point and tell us what’s happening around here,” one local resident told local media.
The band insists truckers must have their permits by Feb. 8 if they expect to travel through the area.
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