Land issues never go away
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,