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P.E.I. residents to vote on link to mainland

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.

Amidst much research, many proposals, and a fair bit of politics, a bridge or tunnel is once again being considered for P.E.I. But before plans go any further, the federal government wants to know that the majority of Prince Edward Islanders support it. If the majority votes yes, plans will advance to the next stage of the approval process. If the no side wins, the project will likely die. Later this month, residents will vote in the province-wide plebiscite.
Islanders share their views in this CBC Television report.
• Rather than funding the project, the federal government arranged for private consortiums to submit proposals whereby they would own and operate the bridge.
• In 1986 Public Works Canada commissioned ten studies to examine the technical, financial, environmental, social and economic factors of the three fixed-link options. Part of the mandate was to discover which — a bridge, tunnel or causeway — was best.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Jan. 8, 1988
Guest(s): John Barrett, Derek Keye, Don Stewart
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Kevin Evans
Duration: 3:23

Last updated: February 7, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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