Highway protest costing P.E.I. taxpayers
Security and delays adding to bill
The P.E.I. government is blaming protesters for cost overruns of almost $90,000 on its project to realign the Trans-Canada Highway west of Charlottetown.
Kim Horrelt, director of infrastructure for the province, said in the first three weeks of construction, the province has spent $55,000 to keep security guards at the site around the clock and another $15,000 for fencing. She also estimates construction delays caused by protesters have cost $18,000.
"It is unfortunate that it is costing the taxpayers additional dollars to have the protesters on site, trespassing on private property," said Horrelt.
Protester Roy Johnstone is offering no apologies.
"If the province had've listened to public concerns we wouldn't be in this situation and they wouldn't be needing the security," said Johnstone.
"Seems a small amount to pay for fighting for our democratic rights."
The province says it has no idea how much more it will spend on security and construction delays. It says that will depend on how much more protesting takes place.
Protesters say the $20 million project is unnecessary and harmful to the environment. The government says the realignment is required for safety reasons.