Islanders voice opinions on land use

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Members of the Task Force are chair John Handrahan (Tignish), Janice Harper (Charlottetown), Carol Horne (Charlottetown), Paul Gallant (Souris West), and Marvyn Webster (Kelvin Grove).

Almost 800 Islanders responded to an online survey conducted by the Task Force on Land Use Policy.

Task force chair John Handrahan says they are extremely pleased with the response to the survey by so many people who have an interest in the future of land use in Prince Edward Island.

“The input we received will help us better understand public opinion on land use issues as we complete our report and its recommendations.”

The top areas of concern of those who participated in the survey were soil erosion and soil quality, pollution of water, coastal erosion, loss of natural area and habitat and development on prime agricultural land.

The majority of respondents believe that the best farm land should be kept in agriculture or related resource uses and not open for any kind of development. There was also strong support to restrict development that could affect significant viewscapes. In general, respondents had strong opinions about how or where development should take place.

Because the survey was voluntary, the results cannot be considered as statistically representative of the views of all Islanders. The survey was conducted between early September and the end of October.

“The results of the survey reflects the feedback that the task force heard at the seven public meetings,” said Handrahan. “They clearly indicate that Islanders have strong opinions about the future direction of land use policies in the province.”

The task force was established to develop detailed recommendations for land use policies and their implementation in a comprehensive planning framework. It will be submitting its report to government in January.

The survey results are available at

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • Stewart Smith
    December 27, 2013 - 08:04

    Fact: 15% to 20% of test wells on PEI have pesticides in the water. Fact: Pesticides don't have recognized safe levels, because you're not supposed to drink them! We are killing our population with various types of cancer. And pesticides in the air is the biggest air pollution worry for Islanders, according to the survey. We have to stop using more and more chemicals just so that Cavendish & McCain can make more profits.

  • country boy
    December 26, 2013 - 12:24

    All I know is that it cost me a lot of money to have the nitrates removed from my drinking water. I wonder what else is in the water considering the amount of land under potato cultivation. George Webster should not be part of the conversation seeing that he is one of the bigger potato farmers around. I consider his involvement on behalf of government a conflict of interest. Our water must be protected while we still can drink it. Farm greed will certainly impact negatively on this province. When is enough enough?

  • Richard
    December 26, 2013 - 08:49

    RE article "Islanders Voice Opinion on Land Use" , I believe your readers would have been better served if the article emphasized pollution of drinking water was close to the top in concerns by Islanders. This would highlight the agriculture pesticide and nitrate problem.

  • Andrew Lush
    December 26, 2013 - 08:11

    What an excellent report on the survey. This has been a very well organized process so far, so let's hope that the government listens and acts.

    • don
      December 26, 2013 - 12:38

      tell me please when has wes or ghiz ever listen to the regular islander? they listen to money is the only words they understand and this survey etc is just a joke to make it look like they are listening.

  • What does listening look like?
    December 26, 2013 - 08:01

    Islanders witnessed how this government collapsed under patronage pressure for Plan B. So, maybe this time they'll say NO to the Potato Mafia's unreasonable demand for our ground water? Let's hope they at least "listen" to the best of our farmers!

    • Right, Wrong and What's Between.
      December 26, 2013 - 10:20

      It's interesting that the Report tacitly implicates the potato industry but falls well short of identifying it as highly problematic. It's the elephant in the room that every political party tiptoes around. To be fair, it's a complex challenge for almost every Islander. However, if what's good for the next generation matters, then the children should always trump profit. No?

  • Land owner
    December 26, 2013 - 07:52

    If you own the farmland, but no longer farming, this study suggests the land should not be developed. Are the people that feel this way willing to buy the land from the farmer at fair residential market price? If not, than this is just another group of people with the authority to control others choices. The union members seem upset that govt is messing with their retirement pensions, well this land is the retirement fund for some of these land owners.