29 June 2016
For immediate release
Bevan-Baker looks forward to debate on proposed Cornwall bypass
The PEI Green Party Leader is questioning the government’s choice to spend $65 million to build a bypass around Cornwall.
“This decision raises all sorts of questions. The first one is whether or not this is the best use of our scarce public funds,” said Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker. He points out that the money being allocated to this project could be used to fund any number of other worthy and needed projects, such as improving schools, enhancing access to medical services, or expanding our renewable energy capacity.
Bevan-Baker is also worried about putting all our infrastructure eggs in one basket. “There are many other roads that need work around the province, and I wonder which ones have been overlooked to pay for this one mega-project. Where will the additional funds for road maintenance come from?”, Bevan-Baker continued. “Unless the budget is increased, other roads will see reduced maintenance, and roads in rural PEI will most likely be the ones to suffer.”
“I’ve heard from several constituents in district 17 who are very concerned about being forced out of their family homes”, continued Bevan-Baker. “The lack of planning and openness from government about this project means that many new homes have been built in recent years which appear to be directly in the path of this new highway. These people will not likely abandon their homes without a fight, even if government tries to expropriate them.”
The Green Party recognizes that there are many other aspects to this proposal which require full debate in the Legislature: issues such as long-term costs, provincial debt, environmental considerations, safety concerns, and potential conflict of interest.
“Government must decide what are the most prudent ways to spend tax dollars to maximize the common good,” concluded Bevan-Baker. “It’s a matter of priorities, and this announcement points to a government with much the same priorities as the former Ghiz administration.”