Why must Assiginack and Wiikwemkoong drive on icy roads?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an open letter to Emcon Services, the Ministry of Transportation’s area roads contract-holder, and has been printed here at the author’s request.

This is a letter to Emcon Services since it’s impossible to speak with anyone on the phone.

On Monday, December 14 I was heading to Little Current. Conditions were not good until the far side of Sheg. From there to Little Current, the highway was bare. On Tuesday, December 15, I went to Manitowaning and the highway was nearly snow packed.  I was talking to someone there who said he heard our highway was classed differently from other areas and they weren’t using the same amount of salt on our part of the highway. Why?

I left an email message for Steve Beauchamp, local manager of Emcon, but no response. I called Emcon’s head office, Steve Beauchamp’s office and the Lively office—all I got were voice mail messages. Impossible to talk to a person. I even tried calling MTO but was told to call Emcon’s head office. No luck talking to anyone there either.

I don’t understand why we should have to drive on dangerous roads but other parts of the Island have bare roads. 

A few years ago there were fines levied against a contractor who was not doing an adequate job of clearing the roads. Does the same thing have to happen before we get clear roads? 

Give our highway the same consideration you give other parts. This is a dangerous situation. 

I urge people to complain when they encounter the same conditions I did. This has to change.

Jane Rohn 

Assiginack