Land is­sues never go away

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL LETTERS -

For 150 years, Is­lan­ders have had res­i­dent con­trol of our land is­sues. Given our tur­bu­lent his­tory, we have pro­tected th­ese rights through creative and unique leg­is­la­tion where we ac­knowl­edge that our land is pre­cious, and the peo­ple who live on it are in­de­pen­dent.

The Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment Act de­stroys th­ese rights – if you have cho­sen to live in an un­in­cor­po­rated area of the prov­ince.

The re­cent gov­ern­ment dic­tated an­nex­a­tion of the ru­ral com­po­nents of Three Rivers was com­pleted with­out vot­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the steer­ing com­mit­tee, with­out ac­knowl­edg­ment of the vote held by res­i­dents (1,194 against/74 in sup­port), with­out le­gal en­ti­tle­ment to full par­tic­i­pa­tion in the gov­ern­ment man­dated me­di­a­tion, and gov­ern­ment con­sid­ered IRACs rec­om­men­da­tions for one full day. This was a gov­ern­ment or­ga­nized freight train de­signed to run over all ob­jec­tors with al­ter­na­tive opin­ions.

The char­ter guar­an­tees equal rights for all cit­i­zens. Our premier and his gov­ern­ment are of the view that this does not ap­ply to ru­ral Prince Ed­ward Is­lan­ders. Some­day per­haps, a court chal­lenge will hap­pen and the gov­ern­ment will be re­minded that al­low­ing cit­i­zens of in­cor­po­rated areas to par­tic­i­pate, while deny­ing cit­i­zens of un­in­cor­po­rated areas the right to par­tic­i­pate, is sim­ply unac­cept­able. The Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment Act is dis­crim­i­na­tory.

In the in­terim, as Prince Ed­ward Is­lan­ders who have cho­sen to live in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, in par­tic­u­lar un­in­cor­po­rated ru­ral areas, we are at se­ri­ous risk. The gov­ern­ment has de­lib­er­ately ig­nored the voices of the ru­ral res­i­dents of Three Rivers, and they are now em­bold­ened to con­tinue ig­nor­ing all ru­ral voices. Robert MacArthur,

Long Creek

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