Road re­pairs come first

PC MLA Brad Trivers says pro­vin­cial road crews should be work­ing on roads, not the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERESA WRIGHT

Why were pro­vin­cial road crews help­ing with the setup of the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val while roads in the area re­main full of pot­holes?

That’s the ques­tion Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive MLA Brad Trivers is ask­ing af­ter hear­ing con­cerns from some lo­cal res­i­dents and even some road crew em­ploy­ees about work be­ing done by road crews on the con­cert site.

“Peo­ple have pa­tience through­out May and into June, but we’re here ap­proach­ing the sec­ond week of July and the roads are still not fixed,” Trivers said.

“I don’t know if we just don’t have enough road staff or if it’s a bad year for the roads, but to me, the pri­or­ity of the road crews should be fix­ing the roads and if they need to hire some­body to help set up an event, then go and let the com­pany hire peo­ple to do it.”

The province did con­firm Trans­porta­tion, In­fra­struc­ture and En­ergy (TIE) em­ploy­ees pro­vided as­sis­tance to the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val this week.

“We are as­sist­ing with po­lice to di­rect traf­fic and en­sure safety dur­ing a high-vol­ume event and to en­sure Is­lan­ders and visi­tors on­site have a safe and fun ex­pe­ri­ence. We as­sist at large events that re­quire traf­fic con­trol just as we did re­cently with 20th an­niver­sary Bridge­fest,” a spokesman for the de­part­ment said in an email state­ment to The Guardian.

He noted the event at­tracts a large num­ber of tourists and res­i­dents and gen­er­ates “a lot of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and ex­cite­ment.”

“Our de­part­ment has pro­vided some mem­bers of staff to as­sist with pedes­trian safety and traf­fic con­trol in and around the public right of way. This is sim­i­lar to sup­port that TIE pro­vides to other largescale public gath­er­ings, in­clud­ing the Grand Fondo bike event, the Rock the Boat Fes­ti­val, Bridge­fest and oth­ers.”

But Trivers says he has heard di­rectly from some road crew em­ploy­ees, who say they are not only do­ing work on the public road­ways, but also in­side the pri­vately owned con­cert site.

This work re­port­edly in­cludes set­ting up pic­nic ta­bles, set­ting up the VIP area, putting up ban­ners along the fences in­side the venue and even com­ing back when it’s all over to clean up garbage from the crowds, Trivers said.

He be­lieves the pri­vately run, for-profit event should be hir­ing its own staff to do this work rather than di­vert­ing pro­vin­cial road work­ers from their work re­pair­ing Is­land road­ways.

“The safety is­sues on th­ese roads are just as im­por­tant as the safety is­sues are at the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val,” Trivers said.

“I do know the value that this event brings to the area, but this is about mak­ing sure the core ser­vices for Is­lan­ders are looked af­ter… let’s put the road crews to work on the roads.”

SUB­MIT­TED

John King, an Amer­i­can coun­try mu­sic singer and song­writer, per­formed at the tail­gate party Thurs­day as part of the Cavendish Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

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