Having family connections on P.E.I., I have, over the years, become a frequent visitor of the Island, and when I am away, I always do my best to keep abreast of what is making news here.
I was therefore quite amazed when The Guardian announced its news story of the year 2012 to be ‘Tory Turmoil?' (The Guardian, Dec. 29, 2012).
The reason I was so surprised by this is that there was really only one story that was consistently appearing in off-Island media: the Plan B project and its opposition. During the tumultuous period of protest and confrontation this fall, the Plan B story was being shown on CBC's ‘The National' and other national broadcasts, a rare occurrence for a ‘local' P.E.I. story.
The anger and resentment created by the government's decision to go ahead with Plan B is obvious, and the measures taken to protest the construction (and, when possible, hinder it) represented a sea-change in attitudes here.
A lack of trust in elected officials and outrage over the way this project was handled was enough to overcome the deep-rooted believe that one can't fight the government and win. The coming together of disparate people from all over P.E.I. to try to stop Plan B may have long-lasting effects; in finding their voice, we may be seeing the birth of a new force in P.E.I., one willing to take direct action to intervene in plans that may not be in the people's best interests.
Yes, the abrupt resignation of Olive Crane made some headlines this past month, but the multi-faceted story of Plan B not only galvanized public attention for months during the physical protests, it promises to remain in the news well into the new year as cost-overruns and growing environmental problems continue to plague the project. I'm willing to admit that, living away for much of the year, I may not have as clear an idea of what Islanders find news worthy, but from where I'm sitting, it seems a no-brainer.