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OPINION: A park in need of protection

This graph shows what the proposed floating docking system will look like off Victoria Park in Charlottetown. It is expected to be in place by mid- to late-August.
This graph shows what the proposed floating docking system will look like off Victoria Park in Charlottetown. - Contributed

Historic Victoria Park has special laws, no matter how entangled they appear lately

BY STELLA (ROBBINS) NEWMAN

GUEST OPINION

Dear old Victoria Park. She is always needing her concerned citizens to speak up for her protection whenever they hear something is wrong.

There is always someone or some special interest group who have their own ideas to put in Victoria Park. They lobby hard with parks and recreation. They may not think or realize how much their ideas will affect the whole park in the future.

We have to be eternally grateful to Kirsten Connor for bringing up the issue of the proposed floating dock in Victoria Park, otherwise the rest of us would never have known about it until it was done.

Thankfully she wrote the letter to The Guardian. If I had heard it on CBC’s morning show on April 1, I would have thought it was one of CBC’s regular April Fool’s Day jokes. Sad to say, this is no joke.

Thankfully, Kirsten’s letter stirred others to write to The Guardian with so many good and valid points against having this inappropriate floating dock off the park roadway.

For those of us lucky enough to read The Guardian, we depend so much on the reporters and editors to let us know what is happening at city hall.

There are other places on the city’s waterfront that might be more appropriate for the floating dock, if it comes to be.

Over two weeks ago, during part of my research at city hall on this new park plan and the floating dock, I was told that city hall pays money to the Charlottetown Yacht Club (CYC) to allow its citizens to launch their small crafts (kayaks, canoes) etc. from their property for free. This information was hard to believe. Who knows that?

Is CYC’s free launching not good enough for the pro dock people?

I have to wonder if this event organizer who expressed his youth opinion on the park and its old bylaws has plans to use this floating dock in Victoria Park for organizing some more carnival atmosphere events in the park.

The park is just not like the other historic parks in the city. Those other parks do not have the same laws governing them. Historic Victoria Park has special laws, no matter how entangled they appear to be getting lately, and they are getting entangled.

To make a decision, city council is at the mercy of how much information it receives from the presenter. Maybe city councillors are unaware of the precise Victoria Park bylaws and depend on the councillor from parks and rec to provide all the input to make the right decision.

If this doesn’t happen, it’s quite difficult to make the correct decisions. It is in the hands of parks and recreation to be responsible for all of us.

- Stella (Robbins) Newman, Charlottetown is a former Charlottetown planning board member

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