The B.C. government’s proposed options to replace the Bruhn Bridge appear to be creating a wedge in Sicamous.
One option in particular is causing a stir – the one known as “Option 3,” in which the province is proposing to replace the Bruhn Bridge with a four-lane structure, to be accompanied by a second bridge that will be built at the end of Main Street. This will connect Sicamous east to the Westside. It will also result in the elimination of the current Old Spallumcheen Road/Trans-Canada Highway intersection, which is a good thing.
Nobody is contesting the need to do away with that. But there is a very vocal opposition to the Main Street bridge (as evidenced in this week’s Mailbag section on pages 6 and 7). Arguments against include the potential financial impact on the district should it be saddled with long-term maintenance and upkeep costs, and that it would require traffic from the Westside to go through Main Street in order to access the highway. Others have expressed aggravation over the possibility that minds have already been made up on the matter.
While those opposed to the Main Street option are doing their best to be heard by council and the general public, the same can’t be said for those who may support a second bridge. Could they be a so-called “silent majority” who, for whatever reason, are reluctant to publicly speak their minds? Or might apathy be to blame for the one-sidedness of this debate? Perhaps there are people depending on council to represent and advocate for the greatest good of the community? Maybe it’s all of the above?
Something that has not yet been mentioned is the “r” word – referendum. This is a costly way to gauge the public’s opinion, but it is is also transparent and fair.
Ideally, we’ll all learn more in February, when the district hosts its town hall meetings. One thing is for certain, those who don’t speak their minds won’t be heard.