Tractor, the cross-Canada tour seeking to raise awareness of farming issues, has finally found a way out of Revelstoke, after almost two weeks stalled in town.
Robert Smith from Classic Collision offered to transport the tractor, trailer and its two occupants from Revelstoke to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal near Vancouver.
John Varty, a university professor, and his partney Molley Daley, were nearing the end of their seven month journey when they were stopped by the RCMP near Albert Canyon. After two days there, they made it to Revelstoke on Aug. 29, where they were told by ICBC they would be able to receive a special permit to finish their journey.
However, conditions were added, including one that required them to use a pilot car for the rest of their drive – something they couldn’t afford. Even then, they never even received the permit from ICBC, said Varty.
“It has become even more frustrating because even if we did come up with the money and carry on driving and interviewing B.C. farmers, the permit never came,” he said Monday morning.
Varty and Daley are producing a documentary about the plight of Canadian farmers and agricultural issues in Canada. “This means we won’t be interviewing any farmers other than on Vancouver Island,” said Varty.
Smith said he would be supplying a deck truck and pay the wages from one of their drivers to take the Varty, Daley and their tractor to Tsawwassen.
“It’s because I think they’re getting a real raw deal by Ministry of Transportation and ICBC and we can’t leave them sitting here forever. This is one way to solve the issue,” he said. “I’m very sympathetic to the issue because of the fact I was raised on a farm. I lived on a farm until I was 14-years-old and I realize how tough farmers have it.”
They were scheduled to leave Tuesday morning.
Varty said he has made arrangements with a farmer on Vancouver Island to be able to complete his documentary there.