New Brunswick

Tiny community of Prince of Wales gets smaller after Emera purchases 10 homes

A large part of the already very small New Brunswick community of Prince of Wales vanished this month with Emera Pipeline's purchase and removal of 10 homes and many outbuildings there.

As many as one-third of the homes in the community removed to make way for pipeline

Prince of Wales resident Lyon Harris turned down Emera's offer to purchase his home, the community's former Anglican church (Brian Chisholm CBC)

A large part of the already very small New Brunswick community of Prince of Wales vanished this month with Emera Pipeline's purchase and removal of 10 homes and many outbuildings there.

The company will close two additional homes in coming weeks.

We made the same offer to every homeowner who was within 200 metres of the pipeline.- Stacey Pineau, Emera spokesperson

Spokesperson Stacey Pineau says the initiative allows Emera to meet regulatory requirements for the maximum density of houses allowed within 200 metres of Class 1 natural gas pipeline.

"We found that there were more houses inside the 200-metre threshold in the Prince of Wales area than the National Energy Board regulation permits," said Pineau.

"We made the same offer to every homeowner who was within 200 metres of the pipeline."

Service New Brunswick records show the properties changed hands in mid-November.

Sold at 150% assessed value

A hedge and shrubs show where a home in Prince of Wales once stood. (Connell Smith )
In each case, the selling price is 150 per cent of the assessed value.

"It's kind of odd not having them around," said Lyon Harris, a home-owner who turned down the company's offer.

Harris estimates one-third of the community is now gone.

With the two houses adjacent to his removed he can no longer see any of his neighbours.

"It's kind of something to get used to, you're used to coming by, dogs would come out and chase the car, you'd wave at people, now there's none of that."

Harris says the homes vanished over a one-week period this month with top-soil trucked in to level the properties.

In many cases trimmed lawns, shrubs and hedges are all that show where the homes were.

Harris says he loves the area and moved from Fredericton to buy the community's former Anglican church, which he continues to convert into a home.

Win for Habitat

The community's loss is a big win for the not-for-profit group Habitat for Humanity, said David Delaney, the group's CEO for the Saint John region.

Two of the homes removed in Prince of Wales will be reused by Habitat for Humanity. (Brian Chisholm, CBC)
"We were approached by Emera a couple of months back and they stated that they might have some houses available," said Delaney.

A complete modular home and a mobile home were turned over to the organization, which plans to place them on lots to house low income families in 2017.

We sold the kitchen cupboards, the upper cupboards, we sold the vanities- David Delaney, Habitat for Humanity

Habitat volunteers stripped the other homes of fixtures, which are being sold at Habitat's Saint John ReStore.

"Doors, windows, there was a lot of click flooring," said Delaney.

"We sold all the click flooring there was. We sold the kitchen cupboards, the upper cupboards, we sold the vanities, we sold the majority of the flushes and sinks."

Delaney estimates the organization collected $170,000 in buildings and materials.
    

now