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General News · 20th July 2010
John Sprungman
Most of us are aware that our roads have become very dangerous because people are crossing into the oncoming lane to stay on pavement when they come to one of the many patches of gravel.

Most of us are probably not aware that our road contractor Emcon and our local Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) managers have no money available at present to fix the damage caused by last winter’s weather.

Max Walker at MOTI in Courtenay told me on the phone today that Emcon is only in a position to do minimal repairs until their MOTI office gets more funding from the Ministry or unless current projects come in under budget.

He said Bob O’Brien, the MOTI operations manager in Courtenay, needs-and wants-to hear from Cortes Islanders about the urgency of repairing Cortes roads to help him get emergency funding. If he can get money soon, the repairs can be done in September. If not, we may be going through the winter with even worse conditions.

You can email him at or phone him at 250-334-6954. From 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can call for free using Enquiry BC (1-800-663-7867) and asking for his number, but emails are better because he can forward them. Note the period after "bob" and leave out the apostrophe in obrien.

Having had some close encounters with oncoming traffic myself, I am trying to drive more slowly, especially when I know a bad gravel patch is ahead of me on either side.