The time for studies is over
You are committed to doing more studies? Where was the traffic impact studies when Irving developed their property to include the Transfer Truck Card Lock Pumps and the Tim Horton's? Oh, that's right, Irving didn't bother getting permission or permits so there wasn't any studies done and the province allowed them to get away with that. Of course, this is Irving's M-O: Better to beg forgiveness then ask permission, eh? Just like when they hooked themselves onto the village water system under the cover of darkness.
So here we are with a major traffic situation on the Trans-canada Highway, created by a billion dollar private company, and you are about to put Nova Scotia tax payers on the hook to try and rectify this situation that the province allowed to happen.
You recently reduced the speed limits on the same highway in Wagmatcook and Whycocomagh from 70 to 60 even after a Speed Zone evaluation deemed it unnecessary. Why? Because people died.
You've already done road studies in our area, too. For nearly 18 years, the Village, Victoria County and the public have been pushing for a speed reduction here. I heard you grew up in Ingonish, so I know you're not unfamiliar with the area.
And by the way, having a summer student count cars, 9am-5pm, M-F, is not going to yield an accurate evaluation of this area. The Newfoundland Ferry traffic comes through twice daily, before 8 AM and after 6 PM usually, and causes chaos in the Irving parking lot and on the highway. This is greatly amplified during the tourist season.
I heard the Deputy Minister experienced the situation first hand while he was in town recently. The public has spoken, sir. The time for studies is over. The time for action is upon you. Step in, Mr. Minister and reduce the speed limit. If someone gets hurt or killed due to speed, you are at fault now, sir. And once again, this situation was created by the billion dollar private company, Irving, doing whatever the heck they want without the required permits. And it won't be fully solved until they actually expand their operation so that it can fit the traffic that uses it.
What DTIR has proposed to do on the highway is not going to do a whole heck of a lot because Irving doesn't plan on making their space any bigger to hold the traffic, especially the truck traffic that enters and exits there. Even though they have the property and means to do so. Jennifer [Anderson’s] grandfather sold Irving that property in the 70's. It stretches from the highway all the way back to Big Farm Road in Big Baddeck. There's plenty of room for Irving to rectify the situation they created.
In order to make this area safe, all three things have to happen: Irving needs to greatly expand their operation, the road project and the speed reduction [sic]. To not do all three is to not solve the problem. But what's likely to happen is the usual - the billion dollar company will do whatever costs them the least and the province will wait until lives are lost before real action is taken.
Donald Green Baddeck, NS