Plan B environmental report draws criticism
Trans-Canada realignment environmental assessment released at public meeting
The province's so-called Plan B proposal to realign the Trans-Canada Highway between New Haven and Bonshaw would pose no "significant" threat to the environment, consultants told a standing-room only crowd in Cornwall Monday night.
"We summed up that there's not likely to be a significant environmental effect," said Dale Conroy, project manager of Stantec Consulting, the firm hired to conduct the assessment.
A draft of the report was released online earlier in the month.
Dozens of concerned residents criticized the assessment.
"I think they've made several errors of omission and short-sightedness," said Roy Johnstone.
Many last night called the assessment too subjective and on the government's side. They said it ignored the impact the highway realignment will have on people, particularly the more than 30 forced to sell their properties.
But Stantec says it did what it was required under provincial and federal guidelines.
"This project, we looked at as a third party, and came up with our decision, and now it's up to the provincial ministers and the federal departments to make their decision," said Conroy.
Neither the transportation nor environment ministers were at Monday's meeting. But the province said Islanders will have 10 days to submit comments on the environmental impact assessment.
In the end, Environment Minister Janice Sherry will review the assessment and all public comments and will decide whether to give the project the go-ahead.