PEI

Shooting range 'rubber stamped,' residents complain

People in central P.E.I. made a passionate plea Tuesday morning to have a nearby shooting range shut down.
Sharon Labchuk called the IRAC tribunal 'pastured out, political backroom boys.' ((CBC))

People in central P.E.I. made a passionate plea Tuesday morning to have a nearby shooting range shut down.

Sigrid Rolfe and Sharon Labchuk are appealing the government's approval of the Big Boot Gun Club in South Granville at a hearing of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.

They criticized the provincial government's approval process for the range, saying it was "rubber stamped" and their pleas for public hearings were ignored.

Labchuk and Rolfe told the hearing that residents are worried about bullets causing lead contamination of the area's water supply. They also don't like the noise of guns six days a week, and believe their properties have been devalued by the range.

Another concern is stray bullets hitting people or livestock.

Labchuk said she doesn't have much hope that the hearing will change anything. With her opening statement, she criticized the tribunal as "pastured out, political backroom boys" with no power or jurisdiction.

Peter Baker, who owns property next to the shooting range, testified on Tuesday. He said he wants to build cottages on his property but the noise is an issue.

"The noise is certainly going to compromise quiet enjoyment of our property," he said.

"When tourists come to the island, it's sold as a gentle island and I mean, I don't think the sound of gun fire in any case is something that people would expect if they came to a resort or a cottage for quiet enjoyment for their summer vacation."

Baker said an investor in his cottage project has questions and concerns about the shooting range.

The hearing continues Wednesday.

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