Borden-Carleton jetty still off limits as fishing season begins

P.E.I. fishing enthusiasts and an MLA say the province is taking too long to reopen the Borden-Carleton jetty.

The wharf at the Confederation Bridge fabrication yard closed last fall due to safety concerns

Local anglers like Ricky White say they want the province to make a move on restoring public access to the jetty at the Confederation Bridge fabrication yard. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

As angling season begins, some P.E.I. fishing enthusiasts won't be able to drop their lines in their favourite location. 

The gate to the wharf at the Confederation Bridge fabrication yard, which is owned by the province, was locked back in the fall due to safety concerns. 

'We just want to go fishing': Man wants Borden-Carleton jetty reopened

That means there's no public access to the Borden-Carleton jetty.

"Well I was devastated, you know?" said Dwight Sexton, an angler from Borden-Carleton. "Where are we going to fish?"

Sexton said he's fished at the jetty for many seasons and that the wharf is a major attraction for local fishermen.

Too dangerous for public access

Jamie Aiken, CEO of Finance PEI, had previously told CBC the jetty was too dangerous to grant access because there are no barriers to prevent someone from falling, and no ladders or life preservers for anyone to get back on the jetty if they do fall.

The province locked the gate on the Confederation Bridge fabrication yard in October 2017 due to safety concerns about people potentially falling off the wharf. They say as of right now, there is no timeline for when it will be reopened. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

But local MLA Jamie Fox said he feels the province is taking too long to reopen the jetty.

"This is something that should be handled within a week, not...months later," he said.

"It's a matter of simply putting barricades up to make sure they're directed down to the proper area in the jetty. Put some signage up."

No timeline for reopening

In a statement to CBC, a spokesperson for the province said they've had discussions with the town of Borden-Carleton, and are considering their options, but have no timeline for when the jetty could be reopened.

"Our primary concern is safety, and until we find a solution that does not put users of the facility at risk, there will be no access granted to the site," the statement said.

Sexton and White both say they're now forced to go elsewhere for the P.E.I. fishing season, which starts Sunday. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

For Ricky White, who's been visiting the jetty to fish for almost 20 years, that news is disappointing. 

"Till this place is open, I can't see a reason for coming to Borden too often to visit. It's a shame," said White.