Fight lost, battle continues against Plan B

Nigel Armstrong
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Elizabeth May visits protest camp with Bevan-Baker

The Plan B protest in Bonshaw is no longer about stopping the inevitable highway, rather, highlighting poor government, says Peter Bevan-Baker.

About to be sworn in as provincial leader of the Green Party, he was at the Plan B protest site off the Peters Road in Bonshaw Friday, hosting Elizabeth May, leader of the federal Green Party for a brief visit of the protest camp.

May had just arrived on the Island, here for the provincial Green Party's convention now underway in Charlottetown.

As drizzle turned to rain, she spoke to about 40 people gathered around a ceremonial fire near the edge of the now clear-cut path of the highway.

She praised Bevan-Baker and others for standing up  for Acadian forest and against bad planning and government intransigence.

"This is one of those cases where you wish you could get someone to see sense, in terms of a plan that didn't make sense, a lot of money being spent in a way that didn't make sense and a government that wasn't listening to the voices of the people of Prince Edward Island that didn't want this to happen," said May.

"The fact that you are still here, despite the fact that precious old-growth Acadian forest has been felled, despite the fact that it's increasingly inclement weather and people are still camping out here, gathering here and making a stand is very inspiring," said May. "I'm very inspired by the fact that so many people who have opposed Plan B aren't giving up.

"You never really know what is going to cause the tide to turn," she said. "You can see protests and popular movements actually affect culture and affect politicians, even if it doesn't seem, at the moment, that they are listening."

Bevan-Baker said May inspires Islanders with her integrity, intellect and commitment.

"(She) reminds us that politics can be more than just about petty squabbling and power struggles and who is going to win the next election," said Bevan-Baker. "Politics is about the art of the possible. It's about being able to do wonderful things and bring forward good ideas to solve complicated problems."

As for the highway, he said the police action and arrest of protestors shows that the highway will proceed no matter what, but so will the protest.

"This is now a protest against incompetent governance, of unprincipled incompetent governance," said Bevan-Baker. "That has not gone away. We haven't been able to stop this road but we also are not going to be able to stop this uprising of public option that has grown up around this project which is not only going to haunt the Liberals but I think we have a new era in Island politics now. A lot of people have woken up the poor governance we have had in the last little while. I think we deserve better and Islanders are going to say that in the next election, I'm quite sure."

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Recent comments

  • get a life
    November 04, 2012 - 12:34

    do you folks have nothing better to yap about? the decision is made, the work is being done, move on. go get a job you useless crazy drains on society.

  • intobed
    November 03, 2012 - 22:32

    We need a method of controlling our corrupt political parties once they lie their way into power. It is called "Recall Legislation". When talking to a politician who wants your vote, be open about your skepticism about the current political parties, and their ability to operate a province in an honest and ethically correct manner. If the politician is honest, they will have nothing to fear from Recall Legislation and will support it. If they are corrupt, or believe their party is, they will not support Recall Legislation. Do not vote for any politician or political party that does not support implementing Recall Legislation once they are elected.

  • John W.A.Curtis
    November 03, 2012 - 15:21

    Province has to prove last election was valid. RCMP, Elections P.E.I. attorney general all have to disclose complaint filed against Liberals. Liberals allowing protestors who were charged to be wrongly convicted.

  • BLT
    November 03, 2012 - 14:02

    Why don’t you go back to your caucus(s) and come up with a plan on how you would govern the Province with "competence" and with "principles" and then see if you can get enough people to believe you and vote for you to form a government, an official opposition, or at least hold a balance of power. If you can do this, within this political system where you claim that democracy is dead, you may claim that you speak for at least those Islanders who voted for you. I don’t think that I have to remind you that our system of “governance”, with all its downfalls, operates on the basis of power where authority is granted by citizens through their right to vote to those who they believe represent their best interests. I commend you for standing up for a cause that you believe in, but rather than exercising civic disobedience by running around in the woods at Churchill/Bonshaw, your time would be better spent in attempting to changing the political system to a proportional representation model where every vote can make a difference. "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." Winston Churchill

  • Athol Vessey
    November 03, 2012 - 11:18

    What is a "Acadian Forest"?,I have never heard of such a forest.was it expelled at one time?

  • candrayo
    November 03, 2012 - 11:09

    I would like to read about the issue, not the spelling mistakes. If you find spelling so upsetting, I can only imagine how upsetting you find Plan B. Would you care to share on the topic at hand? There is enough people out there as it is trying to steer the focus off the point in hand as it is. However, if you feel the need to criticize spelling, I would be happy to hear all of your spelling objectives found withing the book keeping system Ghiz has cooked up. In fact, I would listen to you all day in that case!!!

  • SG
    November 03, 2012 - 10:41

    JOHNG Six Hemlocks were not the only trees cut down. Take a drive out to the area. Don't take what you read for granted. There is Clear Cutting and Heavy Equipment sitting amid Nature on both sides of the TCH. For anyone who truly cares about our Environment, Nature and Wildlife it is indeed a truly Sad sight to behold ! A sight that will be etched in my memory forever. They are paving Paradise to put up a TCH that isn't needed and spending $ millions that could provide services and programs that would benefit our Island and Islanders. Many Islanders do not know where their next meal is coming from. Priorities? I will not forget come next Election.

  • mra
    November 03, 2012 - 08:46

    proof reading is a lost art !

    • Piet Hein
      November 03, 2012 - 09:33

      MRA, proof you own copy. You put a space between the word art and the exclamation mark which really should be a period anyway.

    • Captain Canuck
      November 05, 2012 - 15:12

      You both need schooling on proofing your own copy. So, what is your stand on the project? Do you care? Is Ghiz ignoring the public in spite of ourselves or is he inoring the public to protect ourselves? Are the protestors speaking on behalf of the public or the environment or are they just trying to become politically known for the next run as the NDP or Green Party? Please don't worry about your pathetic spelling, grammar, punctuation and logic, both of you, just stay on topic.

  • XComa
    November 03, 2012 - 08:40

    I can spell or Google the word. I can take a look at the suggested word and the definition, off I go from there. Do I really need to know how to spell the near 150,000+ words there are in the English Language. I do not think so... I think people should learn more about Physics. It has to do with everything around them. Maybe the Educators can take a stab at teaching Common Sense or Forethought. That would be useful... I do tend to think that a company that 'makes a living' with publication should not be making spelling errors as often as they do. It does illustrate the eroding 'craftsmanship' or Pride in Ones Work. A bad trend I see across the Globe....

    • captain canuck
      November 05, 2012 - 15:22

      XCOMA, I am well educated in both English and Physics as well as Chemistry, Biology, Economics, Political Science, Philosophy, Computer Science and Maths. As a philosopher I learned that no one education is valued over another. Your view comes from arrogance, bigotry, and ignorance forced upon you by your narrow field of education. And learning how to spell does not come from memorizing the spelling of the 350,000+ words in the English language: it comes from the knowledge of other languages and the etymological path these words took throughout history. Spelling is an art. Education is frivolous.

  • JohnG
    November 03, 2012 - 08:27

    Who is advising Elizabeth May? She says that despite the fact that precious old-growth Acadian forest has been felled. Six old Hemlock trees do not make a forest.

    • Piet Hein
      November 03, 2012 - 09:24

      John G, if you understood anything about the protest and what was actually cut down you would know that the hemlock grove and the old Acadian forest are separate. The hemlocks and Acadian forest are in separate locations at the construction site. Before attacking people the least you could do is get your facts right.

  • It's not just pavement we're being planp'd about
    November 03, 2012 - 07:54

    Islanders will be forced to pay to maintain the existing road anyway and I, for one, will never use the new road. Plan B is not just unnecessary and expensive pavement. However, it is hard, black and cold and it does represent what's wrong with politics. Plan B represents broken promises, hidden agendas, inept decision making, insider deals and self-serving politicians. It's hard to find anyone that really believes millions - and that's MILLIONS - of our tax dollars should be spent on pavement in Bonshaw. But how many of us are willing to name the problem and to do something? Just like kids who enable the school yard bullies by turning a blind eye, it's time for us to change our ways too.

  • Incompetence Indeed
    November 03, 2012 - 07:24

    Keep fighting the good fight people and have faith that goodness will win. Slowly people are starting to come around, opening their eyes and stepping out of the sheep herd. Realizing that things can indeed change for the better. We may not all have the same vision for PEI but letting a handful of greedy politicians force their narrow vision on everyone is just wrong and we need to change that. Contentment trumps money.

  • Will Brown from Maine
    November 02, 2012 - 23:49

    Back in August I mentioned the notion of being "witness" throughout the coming storm of Plan B, and so many of you have done just that; both those out there protesting at the work site and those who are there in spirit, as well as those commenting here in The Guardian. In being "witness" to the unreasonable and bull-headed actions of your present government and by trying your best to bring everyone to back the table, you have incited "democracy", and with that you have raised the bar for the public's expectations of their elected officials. That is your greatest, and ongoing, victory. Democracy is a moving target and is never "achieved." It's something that each person has to work at, in their own lives, every day. We have all read about historical actions that people have undertaken in their peaceful attempt to bring reason and fairness into the workings of their government. You who have been out their - since Plan B - since the Strathgartney and Crapaud plans; it's you who have been at it every day.. On occasions when elected government officials stand up in front of the public to honor those who give to their country, province or community, I wonder if it will occur to them that the protesters are exactly the people they're speaking about. "Seeing the forest for the trees" has many meanings and the democracy you are inciting on the island will carry you all through to some hard questioning in the next round of elections.

    • Sylvia
      November 03, 2012 - 10:24

      That's an excellent comment and very perceptive. I haven't been able to go to protests or to camp site due to physical disabilities but receive daily updates from plan B website and I completely support protesters. As an older senior, I have never witnessed anything like the way so many Islanders have turned against this government because of this project that we don't need and can't afford. Hopefully, by 2015 election, we'll be able to elect a government that will finally listen to what Islanders really want, no more coverups or corruption. Plan B is nothing more than a make work project, a gift to liberal supporters. We should keep the fire to the feet of members of this government and make it clear that we're fed up with being fed b.s. and garbage. I wish there were recall legislation so that we could get rid of this government ASAP. It will go down in history as the worst government ever in P.E.I. with the most inept premier we've ever had. At least his father, Joe Ghiz, had the decency to hold a plebiscite in regard to fixed link. We're not living in a democracy any more. It's become a dictatorship.

  • Meh
    November 02, 2012 - 22:43

    I know this battle and have been following it as I do most and all news that is important. BUT...I do find more and more that newspapers and news outlets etc and et al....the miss spelling of any and many words drives me into outer space big time. I am at a point that I believe any person who can not graduate high school without passing spelling (like would have happened years ago) should be put back in place. Case in point...the lead in title to this article spells against as AGINST.

    • omg spell police
      November 03, 2012 - 00:38

      You have bigger issues if spelling is driving you to space, I am not sure it's just spelling maybe your not on the right meds or something, but some people have more important things to do then make sure all their dumb spellings are in order, you will find errors in any major news paper not just the guardian they are putting out a lot of info fast and there is only so much time for them to make sure before it has to be published, why don't you get a job editing if your so good see how easy it is.

    • lol at MEH
      November 03, 2012 - 07:35

      You should probably mention sentence structure in addition to spelling. On that note, you should proofread your own material. Your comment makes me want to cut my wrists.

    • MEH
      November 03, 2012 - 07:57

      miss spelling . . . good one.

    • Are you sure about spelling
      November 03, 2012 - 08:39

      You should seek out how to spell the word, misspell. You did graduate?

    • dissapointed
      November 03, 2012 - 10:07

      Im absolutely amazed at the decision of a the liberal government to go ahead with this. Most of the island does not want this highway. This is fact. The liberal government doesnt care what we want as an Island. I will not be voting for them and will now make it loud and clear to everyone I meet my views on how they have been running things. COMPLETE INCOMPETENCE! This is only one of the many mistakes they have made in the past few years. I really believe this government should be held accountable . What they are doing is criminal!!!