In­dus­trial no more

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OPINION - BY LAU­RENT BEAULIEU

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.

GUARDIAN FILE PHOTO

Two cy­clists pass by piles of gravel on the Char­lot­te­town wa­ter­front last week.

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