Construction continues on the Trans-Canada Highway realignment project in Bonshaw, P.E.I. (CBC)


People opposed to the Trans-Canada Highway realignment project in Bonshaw, P.E.I., say they'll use the government's environmental management strategy to stall the $20 million project.

At a press conference Monday, so-called Plan B protesters said they're not giving up despite losing their New Haven campsite Friday after police removed protesters who had been camping out all week.

Soon after tree harvesters moved in on the grove of hemlock trees the protesters were protecting.

Now the protesters said they'll use the government's own compliance management strategy to log environmental complaints against the project and have every infraction investigated.

"We want proper access to the various inspection activities and fair access to the construction activities, because otherwise we'll be unable to observe, assess and monitor," said protester Chris Ortenburger.

During the meeting at Province House, protesters were critical of police.

"Why the RCMP is being so belligerent? Why are they evicting Canadian citizens from public land someone really needs to look into why that has happened? It's horrendous," said Peter Bevan-Baker, the incoming leader of P.E.I.'s Green Party.

RCMP said they were called in by the contractors and removed the protestors for safety reasons.

"It is an area that has been designated as a construction site, and then there are a bunch of safety provisions that come into play in those situations. If it was normally just somebody camping on Crown land, by all means they could stay there and it wouldn't be a big issue," said RCMP Sgt. Andrew Blackadar.

"Sure there is construction taken place on public land but I have a right to be there. It's public land," Bevan-Baker.

One old Hemlock tree has been taken down so far. Crews are trying to find way around others.