P.E.I. NDP leader backs bikers in call for public meeting
City says it's too early to talk because issue hasn't been presented to council yet
The leader of the NDP on Prince Edward Island, Mike Redmond, is supporting a call from the Atlantic Confederation of Clubs and Independents for a public meeting with Charlottetown's mayor and city council about a proposal to bring in a new bylaw or amendments that could affect motorcycle clubs.
The police committee is working on a draft bylaw that would create rules around fortifying property in the city. The police committee has let council know that it intends to bring a draft bylaw forward for discussion.
In a release the ACC Board Chair Stephen Wallace said he wants the public and bike clubs to have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.
On its website the ACC says it fights discrimination against bikers and promotes motorcycle safety and the biker lifestyle. Several groups are listed as members including the Bacchus, Vicious Cycle Recovery Club, Hells Angels and the Gate Keepers.
"I encourage the opportunity for the ACC to meet with city council and meet with the general public and have an open and honest conversation," said Redmond.
Too soon to talk says city
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee says it's too soon to speak to this as the issue hasn't been brought to council and the police committee is still working out the process.
In an email, a spokesperson for the city said the draft is in preliminary stages so it's not clear if it will be a proposed bylaw on its own or if it will be an amendment to an existing bylaw.
Redmond said the public should have input and provide feedback in terms of fortification and how it would affect neighbourhoods or zoning bylaws.
"That's the importance of having an open and transparent meeting. That's the importance of having a public meeting and I think the bike clubs at the ACC are entitled to ask for that and I fully support that," said Redmond.
Redmond meets with ACC
"As far as the bikers go, I've met with the group. We had a very, very constructive meeting. I think it's a shame that we have a province or a premier who has used the bikers to sort of hide all of the misgivings of this government," said Redmond.
"I would say, you know what, let's sit down, deal with the bikers, talk about what they do, who they are, who they represent, and move forward from there," said Redmond.
City council will discuss whether it plans to pursue a bylaw at an upcoming meeting, and whether there should be public consultation.