BRIDGING THE GAP
About 30 years ago, Ottawa began pressuring P.E.I. to build a fixed link to the mainland and abandon the ferry service at Borden-Carleton, as well as the railway system on the Island. The proposal sparked a divisive debate in the province, where those opposed to a fixed link warned of ecological damage as well as a negative impact on the P.E.I. way of life. Those who supported a fixed link expected the structure would be a boon to tourism and exports. A plebiscite was held on Jan. 18, 1988, and 59.4 per cent of those who took part voted in favour of a bridge or tunnel connecting P.E.I. to the mainland. The railway closed Dec. 31, 1989, and the Confederation Bridge opened on May 31, 1997.