This week, Transportation Minister Vessey announced that the expropriation process for 'hold-out' property owners along the Plan B highway route begins on Aug. 22. He implies nothing can stand in the way of his start date.
This is far from the truth. The government has a process, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), to review such massive 'undertakings' as Plan B. If the proposal would cost too much to the environment, it can be rejected.
Right now, the Department of the Environment is reviewing the proposal under the EIA. Part of the process is public consultation with a meeting Monday, Aug. 27, at the Dutch Inn at 7 p.m., which all are welcome to attend. It's one of the few chances to see the maps and ask questions.
The other public consultation part is that people are invited to make written questions and comments about the environmental aspects of the proposal; there are plenty of issues for Islanders to comment on. Comments can be mailed to the EIA Officer Jay Carr, at Department of Environment, PO Box 2000, Charlottetown, P.E.I. C1A 7N8, Attention: EIA Officer (or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) by the first week of September.
The government must follow its own procedures, especially when so much of value is at stake here — the cost, the land, the rights of Islanders.