Public outcry in Cowichan brings back web cam

It’s a victory demonstrating the power of the people.

The Drive BC highway webcam on Hill 60 is back.

The previous camera had been moved, in the depths of December, to take up a new home near the Port Renfrew Road in Mesachie Lake, leaving motorists driving Highway 18 with no weather eye at the top of the hill between Duncan and Cowichan Lake. It’s a spot that often experiences the worst of winter’s weather wrath.

They took to Facebook, email and the telephone, letting the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure know they were furious at the removal of their rural camera.

For Ian Morrison, regional director for Area F, the highway cam is a lifeline for his constituents in winter, a lifeline he was ready to fight for.

He was delighted to announce last week that the replacement camera was up and running.

"Wednesday I received an email from [transportation] ministry officials telling me that the switch had been flipped and it was live," he said.

Morrison, who lives at Honeymoon Bay himself, knew, like many other Lake area residents, that it was coming, because he’d been told over the Easter weekend that the ministry had taken a second look at the situation after all the complaints they’d received and decided to reinstate the popular webcam.

Again, like a lot of motorists, he’d seen the construction start and was watching the Drive BC website like a cat outside a mouse hole, hoping for news.

Looking at the new camera, he said, "The solar panels are a little bigger than the other ones. Everyone says the images are fantastic. Now, we just need to get some hydro here so we can get a light to see conditions at night."

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