A petition made by Janelle Thomas, about the deteriorating Highway 123 that goes to Cumberland House, is making its rounds online.

The road conditions are a concern to Thomas, and she started the petition to advocate for Cumberland House. Thomas is a former resident of the community, and she has family and friends who live there.

“They are getting stuck on the highways and there is no cell service on that highway, so if there is an emergency to happen on that highway, how are we expected to get help,” said Thomas.

Thomas stated that the road conditions are deteriorating with the rainfall in the area and the mud is about a foot thick.

“Starting with the transport like for food and medicines which we do have a pharmacy, our transports are not able to make it. Of course, the businesses are affected because of that. The shelves, there are minimal things on the shelves that I have seen, and that people have told me,” Thomas said. “The ambulance is unable to provide emergency services and our medical staff is affected. So, the only option is to take yourself out of town or an air ambulance for emergencies. It’s pretty scary and very concerning for people in Cumberland House.”

Thomas states in the petition that Cumberland House is the oldest settlement in western Canada and is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. The community is planning an anniversary celebration in August. Visitors and residents are facing impossible travel conditions due to the state of the only highway into the community.

“I am collaborating with the town of Cumberland House and I’m hoping that letters will be written to the MLA and Ministry of Highways of support and have a spokesperson to take it to the government,” Thomas explained. “It’s like this year after year and it’s just so disheartening when we have to deal with this, and I wanted to do this petition so that other people would hear about it and help us and be our allies to get our highway that we deserve.”

Thomas urges immediate action to improve the highway infrastructure so all vehicles can travel safely year-round.

“I read on the Ministry of Highways website that there is a 741-million-dollar budget to improve 1100 kilometers of highway, all we need is 92 kilometers. Where is the Cumberland House priority and it needs more than gravel,” explained Thomas.

The Cumberland House highway is an issue, and it is causing damage vehicles.

For more information about the Cumberland House Highway petition, visit change.org.

(Photo by Janelle Thomas.)