The Confederation Bridge replaces ferry to P.E.I.
Almost since Confederation, a link between Prince Edward Island and the rest of Canada was a lively possibility. But would a fixed link sacrifice the island's stand-alone charm or just make life more convenient? And could a link disrupt the delicate ecosystem of the Northumberland Strait? From fishermen to farmers to ferry workers, the island's prospects were debated and protected. In 1988, after a referendum with 60 per cent in favour, the inevitable came to pass. It wouldn't be a tunnel or causeway; it would be a curvaceous, 12.9-kilometre bridge.
• Another group concerned about their livelihood were the fishers, who thought a bridge would jeopardize lobster populations.
• Sentimental ties to the ferries were strong among residents, and are probably still strong today. Some residents swore they would not use the bridge if it were built. Others said they could no longer call themselves islanders.
• Other ferry routes are still in operation, between Nova Scotia and P.E.I. and between P.E.I. and Quebec's Magdalen Islands.
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: May 29, 1997
Reporter: John Murphy
Last updated: March 9, 2012
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
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