RV park dispute draws dozens to Shediac council

Shediac town council passed the second reading of a bylaw to allow a controversial 708-site RV park to be built this summer.

MLA Victor Boudreau is a partner in the planned 708-site campground

Shediac town council passed the second reading of a bylaw on Monday night to allow a controversial 708-site RV park to be built this summer. 1:45

Shediac town council passed the second reading of a bylaw Monday night to allow a controversial 708-site RV park to be built this summer.

It would be the largest campground in the region.

Residents had concerns ranging from traffic to environmental impacts. Some were also upset with their MLA Victor Boudreau, a partner in the park planned for the region.

Many told CBC that Boudreau is in a conflict of interest situation since they can not take their concerns about the development to him.

At least 150 people packed into Shediac's council chambers and the outside hallway Monday night to discuss the planned campground. (CBC)
The council chambers were packed with 50 people but at least 100 more squeezed into the hallway.

The mayor allowed everyone to speak who wanted to.

Mike Sullivan, a former assistant city manager in Moncton, said there is nothing wrong with what Boudreau is doing.

“With an elected public servant being a developer and everything that I've read here, there's only been one name ever listed and I think that's been grossly unfair,” he said.

Sullivan did ask the town to look at ways to reduce the impact on traffic that the park will create.

He said Shediac is already facing bumper to bumper traffic in the summer and that could soon turn away tourists.

Many from the nearby community of Pointe-du Chene were also upset because the RV park would be close to their homes.

Marcel Melanson does not want all those new neighbours.

“I'll have about 3,000 people in the back of my house making fires, laughing, bla bla bla this and that till 11 o'clock at least at night,” he said.

Others, such as Rene Clement, said a region that lives off tourism cannot say no to a five-star campground.

“We'll do what we always did in Pointe-du Chene,” said Clement.

“We'll open up our arms to these here tourists from out of province, out of country or whatever and say welcome and thank you for coming to visit us in Pointe-du Chene.”

The promoters say they have heard the concerns about noise, traffic and protecting wetlands.

They promise to work with the town to address those concerns.

The third reading of the bylaw will happen later this month. 

Meanwhile, the conflict of interest commissioner is looking into the complaint against Victor Boudreau.