Cornwall business owner frustrated with lack of updates on bypass

A Cornwall business owner says the municipality should be doing more to keep residents up to date on the proposed Cornwall bypass.

Ellen Jones says questions to municipality left unanswered

(Government of P.E.I.)

A Cornwall business owner says the municipality should be doing more to keep residents up to date on the proposed Cornwall bypass of the Trans-Canada Highway, just west of Charlottetown.

Ellen Jones, owner of The Hughes-Jones Centre for People and Animals, said she's tried, unsuccessfully, to get information from town officials on what they prefer in terms of a route, and what the bigger picture plans are for the municipality when it comes to the bypass.

"Looking out 20 years, what's Cornwall going to look like,' says Jones.

"If the road is going to change to the extent it is, we want to make sure that it's being done as responsibly as possible, and the town has a vital role in that."

Questions left unanswered

Jones said an email she sent to town officials about the bypass went unanswered by every member of council. The last information she received on plans for the Cornwall bypass was from provincial officials at a landowner's meeting that took place Aug. 3, where it was announced that four routes were being considered and that the planning forecast was just five years.

(Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Last month, P.E.I. government officials said the preferred route for the bypass would be made public by mid-summer. Jones said in the meantime it's been a tough summer waiting for  updates.

"The first step for us would be route selection, but we also need the announcement that the funding is actually in the bank for the government, which we haven't heard yet," she says.

"All of this is very disrupting, until you know what's going to happen, when we're spent all summer digging for information about this because it's not out there and easy to access."

Consultation coming, says town

Cornwall Mayor Minerva McCourt said at this point in the process decisions about the proposed Cornwall bypass are in the hands of the province and the federal government.

Cornwall Mayor Minerva McCourt says once a preferred route has been selected, that's when the public consultation will begin. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC News)

"They are still deciding on the routes, to my knowledge, and there's been nothing made public," said McCourt.

"There will be another meeting with the landowners, and I do believe, following that, at some point in time there will be a public meeting."

McCourt said town officials look forward to receiving more information on where the bypass will go, and in the meantime, are addressing the concerns of residents and landowners as best they can. 

Jones said at the landowner's meeting provincial officials advised the crowd that a public meeting would be scheduled for early September.

According to the province, the bypass project would be built in two phases, at an estimated cost of $65 million.