Cornwall, P.E.I., still hoping for road into minister's land

The Town of Cornwall, P.E.I., is still hoping a controversial intersection next to property owned by the transportation minister can be made four-way.

The Town of Cornwall, P.E.I. is still hoping a controversial intersection next to property owned by the transportation minister can be made four-way.

Deputy Mayor Charles Easter said he didn't know what the Department of Transportation's plans were in July. ((CBC))

Transportation critic Mike Currie made a complaint to the conflict of interest commissioner in October, saying Transportation Minister Ron MacKinley would benefit from increased property values when he approved traffic lights for the intersection.

MacKinley was cleared because the three-way intersection does not lead into his property.

But audiotapes released on Friday of the July council meeting where the intersection was discussed reveal that the town has an interest in building a fourth leg off it.

"The intent is that there be access to the subdivision as part of putting the lights in," Deputy Mayor Charles Easter is heard saying. "Definitely, from planning's perspective."

Hoping for four-way: Easter

The lights are on the Trans-Canada Highway at the entrance to the Cornwall Industrial Park. Across the highway from the industrial park is the Madison Heights subdivision, and next to that is property owned by MacKinley.

Easter told CBC News on Monday he is still hopes the intersection will be expanded.

The proposed corridor road would open MacKinley property to development. ((CBC))

"It's quite clear that our intent is it would be a four-way eventually, and personally I was certainly hoping it would be a four-way," he said, "but I wasn't told it was not going to be a four-way or a three-way [in July]."

Cornwall's interest in putting a fourth leg on the intersection goes far beyond providing access to the Madison Heights subdivision.

It hopes to build a new corridor road, from the Trans-Canada to the Kingston Road and eventually the bypass highway. That would open a whole new tract of land for development, land owned by MacKinley and his family.

"We would see the street that intersects from this light would be a corridor street, and the street from Madison Heights would intersect into it, and other streets from other subdivisions through the block of land would intersect into this corridor street," said Easter.

There was no mention of the town's plan for this corridor road in the conflict of interest commissioner's report, or what that road would do for MacKinley's  property values and development opportunities.