Cornwall business owner concerned about bypass

A Cornwall business owner is raising concerns about the province’s proposed $65 million bypass and the impact the project could have on the health of the community.

'I'm not just fighting for me, it's for the kids and my clients that have enjoyed these programs'

Ellen Jones is concerned about the impact the bypass project will have on her business, clients and the community if the project is located too close to her property. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

A Cornwall business owner is raising concerns about the province's proposed bypass and the impact the project could have on the health of the community. 

"We can't stay open with something like that in our backyard," Ellen Jones, owner of The Hughes-Jones Centre for People and Animals, said Wednesday. "Our clients, we've been trying for eight years to make a positive impact in the community here and I think that's something we take very seriously."

Privacy and noise

Jones says she isn't necessarily opposed to the bypass. But she is concerned about the impact the increased noise will have on her business and clients' privacy if the bypass is located too close.

Jones' clients include people dealing with anxiety and at-risk youth. The program helps by teaching them to care for horses. It also helps people by getting them away from the sometimes busy and stressful city life. 
 
"I'm not just fighting for me, it's for the kids and my clients that have enjoyed these programs since 2008," she said.

The province announced the proposed $65 million project that would reroute the Trans-Canada Highway around Cornwall. The specific route has yet to be announced.

Jones has tried to find out the route from the province, but hasn't received many answers. She met the province's chief engineer after the bypass announcement, but still feels there has been a lack of consultation on the project.

Concerns about transparency, consultations

"We want to know that our government is being as transparent as they promised us they were going to be when they started this and we haven't gotten that impression. We want to know that a program like this matters to them as well because we know it matters to the community."

Jones would like to see the route located far enough away so it doesn't disturb her business. If that doesn't happen, then she wants to be bought out by the province so she can relocate her business.

(Government of P.E.I.)

In an emailed statement, Steve Yeo, chief engineer with the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy, said the department is currently assessing different proposed routes. He added that Jones' business "will be included in upcoming consultations with potentially affected landowners along the proposed routes." The province added that Jones should be hearing from the department within the next two weeks.

With files from Krystalle Ramlakhan