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OPINION: Tourism a big hit at Borden pier

Lobster boats are moored in the shadow of the “Stonehenge-like” former fabrication yard in Borden-Carleton in this file photo. Borden-Carleton residents want tourists to experience the town beyond Gateway Village. BRIAN MCINNIS/THE GUARDIAN
Lobster boats are moored in Borden-Carleton in this file photo. THE GUARDIAN FILE PHOTO

Everywhere you go in the Marine Rail Historical Park there is signage in English only



I live in Borden-Carleton, within walking distance to the Borden pier where I find myself most every day.

I watch thousands of people, all nationalities, come and go. Many climb aboard the old caboose to have their picture taken. Photographers rejoice at having close-up shots of the Confederation Bridge and many people go to the shoreline to dip their feet in Northumberland Strait.

Everywhere you go in the Marine Rail Historical Park there is signage in English. For a country that has two official languages, we don't portray that in any 'official' way. No guides for tourist information, tourists are left to fend for themselves, even Islanders who come to the park ask why there is no information centre.

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I applied for a job with Minister Chris Palmer, doing info work on the pier. Well, he advised that I contact a non-profit organization who told me to write the town of Borden-Carleton and the list goes on. The town of Borden-Carleton shouldn't have the onus placed on them to supply tourist information for the province. Naturally I didn't get the job so I'll survive living on my old age pension.

I'd like to invite members of the legislature to come to Borden pier, see the numbers of tourists that come to the pier to see Confederation Bridge, read our nicely made information tables that adorn the park - English only. The fact that we are a one language province shouldn't

leave us to post signage in one language. Quebecers are appalled there is nothing for them to read and if you look at the license plates, they are in the majority.

I ask members of the legislature if it's comfortable to sit back, tell people applying for a job in tourism there's no funds and still they toss spending around like it’s going out of style, not to mention their salaries?

Keep on truckin' Mr. MacLauchlan, there might be a day that people won't opt to visit P.E.I. And, golly, Islanders won't opt to vote in a Liberal government. We have to cater to visitors whether we like it or not.

- Ralph MacDonald is a retired Islander living in Borden-Carleton

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