IT MIGHT BE called the throne, but it’s definitely not a palace. When it comes to B.C. government rest stop washrooms, there’s sometimes a bit to be desired.
Outside of the Lower Mainland and the top of the Coquihalla, pit toilets are what awaits anyone unlucky enough to need relief on a B.C. road trip.
I suppose we should be happy that there are facilities provided at all. During the COVID shut down, when restaurants were shuttered, it was one of the only options. Even without the COVID lockdown, it’s often the only option for many miles. For example, last winter, there were no businesses open on the stretch from Monte Creek to Vernon. The only option was a government rest stop.
Regardless of whether restaurants or gas stations being available, what’s the point of providing a service that is so disgusting that one shudders at the thought of using it? I can’t imagine having a small child or elderly relative using a B.C. government latrine. And those are some who might most need to use a rest stop biffy.
Some might smirk because they have never needed to use a rest stop loo. Lucky them. Others might simply say to drive to the next town and use the facilities of a business. Lucky those who can drive the additional hour down the road.
For the rest of us, at one time or another, we’ve faced the daunting task of using a rest stop pit toilet. Somehow we survive it.
But the question is, when we expect high quality highways, including filled pot holes, working signs, and snow clearing, shouldn’t we get the same level of service for the most basic of facilities, the BC government pit toilet?
The B.C. government spends half a billion dollars a year on highway operations. A can or two of paint, an extra roll of toilet paper, or an extra cleaning wouldn’t break the bank. It wouldn’t break the bank, but it would give the people who drive the highways outside the Lower Mainland a little more dignity when they have no other place to go.
Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.