Sunday, February 28, 2010

"going backwards"....

It's a tough economy out there and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that those working on minimum wage are the ones who are having it the toughest... and if your business can't survive unless you're in a two-tiered minimum wage system then it's time for you to find something else to do... I simply don't get it why a business can't find another way through either better service or superior offerings to make up the difference and compete in the marketplace... I get a sense the public are already a little suspect of business people in general and depriving our lowest income group of few dollars starting out certainly doesn't help to improve this situation... employees at whatever level are always a company’s best asset and starting new ones off by "going backwards" is not in my vocabulary.... sorry there Chamber but I'm not here with you on this one...
Two-tired minimum wage debated
The Guardian
Heated and lengthy debate on government’s proposal to bring in a two-tiered minimum wage continued in Charlottetown Friday.
The Standing Committee on Community and Intergovernmental Affairs has been hearing presentations on the concept of a differentiated wage for the past several weeks.
In the fall, government changed P.E.I.’s laws to allow for more than one minimum wage rate. But it hasn’t decided whether to implement the change.
On Friday, the Canadian Restaurant Food Services Association argued a two-tiered minimum wage would bring more jobs to P.E.I.
Association representative Luc Erjavec said many of the Island’s food service employers have lost money due to recent minimum wage increases. Coupled with losses due to the economic recession, many employers are struggling to survive.
“To put this in context, a 50-cent increase in minimum wage, which is what most provinces in Atlantic Canada are doing this year, means $2.3 million in new costs for food service operators - about $7,000 for the average operator,” Erjavec said.
These increased costs have placed a tremendous financial burden on a number of employers, he said.
That’s why the food service association is advocating a two-tiered wage rate for regular workers and a lower minimum wage for liquor servers.
The Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce also spoke in favour Friday of the proposed wage changes.
Chamber past president Doug Coles echoed Erjavec’s concern over the provincial minimum wage increases, saying these have pressed the need for a legislated tiered system for wages.
“Each time the minimum wage increases, it shrinks the gap between minimum wage workers and the wages paid to more skilled workers, driving up their wages which subsequently impacts the employers’ bottom line,” Coles said.
The Chamber wants to see a three-tiered wage system established that would see lower wages paid to employees in training, another wage for inexperienced workers under the age of 18 and higher wage for experienced employees.
Leo Broderick of the Council of Canadians, criticized the fact government passed the legislation allowing a two-tiered minimum without first going to public consultation.
“This really is backwards. We should have had the opportunity to have input before the legislation was actually passed.”

Great Idea...

Give credit to Ron MacKinley and the staff at Island Waste Management for coming forward and improving Islander's ability to deal with their everyday waste issues... we're very fortunate here on PEI to have one of the best environment waste watch systems in North America and it's always great to see them trying to improve it to make it easier for end users to participate... great work everyone...
Islanders get new way to stash metal trash
The Guardian
Islanders will soon have a new option for the disposal of household metal items through a blue bag collection. Ron MacKinley, minister responsible for the Island Waste Management Corporation (IWMC), says that the Waste Watch Program will begin allowing customers to dispose of small household metal items through the blue bag collection. He said beginning on March 1, Waste Watch will introduce more flexible service options for customers to safely dispose of household metal products. He said this will be far more convenient for residents and it will help the province continue to be as green and environmentally friendly as possible. As of March 1, residential customers will be able to have their metal items collected with their blue bags as part of the recycling stream or drop them off for free on Saturday mornings at their local Waste Watch Drop Off Centre (WWDC). In addition, the Metals Week of spring and fall cleanup will be replaced with an extra week of compost collection to help manage the volume of excess yard and garden debris generated during those periods. Currently customers have three options for the disposal of metal items; placing items curbside during Metals Week of the annual spring and fall cleanup, dropping off metal items to their local WWDC, and visiting their local scrap metal dealer. “These changes will give more flexibility to customers by allowing more opportunities to have metal items collected at curbside through the recycling stream along with increasing capacity to address excess yard and garden debris during peak seasonal periods,” said IWMC CEO Gerry Moore. Small, clean, dry items containing more than 50 per cent metal will be accepted in blue bag #2 along with plastic, glass and can items. Examples of items containing more than 50 per cent metal include pots and pans, baking sheets, metal cutlery, small tools, and small appliances such as toasters, kettles, and irons. Only metal items smaller than 1.2 metres in length or less than 22 kilograms can be placed curbside on blue bag collection day and multiple items must be securely bundled and tied. Examples of larger metal items would include bicycles, push lawn mowers, wheelbarrows, microwaves, kitchen chairs and barbecues (minus propane tanks).

Stephen, time to step up... and have her step down!!!

The following article comes from the Edmonton Journal but I think it sums up what's on everyone's mind. I think the Prime Minister underestimated how Canadian's would react to proroguing Parliament which showed poor leadership on his part. If he wants’ to earn back any creditability for his leadership here in Atlantic Canada then he has an opportunity to do so by asking this Minister to step down from her Cabinet position. Simply put an elected official can't go around implying we (or any Canadian for that matter) live in some kind of "hell hole" and not get disciplined....
Status of Women minister should resign
Helena Guergis's airport episode raises doubts about her cabinet fitness
By Lorne Gunter,
Edmonton Journal
February 28, 2010
If even half of the anonymous complaints against Tory Status of Women Minister Helena Guergis are true, she should resign from the federal Tory cabinet. If she refuses to go on her own, Prime Minister Stephen Harper should punt her.
Guergis's appalling behaviour at Charlottetown airport last week goes beyond merely being exceedingly rude to airline and airport staff. It goes beyond demonstrating a galling sense of privilege, entitlement and self-importance, and betrays a lack of judgment that calls into question her fitness for a position of trust in government.
It has to be remembered that what we know of Guergis's atomic hissy fit we have gleaned from an anonymous complaint sent to P.E.I. Liberal MP Wayne Easter. It was corroborated to the Globe and Mail by an unnamed source, but none of it was denied by Guergis in her official apology on Friday.
On Friday, Feb. 19, Guergis and an assistant arrived at the Charlottetown, P.E.I., airport 15 minutes before the scheduled departure of her Air Canada Jazz flight to Montreal.
It is alleged that she almost immediately began yelling at a Jazz check-in agent that he was "wasting her time and that she had to get going because she wanted to get home (to her husband) because it's her effing birthday."
She apparently became even more irate when told she would have to check her baggage because it was too big to take as carry-on. She then ran through the security checkpoint metal detector, triggering its alarm, even though she had been warned to remove her boots because they would set it off. She cussed at the security screener who asked her to sit down, take off her boots and send them through the X-ray machine. At this point the anonymous letter claims she slammed her boots into a screening bin and huffed that she would now be stuck "in this hellhole."
When reminded by an Air Canada employee that passengers are expected to be at the airport two hours before departure, Guergis allegedly shouted that she didn't need a lecture about pre-flight check-in because, "I've been down here working my ass off for you people."
Finally, after putting her boots back on, Guergis and her assistant apparently began pounding and kicking on the doors that lead to the tarmac until they were let out. The other 40 passengers on the flight were kept waiting until the tardy Ms. Guergis got on board.
This Friday, Guergis apologized for speaking "emotionally" and admitted her behaviour was "not appropriate." But even if only half of the foregoing is true, this goes way beyond simple emotionality and inappropriateness. This exemplifies the worst of the arrogance that gets into the heads of some politicians.
Who in this day and age arrives at an airport 15 minutes before a flight and expects to be waved through check-in and security? Only someone who is so convinced of her own importance that she has come to believe the rules that apply to mere mortals do not also apply to her.
Witness her remark about how she had been on the island working hard for "you people." There is in that a regal complex in which the speaker believes her magnanimity towards the little people entitles her to their gratitude and favour.
I have argued in the past that most of the security restrictions with which the flying public is burdened these days are useless. The notion that we should arrive at the airport two hours in advance of a domestic flight (three hours for flights to the U.S., Mexico and abroad) is ridiculous from a security standpoint.
Don't bring a coffee or pop through security. Open your belt. Remove your watches and jewelry. Take off your shoes. Subject yourself to invasive body scans. Throw out your nail clippers and collapsible, blunt-nose scissors. Stand on your left foot, close your eyes, touch your right index finger to your nose and do the Macarena.
The height of useless security restrictions was in effect for about a month after the underwear bomber tried to blow up a Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day. From late December to late January, Transport Canada had barred all U.S.-bound passengers from bringing luggage-like carry-on onto planes. They could bring purses, laptop bags, diaper bags, musical instrument cases, bulky overcoats and more, but not rolling duffels or suitcases. As if that would have impeded terrorists in any way.
The irony is, the procedures that frustrated Guergis so much are being maintained by the government of which she is a member.
If she doesn't like them, she has far more power to change them than all the employees she supposedly cursed out.
Given her power position, too, her behaviour amounts to bullying.
The prime minister's office may say the matter has been closed by Guergis' apology, but it won't be settled until she is out of cabinet.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Golden Smile"... Congratulations Heather

Congratulations Heather on winning Gold from all of us at APM... you've made everyone here on Prince Edward Island very proud tonight.... "keep on smiling"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Let's hope things get better...

About 30 years ago I overheard my uncle, who at the time owned a large potato farm, explaining to a group of young people "that if they wanted to own a small farm then they should just buy a large one and wait"... I'm pretty sure he was just have some fun at the time but unfortunately his words haven't rung hollow with the times. Over the holidays I had a chance to skim through John Brehaut's book on Daniel J MacDonald and it’s interesting to note that today the potato industry is pretty much the same as it was back in the 60's and not much has changed... it appears that over production is one of the major factors to gloomy prices but my guess is consentient quality and uniform marketing also play a big part in it with consumers... I understand that Idaho is currently getting $2.50 a hundred weight which is “just stupid” and let’s hope Idaho and others learn a lesson from this over production and forge an alliance with North American growers to reduce acreage and work towards other solutions to improve the industry for all farmers...
Potato prices crushed by low demand
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
CBC News
Potato farmers are looking at a gloomy season as consumers avoid the spud, and Idaho overproduced by half a million tonnes.
About 100 P.E.I. potato growers met with international representatives of the industry Tuesday to hear the market forecast, and there was little in the way of good news.
"It is depressing news," said Cary Hoffman of the United Potato Growers of North America.
"Our hope right now is to try to make sure that this oversupply of potatoes for this season doesn't impact next season's crops."
For several years now, P.E.I. growers have agreed to cut back on production in an effort to manage supply, an effort supported in previous years by growers in other regions but not so successful in 2009. Growers in Idaho overproduced by 10 million hundred-pound bags.
"This is not about shorting anybody, I want to be clear about that," said Ray Keenan of the United Potato Growers of Canada.
"We want our processors to be well supplied, we want our chain stores to be well supplied, but what we have to get in synch [with] what the demand is."
Farmers also heard that people just aren't eating as many potatoes as they used to, either at home or at restaurants. In addition, the high Canadian dollar is making exports more difficult.
It's all come together to make for low prices.
"It's a poor price; it's a below cost of production price," said Scott Howatt of the P.E.I. Potato Board.
"That's not good, and when you're coming in to a season where you have to arrange credit and get things ready for another crop year, it makes it very difficult."
With prices for table potatoes so low, farmers are facing tough negotiations with french fry processors.
Island farmers will likely agree once again this year to plant fewer potatoes, and hope others will follow their example.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Slow News Week...

I'm not saying that this is what happened... but there was some talk around the market today that just maybe a snowmobiler hit this fox and then he and a few others may have circled around to see what happened. They may have found a half dead fox so decided to put it out of its misery by running over it again. If this was the case we'll probably never know as I doubt with the publicity over this incident its highly unlikely anyone will come forward.... everyone at the table seemed to have a different option or version of what may have happened but most agreed that it seemed pretty strange that a snowmobile could corner a fox in the middle of an open field.... the media sure milked this one as it happened about a week ago and when I flipped on CBC Charlottetown Radio on Friday afternoon at 5:30 pm on my way back from Halifax it was still the lead story... there wasn't anything about the Georgian luge athletes unfortunate accident which seemed a little more news worthy to me... and I didn't see the fox's obituary in today’s Guardian so maybe there's more to come on Monday....
Fox may have been run over: veterinarians
Saturday, February 13, 2010
CBC News
The injuries to a fox found dead in Charlottetown last weekend are consistent with the animal being run over, according to a necropsy performed at the Atlantic Veterinary College.
Police believe the fox may have been run down and killed by snowmobilers.
The fox's body was found with snowmobile tracks around it, in a field near Hurry Road on Feb. 6th.
Veterinarians concluded the animal suffered a fractured skull, multiple fractured ribs, extensive internal hemorrhaging and a broken pelvis.
Police are continuing to investigate and have said if they determine the fox was killed intentionally and they find the people involved, they could lay animal cruelty charges.
The P.E.I. Snowmobile Association, meanwhile, has asked members to come forward with any information. The group is offering a $500 reward.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

CEOs unite for GST hike... "not before an election"

Raising taxes is probably not the thing we Canadians want to hear, particularly politicians just before an election, but the reality is at some point the bills have to be paid... and with the Federal polling numbers nearly in a dead heat you can bet the last dollar you have that we'll not see those taxes raised anytime soon... most of the time it's not what make sense with our elected officials as much as it's about looking after themselves being re-elected... not a great legacy to pass on to our next generation....
TD Bank CEO Ed Clark isn't returning calls, but my guess is that, if he could, he would quietly take back the following comments he made at a TD Ameritrade management conference in Florida last week: "It will astound you, but there's a group called the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and we had a meeting two weeks ago, and almost every single person said, 'Raise my taxes, get this deficit done.' " Nothing warms the hearts of Canadians more than hearing the CEO of a major corporation, especially a bank, calling on the government, as if on behalf of all Canadians, to "raise my taxes."
With those words, Mr. Clark launched the Battle of the Budget Bulge, a micro-war of partisan words over taxes that has the TD Bank executive as lightening rod between Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and an assortment of average Canadians who may or may not be on Mr. Clark's side. Judging by initial reaction in the blogosphere, Mr. Clark should not plan on running for public office any time soon.
It's a fine little tempest that, if someone isn't careful, could turn into a Canadian tea party.
What's this really all about? Less than a tea party, but more than a tea pot. Unmentioned in the exchange and in any of the news reports so far is the background behind Mr. Clark's reference to the Council of Chief Executives and the fact that its members, meeting in late January, somehow "to a person" cast their lot with the idea of "Raise my taxes" to solve Canada's budget-deficit problem.
Technically, no such CEO vote was ever held at the CCE meeting. According to a CEO who was at that meeting, there has been broad discussion within the council about Ottawa's budget deficit. And while no formal position has ever been taken, Canada's CEOs are more or less unanimously in favour of raising the GST to combat the federal deficit. The council has no official position on this, but the general sense is that the CEOs believe Ottawa should raise the federal GST portion of Canada's increasingly harmonized sales tax regime back up to 7%.
That's the tax to which Mr. Clark was referring when he said that all CEOs said, "Raise my taxes." Politically, this may not be a winner for CEOs, since most Canadians would rightly assume that the GST is no big deal in the financial lives of bankers and CEOs, and therefore what the heck are they doing telling the Prime Minister to raise other people's taxes?
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has also heard privately from other members of the Council of CEOs, urging him to raise the GST as the first step in returning Ottawa to a balanced budget. This is not going to happen any time soon, and is unlikely to happen ever under a Conservative finance minister. So why raise the subject? As for Mr. Ignatieff, despite his bluster about the PMO's attack on a private citizen, it is Mr. Clark and the CEOs who have inserted themselves into this highly charged public debate.
Terence Corcoran,
Financial Post
Published: Saturday, February 13th

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let the delegates decide...

Here's a classic example of no matter how "lily white" someone looks on paper or in person there's always the chance things just aren't what they seem to be... have a look at what retired chief of the air staff Angus Watt had to say about the process Colonel Williams would have gone through.... and I guess if this guy could fool the sophisticated protocol of the upper ranks of the Armed Services then someone like him would surely make it pass the 30 page PEI Tory Leadership Application with ease... just maybe the boys in blue could come up with a "blood test" to qualify their new leader and at the very least make sure they are "Islanders".... I guess my point is when former Tory stalwarts came forward like Angus MacLean and Pat Binns would a silly red tape application have made any difference... and my guess is no it's just a waste of time as the real test will be done by the delegates on the convention floor... or do they want them tested as well?
Respected colonel charged with murder of two women
Greg McArthur, Steve Ladurantaye and Timothy Appleby
The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, Feb. 09, 2010
It was on Sunday afternoon that Colonel Russell Williams, a decorated pilot who has delivered prime ministers and soldiers to remote locales around the world, agreed to sit down with a behavioural science expert from the Ontario Provincial Police.
What has happened since that interview has shaken the Canadian Forces, and the citizens of three small towns in Eastern Ontario: Police charged Col. Williams, the commander of Canada's largest Air Force base, with the murder of two women, and assaults on two others.
Col. Williams was part of a rarefied group. Canada has fewer than 100 Air Force colonels. While the charges against him are sure to spur a lot of introspection among the military, the forces were standing behind his rapid ascent Monday.
“The thing about a guy in his position is we observe him over decades in a wide variety of jobs and positions to make sure he's the right individual for such a high-stress and high-responsibility job, and we select these people very, very carefully,” said retired chief of the air staff Angus Watt.
“If there is the slightest hint of any wrongdoing or character weakness in somebody, we do not appoint him to a position of this magnitude. It's just not done. … It's an objective process, and obviously, we missed something here.”
Col. Williams has also been prominent in repatriation ceremonies of soldiers who died in Afghanistan since he joined the base.
Even to a senior security source, the CFB Trenton commander was an intimidating presence: “You reflect on yourself and say, God, am I as sharp as him?”

Monday, February 8, 2010

Maybe too cute by half... "classic Holman"..

I don't know if everyone has read the latest article in last Saturday's Guardian by The Meddler (Alan Holman) but if you're looking for something painfully funny then you should... he questions a number of issues surrounding the PEI Tory Party's Leadership Application Form which just happens to be 30 pages long... there's a couple of great lines in the article particularly the closing shot at the Feds in "One Danny Williams is enough"... when you really think about a 30 page application you really have to wonder what kind of "red tape regime" a new Tory leader would bring with them if this is any indication of how they operate... I wonder if the crowd around Olive are just trying to paint a "smoke screen" for potential candidates like Mark Ledwell (as some would suggest) who's been working off the Island for a few years... the process seems a bit over done to me.... I've highlighted a few lines which are "classic Holman"...
One Danny Williams is enough
The Guardian
Wednesday's Guardian featured a headline about how the Island Conservatives are going to hold an inquisition, oops sorry, an investigation into the past and background of anyone who dares to run for the party leadership. One presumes the Conservatives feel this is necessary given the influx of so many new people, and the ensuing dramatic changes to Island society. There are now more people on the Island than ever and if this keeps up we will soon have as many people in the province as there are in some of those small cities in Ontario. Since 9/11/2001, with the exception of the airport, we have been generally free of the security paranoia that is prevalent elsewhere. Maybe we shouldn't be. However, it is surprising Island Conservatives felt the need to lead the way by tightening up their leadership selection process. But then again, you just don't know how many crazies are out there, salivating to be leader. Gone are the days when a few party stalwarts could approach two or three people to see if they'd like to lead one of the Island's major political parties. Now that is so passe, so un-progressive. No, no, no. If you have to apply and fill out an application form to sit on a provincial board, such as the Heritage Foundation, then the equally progressive Conservatives are absolutely right to require a similar onerous process to select their leader, given the large crowd that's interested in the job. Looking back at what came out of the old process - Angus MacLean, Pat Binns, it is obvious a new system is needed. However, the 30-page application form each applicant is required to fill out might be a tad excessive. Maybe too cute by half. The Guardian indicated some of the questions delve fairly deeply into the private life of any prospective candidate. This prompted party president, Sylvia Poirier, to say, "it is very pointed and some would say it is intrusive, well it is . . . but we're looking for transparency." Poirier says the questionnaire is based on one used by the federal party. That's the Conservative Party of Canada, the party that dropped the word progressive from its name to satisfy the Reform elements when the two parties united. The Island branch kept the name, the Progressive Conservative Party of P.E.I. And most, not all, but most Islanders who call themselves Conservatives come from the progressive wing of the party. But given the success of the Reform Conservatives in Ottawa it sort of makes sense the locals would want to ape what they do. The questionnaire seems quite interested in the applicant's citizenship. Coming right after the initial questions about the applicant's name and marital status are a series of questions about citizenship. They don't just want to know if the applicant is a Canadian citizen, they want to know if it was by birth, and if not, when did the applicant become a Canadian? The applicant is also required to list all countries they are, or have been a citizen of, and any countries "which assert obligations of citizenship over you." All those Islanders holding Irish passports so they can get work in Europe might not be pure enough for this crowd. The questionnaire doesn't just want to know where the applicant resides, but also, where they have resided in the past eight years (perhaps they're trying to determine what a shiftless sot the applicant is), and only after all this has been filled out, does the questionnaire get to the meat of the matter - Question 10, "How long have you lived or worked in P.E.I.?" Given that 'or', this could cause prospective applicants some consternation. What are they really asking? Would they prefer an applicant who worked here, but lived elsewhere? Or do they want someone who lives here, but doesn't work? Hard to know. After the usual inquiries about community organizations and references, there are almost 30 questions which probe the applicant's business or professional affairs and the general conduct of the applicant's life. Taxes all paid? No lawsuits or messy divorces? Criminal record? No charges of harassment or discrimination? And surely, surely you never participated in an illegal strike? When these Reform Conservatives draft a questionnaire they are very thorough. They have to be, after all, Island Progressive Conservatives are selecting a provincial lieutenant to the Glorious Leader. Whoever is the chosen one, they will be expected to toe the line. One Danny Williams is enough.

Throwing Good Money After Bad.....

The unfortunate thing in this case is the length of time the process took to get the original verdict to Mr. Morin, but at that point he should have figured out there's "no money" to be made out of our legal system... the court system in Canada is not perfect but it's certainly a lot better than the US system where you can get some pretty ridiculous verdicts and awards.... I think what happens sometimes is people believe there should be "justice" and the next thing the case takes on a life of its own, as was probably the case here... I've often ended up down at Stewart McKelvey "ranting and raving" about some small injustice that I believe we should take to Water Street (court) ... and even though I might be right sometimes, I thank God I've paid the big bucks to guys like John Mitchell (now Mr. Justice) and Jim Travers for advice... they usually tell me to "settle down" and think about it, particularly John who'd usually add "don't be stupid" and Jim being more a gentlemen would just be thinking it... but more importantly good lawyers usually give sound advice that it can always go the other way and cost big bucks in the process... and even the times we had to go to court and mostly won, we never really win anything other than a “victory” and you can’t take that to the bank... I’m in a similar situation now over a “wetland” issue where I’m probably being stupid. It would be cheaper to pay a fine even if we weren’t guilty, but I enjoy the work I do for the Nature Conservancy of Canada and I don’t think I could continue in that position if we were found guilty... it's sure a good spot for the old expression "it's like throwing good money after bad"... and its to bad for Mr. Morin but surely someone along the way must have given him “what might happen” and just maybe he should have considered that...
Morin loses court bid over legal costs
The Guardian
A former Island teacher has lost his appeal for costs arising from a lawsuit concerning a violation of his right to freedom of expression. The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Rick Morin’s appeal last week. The case dates back to 1988, when Morin showed his Birchwood Junior High School class in Charlottetown the documentary Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, which raised questions about the influence of religion on American politics. He was placed on mandatory leave of absence and not rehired the following year. Morin won his case in 2005. He was awarded $75,000 in damages and $175,835 in costs. Following various appeals, costs were set at the lower amount of $91,344, which Morin said did not come close to covering what he had paid. But with the Supreme Court's dismissal of the case, that amount has been finalized.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why Not Have A Public Meeting...

It seems every time a developer turns around to do something with any scale to it in Charlottetown the City wants to call a public meeting.... so why not call one here as surely they wouldn’t want a double standard happening out there... I can understand the Dealer's concern with the “roundabout” as I really do believe it will affect his business and I also agree with his concerns related to the pedestrian traffic trying to cross the intersection... and although there's not a lot of "foot" traffic there now the City is aware that 51 new apartments are being built in the immediate area and I suspect over time there will be a large residential component developed at the rear of the Experimental Farm that could also add more pedestrian traffic to that area... has any of this been factored into the engineering report? all this being said my issue here is not whether the "roundabout" works better than fixing up the existing intersection... as all I'm interested in is what’s the "safest" option at the "lowest" price for taxpayers and proceed on that bases... it's a tough question and one I'd like to ask Council as they haven't responded to any of my written requests, so let's have a "public" meeting and get it out in the open... and with a election coming up soon you would think that wouldn't be too much to ask for... Mitch Tweel has figured it out and so should Council by calling a meeting..
Dealership co-owner wants public meeting on roundabout
The Guardian
The co-owner of a Charlottetown dealership wants to set the record straight — not all business owners near the corner of Mount Edward Road and Allen Street are in favour of the proposed roundabout scheduled for construction this spring. Paul Mifsud, co-owner of Island Chev Olds, gave The Guardian a copy of a letter he sent to city council Jan. 19. In that letter, Mifsud takes exception to comments public works chair Coun. Terry Bernard made during council’s public meeting last month. Mifsud said he obtained a copy of the minutes from council’s Jan. 19 public meeting in which Bernard talks about discussions on the roundabout with area businesses, saying: “The business owners are starting to like the functionality of the roundabout.” Mifsud told The Guardian recently that is not the case at all. “The fact is there is clearly a misinterpretation. There is nobody on the corner, be it residentially or commercially, that is in favour of the roundabout,” Mifsud says. Bernard said he was told by city staff that business owners were warming to the idea. The dealership co-owner said businesses were consulted about changes to the intersection but the changes they were told about involved a signalized intersection with dedicated left-turning lanes. Mifsud said he had no idea the city was going with a roundabout until he read an article in the newspaper. “They are spending $3 million of the taxpayers’ money without any involvement on behalf of the taxpayer, any consultation, any public meetings. They are steadfast in getting the project done without any interference whatsoever.” Bernard said council based its decision on approving the project because the consultants/traffic experts hired by the city recommended a roundabout. “They told us not only does it move traffic more efficiently, (roundabouts) reduce accidents by 90 per cent and they reduce high-impact accidents by 98 per cent,” Bernard said. “It’s very difficult for council to vote in favour of (a signalized) intersection that is widely known to be not as safe.” The city needed land from Island Chev Olds, Tim Hortons and the federal government in order to make changes to the intersection. “I sold them the land on that premise,” Mifsud said, referring to a revamped signalized intersection. Work is scheduled to begin in the spring on the roundabout. Vehicles should be moving through it by the first week of July. It cost the city $1.5 million to repair the storm sewer underneath the intersection and it will cost an other $1.5 million to complete the roundabout. “All of the businesses and residents in the area went to a council meeting and were heard right in chambers, on camera. We asked them to take another vote and rethink this roundabout and go back to the signalized intersection. They did not do that. Our councillor (Mitchell Tweel) asked for a vote to go to a public meeting and they shot that down as well.” Mifsud said he has three problems with a roundabout — having traffic constantly moving will hurt business in terms of accessibility and exposure, it will cause traffic congestion at the nearby signalized intersections at St. Peter’s Road and Allen Street and at Mount Edward Road and St. Peter’s Road (1911 Jail corner) and that it will cause safety issues for pedestrians. Mifsud said he just wants the city to hold a public meeting on the issue, once and for all. If the decision is still to go with the roundabout after that, he won’t have a problem with it. Bernard said each councillor received their packages two to three weeks before the vote on the roundabout was taken. Part of that package included the chance to request a public meeting. “If anyone had any concerns, if any further information was needed or if anyone wanted to hold a public meeting, that would have been the time to ask for it. It was not requested.”