After Dorian devastation, MLA revives call for alternate route into West Prince
'With the recent weather conditions we've had in the past weekend, it brought it to light again'
In light of the severe damage caused by post-tropical storm Dorian, Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry is reviving a call he previously made for the P.E.I. government to provide an alternate route into West Prince in case of emergencies.
During the last sitting day of the previous government, Perry made a request asking government to build an alternate route along the highway in case the road between Portage and West Devon became blocked.
At the time, justice minister Jordan Brown didn't speak directly about the section of highway but referred to the P.E.I. Emergency Measures Organization.
This area of Route 2 is a small stretch of road, but it's a choke point where, if damaged, destroyed or obstructed, western P.E.I. would be "cut off from the rest of the Island," Perry said.
"If you look on the map, you notice that the water from the Gulf and the Strait come right in there in rivers, so that is the only section that joins West Prince to the rest of the Island," Perry said.
"There is no back road, there is no dirt road, there is no lumber road. The only other option would be the Confederation Trail."
Best option is Confederation Trail, Perry says
He said he spoke with officials at the EMO and Justice Department over the winter about his concerns and those conversations were productive, with "genuine interest" from the province.
But the request stalled as government changed hands. Recent wreckage as a result of Dorian — such as downed trees and storm surges — is a big reason why he's reviving the issue.
"With the recent weather conditions we've had in the past weekend, it brought it to light again and we need to do something," Perry said.
"The honeymoon is over, new government is in and it's time to get back to pushing the issues that are concerning to not only my district but all of West Prince."
Perry said the alternate route is going to be a priority for him during the fall sitting to push the Justice Department "to come back with a response and a timeline so people in West Prince will know they're taking this serious."