Industrial no more
Last week, my neighbours and I who live in the blocks facing Water Street between Great George and Weymouth were kept up all night by the discharging of several mountains of sand and gravel brought into Charlottetown Harbour by ship.
Why this type of work needs to be done between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. is beyond anyone’s understanding. Not only is it noisy and disruptive, but it pollutes the air and causes environmental and health concerns to all.
It also damages the image of Charlottetown as a tourist destination with visitors complaining about the noise as per the owner of the B&B in the area.
Our Mayor Clifford Lee says no bylaw was broken and Water Street at Hillsborough is an industrial area, so get used to it.
We all have to recognize that the Port of Charlottetown is not the same industrial area it was prior to 1989. A once dirty and polluted area of town has been transformed at great cost and the only vestige left is the gravel and sand dumping area.
The city council is also actively encouraging all developers to build quickly on the few remaining vacant sites next to the gravel and sand dump.
Anyone can recognize that the area is now heavily residential with hotels, private homes, apartments, a gateway to the city for cruise liners. It is no longer an industrial area except in name only.
Is it not time for the mayor and city council to wake up to that fact?
Why are the serious concerns of residents not taken into account?
Why is this tourist area being deliberately damaged by neglect on the part of the mayor and council? Why is this environmental problem allowed to exist?
Yes, there are bylaws on excessive noise in Charlottetown, but they are not enforced.
Something needs to change, the gravel and sand dump needs to move and the city and other authorities responsible must come up with a plan sooner than later.
Bylaws must be enforced and, in the meantime, discharging of polluting and hazardous material has to be done at a time of day that does not disturb the sleep of hundreds of resident taxpayers in Charlottetown.
Let’s hope that Mayor Lee and Coun. Ed Rice understands those realities and act on them.
Laurent Beaulieu of Charlottetown is Docent at Government House, a board member of the Confederation Centre for the Arts and a former diplomat of the Canadian Foreign Service where he studied and reported on International migration and population movement related to conflicts in the world.
Two cyclists pass by piles of gravel on the Charlottetown waterfront last week.