PEI

Highway project opposed by Nature Trust

The Island Nature Trust has sent a letter to P.E.I. Transportation Minister Rob Vessey which opposes a planned rerouting of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Charlottetown.
The most recent planned route (green) passes over the north of the current highway (blue). (Province of P.E.I.)

The Island Nature Trust has sent a letter to P.E.I. Transportation Minister Rob Vessey which opposes a planned rerouting of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Charlottetown.

Executive director Jackie Waddell said the project will transect a number of deep ravines and stream systems in the Bonshaw and Riverdale area that support lots of fish and wildlife. A provincial environmental assessment of the project is underway, but Waddell gets the sense the project is being bullied through.

"Very rarely does the result of an environmental impact assessment stop a project," said Waddell.

"While there may be threatened species, it's very unlikely we're going to find anything endangered, or they're going to find anything endangered, in the path. However, there are sites of provincial significance that should be considered."

Waddell said the new highway is unnecessary and will ruin the ecosystems it passes through.

Vessey has responded to the letter, said Waddell, saying the changes are needed to bring that section of the Trans-Canada Highway up to current safety standards.

In an email to CBC, the Department of Transportation said officials are developing a plan to mitigate the environmental impact. The results of the environmental assessment will be made public in August.

A public rally against Plan B is planned for Province House Thursday.