Highway 16 from Prince Rupert to Prince George will soon have cellular coverage along the entire route, fulfilling a critical recommendation to make the highway safer, province says.
As part of this project, Rogers plans to install 12 cellular towers along the highway.
Both the province and the federal government will also provide Rogers $4.5 million enhancing cell phone coverage in the remaining areas of weak signal between Prince Rupert and Smithers.
The total cost of the project is $11.6-million.
In total, 252 kilometres of new highway cellular coverage will be provided, closing several gaps along this corridor.
Solving the problem of cellular gaps between communities along Highway 16 was among the Highway of Tears Symposium Report’s 33 recommendations aimed at enhancing safety for Indigenous women and girls.
This recommendation from the symposium was also echoed in the report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“This investment is key to ensure women, especially Indigenous women, who are not safe can call for help and receive the services they need to ensure their safety and security,” BC said.
“This project means there will be cellular coverage along the entire length of Highway 16 from Prince George to Prince Rupert, giving people peace of mind knowing they can reach out for help if they need it,” said Lisa Beare, B.C.’s Minister of Citizens’ Services.
Murray Rankin, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, said this honours the memory of those women who have gone missing, been murdered or experienced other forms of violence along Highway 16.