New provincial park gets royal visit
Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall tour P.E.I.
Prince Charles visited P.E.I.'s newest provincial park at Bonshaw Tuesday afternoon as part of a four-day royal tour of Canada.
Charles and Camilla arrived on the Island Monday evening from Nova Scotia, and departed for Winnipeg late Tuesday afternoon.
Prince Charles visited P.E.I.'s newest provincial park at Bonshaw. He was shown fly fishing on the river, met with young members of the Earth Rangers, and was present while Mi'kmaq leaders blessed the trail system.
He also took part in a Mi'kmaq smudging ceremony to dismiss evil spirits.
A group of the Island's top athletes met the prince at the park. He spent some time talking with Olympian Heather Moyse, Paralympians Billy Bridges and Mark Arendz, and some up-and-coming Island athletes.
The prince walked the new trails and afterwards a plaque was unveiled, officially naming the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall Trail System.
The visit to the park was tinged with controversy. The new park is based in part on land acquired for the realignment of the Trans-Canada Highway through the area. The P.E.I. Citizens' Alliance protested the project for months.
The group sent a letter to the Prince of Wales asking that he reconsider visiting the park. The alliance says the realignment of the highway was unnecessary and environmentally damaging.
Provincial Tourism Department spokeswoman Brenda Gallant said the prince's office was informed of the highway and the controversy surrounding it.
Duchess visits private school
While Prince Charles was in Bonshaw, Camilla was in Charlottetown to visit Immanuel Christian School.
The small private school, with 103 students in grades kindergarten to nine, was not originally on the itinerary, but the duchess was attracted to the school by a letter-writing campaign from the students.
The school band performed, the students read poetry, and there were excerpts from an upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet.
The royal couple boarded their flight for Winnipeg a little after 4:15 p.m.