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Parts of the Island are designated as protected under law from any form of encroachment because of their environmental and/or historical sensitivity and importance.
The proposal by the province to de-designate part of the Royalty Oaks forest in East Royalty so that some of its trees can be removed to make way for road upgrades is doubly shocking.
The first shock is that no lessons were learned from the environmental fiascos that attended Plans A and B. The second is that such a move is being undertaken with little more than a week's notice and with no provision for any form of public hearings or any discussion/debate that should occur in the legislative assembly.
Why the rush, why the secrecy?
There are many questions that want answers. Principal among them is why would any government — especially one that ran on being green, sensitive and transparent — even propose such an assault on legally protected green forest and why apparently try to push this through under cover of pandemic darkness?
And there are other questions like what alternatives were considered and what are the consequences of not proceeding at all? And would not the capital money to be spent on this be better used to encourage non carbon-based transportation alternatives?
People at Island Nature Trust are scratching their heads at this one ... so should we all be.
Chair, Ellen's Creek Watershed Group