More than 250 question province on Plan B

More than 250 people contacted the government to raise questions about the rerouting of the Trans-Canada Highway between Bonshaw and New Haven.
Greg Wilson says a lot of opinions came to the province online about the proposed Plan B project. (CBC)

More than 250 people contacted the provincial government to raise questions about the rerouting of the Trans-Canada Highway between Bonshaw and New Haven.

Most online submissions raised concerns or call for the province to abandon the project.

The environmental impact of the proposed Plan B is being reviewed, Environment Minister Janice Sherry said today.

Sherry says her staff is reviewing all the public's comments as well as information from the technical review committee and the Department of Transportation.

The rerouting would involve 34 private properties, including 10 homes.

"The public meeting held last month as part of a month-long consultation period has also produced numerous questions and suggestions," Sherry said in a news release.

She says she'll weigh all issues and concerns before making a decision on the project.

"There's a lot of, of course, opinion that comes in with it, about Plan B and where it should go," said Greg Wilson, manager of environmental land management with the province.

"We're putting those questions that are new and that need to be addressed back to the consultant — TIR Stantec — and asking them, 'Now you have to answer these. These are pertinent questions we want you to answer these,'" Wilson said. "They're going to put those back in a revised environmental impact statement which we will put up on our website."

The province delivered the public's questions to the consultant Wednesday.

Opposition opposing

Conservative leader Olive Crane supports the call for an injunction and a judicial review.

She says it's time for Sherry to publicly takes a stand.

"The environmental minister's job is to listen to the people and act on behalf of the environment on Prince Edward Island and right now we would like to hear from her," Crane said.

"In terms of opposition we're against this project and we'll stand shoulder to shoulder with all the groups."

Opponents of the project have already filed a complaint against a shale pit along Plan B, saying it was improperly licensed by the province.

Peter Bevan-Baker, a candidate for the leadership of the Green party of P.E.I.,  says he believes Islanders have had enough.

"Enough people are so concerned, so upset, so mad at this government for its ... inability to listen to reason that they're willing to do almost anything," he said.

Bevan-Baker says opponents of the project are looking at a judicial review of the environmental assessment, and an injunction against the $16-million construction project.

"Things have to get ramped up and the government seems hell-bent on going through with this project regardless of the number, the quantity, the quality of the protest," Bevan-Baker said.

Construction was supposed to start on Monday for Plan B, but environmental officials say it'll be another two weeks before they complete their review and bring them to Sherry.

The proposed realignment project and related documents can be viewed online.