March 2013

Contents

  1. 1 March 30, 2013
    1. 1.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  2. 2 March 29, 2013
    1. 2.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  3. 3 March 28, 2013
    1. 3.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  4. 4 March 27, 2013
    1. 4.1 Useful lessons from Plan B protest -- The Guardian Letter to the Editor
    2. 4.2 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  5. 5 March 26, 2013
    1. 5.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  6. 6 March 25, 2013
    1. 6.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
    2. 6.2 March 24, 2013
    3. 6.3 Cindy Richards' Environmental Report -- Facebook
  7. 7 March 23, 2013
    1. 7.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  8. 8 March 22, 2013
    1. 8.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  9. 9 March 21, 2013
    1. 9.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  10. 10 March 20, 2013
    1. 10.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  11. 11 March 19, 2013
    1. 11.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  12. 12 March 18, 2013
    1. 12.1 Rain, snowmelt cause problems at Plan B site -- The Guardian online
    2. 12.2 Chris Ortenberger's Update
  13. 13 March 17, 2013
    1. 13.1 Cindy Richards' Environmental Report -- Facebook
    2. 13.2 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  14. 14 March 16, 2013
    1. 14.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  15. 15 One section of the Bonshaw part of Plan B, March 14th, 2013.
  16. 16 March 15, 2013
    1. 16.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
    2. 16.2 Cindy Richards' Environmental Report -- Facebook
  17. 17 March 14, 2013
    1. 17.1 Mitigations fail...(once again..sigh) --- CBC Compass TV News
    2. 17.2 Chris Ortenburger's Update
    3. 17.3 Cindy Richards' Environmental Report
  18. 18 March 13, 2013
    1. 18.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
    2. 18.2 Cindy Richards' Environmental Report
  19. 19 March 12, 2013
    1. 19.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
    2. 19.2 Cindy Richards' Environmental Report
  20. 20 March 11, 2013
    1. 20.1 Cindy Richards' Environmental Report
  21. 21 March 10, 2013
    1. 21.1 Cindy Richards' Environmental Report
  22. 22 March 7, 2013
    1. 22.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  23. 23 March 6, 2013
    1. 23.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  24. 24 March 5, 2013
    1. 24.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  25. 25 March 4, 2013
    1. 25.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  26. 26 March 3, 2013
    1. 26.1 Plan B opposers fundraise to help with protest -- CBC Maritimes Sunday TV news
    2. 26.2 Plan B opposers fundraise to help with protest --  CBC website
    3. 26.3 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  27. 27 March 2, 2013
    1. 27.1 Chris Ortenburger's Update
  28. 28 March 1, 2013
    1. 28.1 MLAs don’t deserve raise -- The Guardian Letter to the Editor
    2. 28.2 Chris Ortenburger's Update
    3. 28.3 Concert of concern --The Guardian online

March 30, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Here is a lovely YouTube video with photo stills of the wonderful artists, musicians, organizers and volunteers of the Bet-R Plan Concert on March 3rd, set to a beautiful piece of music played by Roy Johnstone and Steve Sharrett.
http://youtu.be/5ELAzufOwIs
With thanks to Bruno Peripoli and his son Robert, and Ruth Lacey, for producing this.

The Plan B Social is Monday, 2 - 4PM, at the Bonshaw Community Centre, and rain is forecast.  You may want to bring along rain boots and a camera, to head out to the site while you are in the area.
Other things to bring would be a snack to share, if easy for you, and any photos on a jump drive to share for Bruno and others helping archive photos. We hope to have a slide show running in one part of the room with a mixture of photos from the past year.

Silent Spring
John Hopkins' excellent letter of a week ago alluded to Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring, looking at the possible future of the Island.  Worth rereading:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Letters-to-editor/2013-03-21/article-3204146/An-Island-silent-spring/1

I thought about how one year ago today, Valerie Docherty, District 17 MLA, accepted our offer to show her the Plan B surveyor's cut.  Several of us walked around what are now named the Crawford's Brook (west of Peter's Road) and the Crawford's Stream (where Hemlock Grove is) areas. 

District 17 MLA Valerie Docherty with local landowner Ruth DeLong, March 30, 2012, looking west at Crawford's Brook.  The thin 6-foot wide surveyor's cut continues up the hill through maple and birch forest. 
Crawford's Brook 2013   (CO photos)

Despite how beautiful, how rare for this Island, and how fragile the areas are, despite how much this is costing financially, despite there being no consultation with the affected residents or other Islanders on this type of land use, this project is going ahead and Islanders endured a Silent Spring from our elected officials on the government side. 

And now we are entering a second Silent Spring. 

You can still express your opinion on this:
http://www.stopplanb.org/goverment-media-contacts
contains the subpage with a list of MLA and government contacts and media e-mail addresses.*

Have a lovely, sunny day,
Chris O.,
Bonshaw

*we know we misspelled "government" in the url for the page; please forgive our rudimentary webpage skills which makes correcting things very time-consuming. ;-)

March 29, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

A dip into the near past:

One year ago yesterday, the first map with details about Plan B was unveiled at the only government meeting scheduled to "inform" residents about it, on March 28th, 2012.  At that point, the extended community against Plan B was moving along, had the petition going, had held its own public meeting and the first of many, many poignant walks starting at Peter's Road. 

CBC Compass' coverage is here, about 14:55 into the broadcast.  This meeting was where Minister Vessey said, except for the trifling details of Environmental Impact Assessment, Plan B is a Done Deal.
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/PEI/Compass/ID/2217048993/?page=9

The best round-up of the public meeting was by Doug Millington on a Facebook comment:

Here's what I learned at the New Haven public meeting tonight.
1) PEI's environmental review process is there to "mitigate", not prevent, environmental damage.
2) The highway building codes for PEI, a province of roughly 135,000 souls, are dictated by Ontario, a province of over 13 Million.
3) It is possible, in the short term, to justify an indefensible policy with a meaningless truism: "We have a mandate to make tough decisions".
4) A short-sighted policy is self-evident to anyone with unencumbered vision.
5) A consultation for plan "A" can also be counted as a consultation for plan "B".

That morning's Guardian had three brilliant letters-- Lynne Douglas and Andy Wells crystallized the issue, Terry Pratt ever so gently announced the meeting format was being changed by the people, who did in fact find or bring their own chairs. And this third letter, significant as that unfortunately, it applies just as clearly to the sitting government in 2013.

Liberals' plan B no real alternative

Published on March 28, 2012

Citizens deserve many things from their governments - amongst them transparency, openness and a clear vision of the road ahead. Here on P.E.I. all of these seem in short supply, particularly surrounding the recent decision to continue with so-called improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway in the Strathgartney area.

There was a very loud and sizable protest to the original plan presented to the public some months ago, and the Liberals' response was to concoct a never-before-seen alternative - the so-called plan B. The government claimed to have listened to Islanders, and that abandoning the original route, which bisected Strathgartney Park, was an example of a government that is responsive to its citizens' opinions. That's a little like a bully showing up at your house threatening to burn it down, and when you protest, he tilts his head sympathetically, says that he has understood your concerns and tells you that he won't torch the place after all; he'll just smash in the windows — and you'd better be appreciative.

Try as I might, I find it impossible to unearth any kind of coherent vision from Mr. Ghiz's Liberals. Like their predecessors, they appear to lurch from one issue to the next, patching up problems and scrambling around looming crises. A clear transportation policy with a long-term vision that focuses primarily on the needs of Islanders, has an appreciation of the uncertain place of long-distance haulage in our economic future, and respects the democratic, social and environmental values held dearly by all Islanders would never consider such blasphemy as plan B. We need an affordable, efficient and sustainably integrated transportation policy on P.E.I., and this proposal moves us in exactly the opposite direction.

The Liberal road ahead is a half-baked plan that steamrolls the rights of local citizens and spends at least $12 million of P.E.I. taxpayers' money that we can't afford at a time of great fiscal peril. If this is an example of the Liberals getting Islanders "moving forward together", I predict a rough road ahead for all of us.

Peter Bevan-Baker, Hampton

------
More archives from the last year can be found at http://www.stopplanb.org/monthly-stuff  graciously organized by Sarah and Donna.

And this is why we are still at it, right?  See you Easter Monday/April's Fool's Day, 2-4PM.

March 28, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

It's wonderful to be able to share what others have done:

Bruno Peripoli had made a poignant new slideshow about Plan B:

http://youtu.be/m3Uc2KhuJC8

And Evan Gallant's letter says so much, and ends with a good bit of advice for the government:

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Letters-to-editor/2013-03-27/article-3208079/Useful-lessons-from-Plan-B-protest/1

March 27, 2013

Useful lessons from Plan B protest -- The Guardian Letter to the Editor

Spring is closing in on the Island and many are probably preparing for what will hopefully be another warm, calm, relaxing yet profitable summer.

Many residents will see the resurrection of a hot socio-political issue that has benefited from much media attention over the past year. Plan B will most likely resurface with an array of government miscalculations, further financial burdens to a struggling Island economy, and an ever-increasing lack of empathy/respect for Island constituents.

Plan B, although detrimental to both the well-being of some Islanders and our environment, has created a dramatic shift in the way Islanders view government and, in my opinion, will forever change the communities of P.E.I.

Don't get me wrong: the highway clearly has room for improvement, but it was even apparent to me that something cheaper, more efficient, could have been done with the old stretch of highway. The Plan B opposition movement has united Island communities, creating a unique transfer of both political and social ideas. This community has branched out forming several organizations, actively assessing and protecting the rights of Islanders and educating people on responsible government.

For me, Plan B represents all that is wrong with our government, but also reminds me of our power to create change. A community of well-educated community-oriented individuals was a positive result of this process.

Islanders will hopefully see this as an avenue to pursue future activist movements. I was personally inspired by the tact, intelligence, understanding, and sheer determination of all the activists involved in the Plan B protest. It takes strong individuals to defend a position that defies an oppressive government. This spring marks a new year and hopefully a change in government ideology. I advise government to focus on the voice of Islanders and quit sifting through the public purse creating illogical, ill-advised, poorly planned projects that benefit very few people on P.E.I.

Evan Gallant, Hunter River

Chris Ortenburger's Update

The Legislature opened, yesterday, for sessions in the afternoon and evening. (I am going on media reports and a little bit I got to watch on-line.)  During Question Period the talk was finances, with the Finance Minister saying the Robert Ghiz government has lead the country through the worst times since the 1930s, and the Opposition hooting about that and the raising concerns about the debt:

From The Guardian: "But Stratford-Kinlock MLA James Aylward said Sheridan continues to come up with one excuse after the other for his government, a government that continues to spend beyond its means on questionable projects.
'He was the one who made poor choices like Plan B and the luxury Homburg hotel.' "

The Auditor General was named and tabled a report.  This one focused on money from the PNP program, but last year's said on average Transportation under-budgeted projects about 8 -12% (and these were relatively straightforward projects like a bridge widening).  With Plan B, that will be *a lot* of money.

The afternoon sitting ended with a series of government MLAs speaking to a motion against Distracted Driving.  One by one they said what a great motion it was, telling anecdotes about accidents caused by young people texting.

Sounds good -- but isn't there a law in place already?  And isn't this one of those "safety" issues -- driver inattention and driver error cause accidents, much more often than road design.  Yes, you can work on driver inattention without blasting holes in the Bonshaw Hills.

The budget will be released today, and with that questions about some more Plan B work and TransCanada Highway work in Desable may be answered.

March 26, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Today and tomorrow the PEI Legislature will start its Spring Sitting. This is earlier than usual to pass HST Legislation and table the budget. Then they go off on an Easter Break until Tuesday, April 2nd.   I think both days will have Question Periods shortly after 2PM, if people are interested in attending.  Watching any part of the proceedings from the Gallery this Spring Sitting is a way to remind our MLAs that voters DO hold them accountable for their behaviour in the House (which can be atrocious) and their actions, including their *lack* of action on matters where they should be speaking out for their constituents.

From the comfort of your home or office, where you can make loud comments and not be tossed out of the Gallery, you can watch the video proceedings, shown in real time (and archived later):
http://www.assembly.pe.ca/index.php3?number=1029085
and at least you can see the level of debate. 

The Opposition Progressive Conservatives are requesting questions from the public, as I have posted before:
http://peipcparty.ca/share-what-matters/
Don't be discouraged by the"Spring Sitting 2012" on the page -- the link works and I am sure the Tories are updating things as fast as they can. 

From The Guardian yesterday: "Myers pointed to such projects as the Homburg hotel, the Bonshaw highway realignment, known as Plan B, as well as the celebrations planned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the confederation conference in Charlottetown as examples of poor spending choices.
'Balancing the books is not about cutting front-line services or taking ERs out of communities, it's about spending money wisely and they don't seem to be capable of doing that.' "

NDP Leader Mike Redmond said yesterday in a press release that:
“Islanders can no longer accept unbalanced budgets, coupled with persistent wasteful spending. Projects like Plan B, the hills in Borden-Carleton and The Holman Grand Hotel are all examples of irresponsible use of tax dollars. The list goes on and on,” stated Redmond. “We certainly hope that the $400 million in infrastructure spending recently announced by the Federal Government will be used for better purposes.”
"Our focus should be on our waterways, culvert replacements, and actually addressing the 43 recommendations from the April 2007 Environmental Advisory Council report,” states Redmond.

Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker has pointed to the introduction of the HST as money being grabbed from Islanders to "be squandered on stupid projects like the Holman Grand and Plan B."

Peter's most recent two-minute "Pete's Peeve":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG_83K7gbsM

And keep in mind:

Easter Monday, April 1st, 2-4PM, Plan B Social, at the Bonshaw Community Centre -- hope you can drop in!  We'll be talking about some fun events for spring, and hope to have lots of photos from the past year on a big TV, and folks on hand to lead hikes in the area.

March 25, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

I have wanted to document what is one of the worst parts of Plan B: the gutting of the community along the TCH in New Haven.

The small blue x's are approximate locations for just some of the homes bought for Plan B; the size variations of the x's are unintentional.

I sincerely want to respect the former residents' privacy and right to make their own decisions.  I also want to say goodbye and thank you to these residents, who lived long and I hope happy lives in the area, who were paid something for their property, but who are now gone and leave their former homes behind, to be pulled up and moved, or destroyed. 

Perhaps this is what the New Haven/Riverdale Community would say, if it were a she, and could paraphrase Paul Simon:

"And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow..."

This home has since been carted off.

The home located here was moved in winter.

Snow builds up.

The snow fills in between the screen and front door....

Wonderful people in all these homes...none of us can imagine what the stresses were like.

The gladiolus and other flowers were a joy to the passerby.

Remember, none of these homes would have been touched for "Plan A."  These residents had *no inkling* of what was ahead until the announcement in late December of 2011.  Most said they had no idea their home was in the path until the folks from the Land Office came knocking in January or later in 2012.


Farewell, families.  We were told you were given Fair Market Value, but we know it was a hard choice, and one we didn't think was Fair you had to make.

March 24, 2013

Cindy Richards' Environmental Report -- Facebook

Mar. 24 Update: The sun shines brilliantly this afternoon at Camp, creating more energy :) Bustling with activity this week-end, 13 wonderful people come to camp offering support in many forms. Ski Patrols head out on site again today to monitor the mess. Yesterday we spend time at Fairyland to discover reactionary mitigation measures taken to handle water from the racetrack. We also to discovered the silt trap is still solid with muck, thus allowing runoff from the ditch, which drains the road embankment and runoff from above, to enter directly into watercourse. Fences at Hemlock Grove have been replaced in some instances with new plan b (b) mitigations. Seems a trial and error attempt at environmental protection and thus far they are 0 for 3 on rain events. Other areas of concern have not been addressed as of yet but then again very little has be done.

March 23, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

The fourth video documenting the failed mitigations at the Bonshaw site of Plan B last week, along with summary of the other three locations, has been produced by Cindy, with help from the other environmental monitors. A fantastic, informative effort -- it shows that on March 14th, berms completely eroded and silt fences overflowed while just a few minutes away an excavator makes puny attempts to break up bedrock.

http://youtu.be/OmhOapRsza8

There is another word that comes to mind when looking at these mitigation efforts: Lilliputian*

Environmental degradation aside, how can this project be on budget and on schedule, as Chief Engineer Yeo has repeatedly said?

If you wonder that, too, consider asking the Tories to raise these questions (budget, bedrock, burst berms) to government in their time during Question Period, which starts next week, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons after the Legislature opens. (The schedule may be altered next week due to when they will release the provincial budget.) But the Opposition is apparently collecting questions.

Island Voices (Opposition Tories initiative to hear Islanders' questions on issues):

Webpage:   http://peipcparty.ca/share-what-matters/

Or e-mail:    islandvoices@assembly.pe.ca


*in the sense of very small, trivial, petty

March 22, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

A thought-provoking essay by John Hopkins.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Letters-to-editor/2013-03-21/article-3204146/An-Island-silent-spring/1

An Island silent spring

Published on March 21, 2013

Editor:

Plan B destruction continues. With seeming unbridled contempt for the environment, it appears timely for the woodlot industry to demand buffer zones be dismantled. These protective areas, legislated for Island watercourses, are already woefully thin. To appease the farm lobby, their size was cut in half against the recommendations of the government's own Royal Commission on Land Use.

Hundreds of thousands of putrid belly-up fish, nitrates in ground water, sickly green estuaries, fish-egg strangling siltation, wide-scale soil erosion, blood red rivers, very high cancer rates, rampant asthma, disappearing bee populations; it's all happening in P.E.I. on a massive scale.

A new proposal has surfaced questioning limits on land ownership by the potato industry. Are demands by woodlot owners to cut down to the stream's edge, or those pushing for potato acreage and more control of our land resources, happening now because Plan B proved that even the worst environmental ideas are now fair ball?

It appears P.E.I.'s anti-environmentalists are no longer unashamed to go public. Given what's happened, can you blame them for not wanting to go all the way? Is this partly why NDP fortunes are skyrocketing? Perhaps many Islanders do not support of this boundless destruction of our remaining forested areas.

Enough is enough. It's time to start fighting back or we will lose this piece of Island paradise to those bound by an insatiable and incredibly irresponsible greed. What is being passed down to our own children and grandchildren? Those responsible look into the mirror every morning and give themselves a passing grade. They will never change. Island communities must step up now and act for positive change to stop this idiotic environmental vandalism.

Rather than relying on successive governments to truly act in the public interest in these matters, we must all act in good co-operative faith to begin re-building a healthy P.E.I. for the land and Island families; or face our own tailored silent spring. Look around you; see how our people, wildlife, and treasured lands are all suffering.

John Hopkins, Breadalbane

March 21, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Here is Gary Schneider's letter from *a year ago yesterday*, the first from an established group, decrying Plan B:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Letters-to-editor/2012-03-20/article-2934043/Say-no-to-this-plan/1
It is worth reading again.

Now in 2013, Two sentences say it all:
From yesterday's paper:
(not online yet, so reprinted here:)

Overwhelmed by events

Editor:
"Rain, melting snow causing headaches at Plan B highway realignment site" is what the headline says in Tuesday's Guardian.  It seems the environmental preparations for the "one-in-25-years" event has been overwhelmed by several "one-in-25-days" events.
Carl Mathis, Charlottetown

And recording of the failed mitigations by the volunteer environmental monitors continues:
Environment Assessment Part 3
Failed Mitigations -- Box Culvert/Crawford's Brook/Peter's Road
http://youtu.be/fTaGT5lDihA

and a reminder of the previous two Failed Mitigations
Part 1: 
http://youtu.be/B-lpoXIpqLU
Part 2: 
http://youtu.be/hXXH7lReGug
-----
and Land Protection Act sessions:

These are not on the LPA website yet, but yesterday's Guardian also had a small story. 
The Charlottetown second session is Monday, April 8th, Rodd Charlottetown, 7 - 9:30PM
Crapaud is Tuesday, April 9th, Englewood School, 7 - 9:30PM. 

March 20, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Yesterday, almost a week after melting and rain, The Guardian printed this:

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-03-18/article-3202449/Rain%2C-snowmelt-cause-problems-at-Plan-B-site/1

While reporter Ryan Ross does mention environmental concerns at the site, and speaks to Jay Carr, from the Environment Department (and for a little while, one of the Dedicated Environmental employees to the Plan B project) it's possible he didn't actually go to the site. The print version had no illustration, and the on-line version had a picture of Hemlock Grove from about early December, when the arches were being installed on Crawford's Stream.

Cindy and the other public environmental monitors were there. And, with collaboration of ideas and image-sharing, using the solar-powered tipi computer, Cindy has made this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-lpoXIpqLU

That's what happened at Fairyland.

And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXXH7lReGug is what happened at Hemlock Grove/Crawford's Stream.

Maybe you can send them on, too.

Kudos to the crew for their work!

Have a good snow day,

March 19, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Here is a bit about Crawford's Brook:

The little stream is west of Peter's Road, crosses under a rather crummy culvert under Peter's Road, goes through a bit of a wetland, joins Crawford's Stream from Hemlock Grove, and goes under the TCH to the West River.  More on those other culverts another day.

Crawford's Brook is labeled.  You can follow the streams as the green (treed) vegetation in this area. The West River is the big wiggly waterway.

This pretty little brook and area was described by Gary Schneider as a true jewel along this whole misguided highway project path.  Not to diminish at all the Old Growth Forest of Hemlock Grove, the Crawford's Brook area consisted of different beauty and value, a mature beech and maple grove, with seeps and springs abound. 

BEFORE:     

March 2012   Looking east and downhill, from above the Crawford's Brook. (CO photo)                                              

AFTER:

January 2013  Looking east and downhill, from above Crawford's Brook. (photo thanks to Deb Jeffrey)

This little stream, with gets quite a load of snowmelt in the spring (none of it with sediment last spring, by the way), has been fitted with a box culvert to go under the metres of fill and under Plan B.  More on how that's currently doing tomorrow.

Hope you have a good day...one of those calm before the storm days!

March 18, 2013

Rain, snowmelt cause problems at Plan B site -- The Guardian online

The stream in the hemlock grove was diverted underground until the culvert is completed and then it will be allowed to flow through it. The Guardian file photo

Extra environmental controls have been added to the Trans Canada Highway realignment known as Plan B after heavy rains and snow melt caused problems at the construction site last week.

Jay Carr, an environmental assessment officer with the Environment Department, said part of the problem was the 35 mm of rain in a six-hour period, along with snow melt.

“There was a lot of water that went down in a relatively short timeframe,” he said.

The rain led to washouts and overflowing silt traps that were supposed to hold up under a one-in-25-year event.

But recent rains weren’t the first time environmental protection measures didn’t hold up and several silt fences have needed repairs or improvements to protect nearby waterways.

With the latest problems, Carr said the biggest issue was a washout at the former Encounter Creek site near Churchill where a dam holding back a diverted stream let go.

“A big gush of water came down and went through the culvert,” he said.

The rushing water didn’t follow the streambed it was supposed to and overwhelmed a sediment trap, he said.

Carr said the contractor was rebuilding the sediment trap and fixing the streambed to make sure the water follows the right path.

Sediment traps are designed to collect runoff in a pool where any sediment settles to the bottom and is eventually emptied to make room for more.

Carr said most of the sediment traps at the construction site are getting full and they will be cleared out soon.

“They’ve done their job,” he said.

Environmental monitors are supposed to be at the site regularly to make sure all the proper environmental protections are in place.

Carr said monitors have been on site during days when the weather required it or there was snowmelt.

Extra control measures have been put in place and more could be on the way if necessary, Carr said.

He also said recent cold weather has made it easier for crews to fix some of the problems than it might otherwise have been when the ground was softer.

“It would have to be done but it would just be more difficult,” he said.

The Plan B site wasn’t the only place where flooding caused problems and the Transportation Department closed several roads last week.

That includes Route 6 in Oyster Bed Bridge, where the road is closed for the next few days and Route 224 where work is expected to take about six weeks to finish.

Route 6 in Cavendish was closed temporarily but has since re-opened.

Chris Ortenberger's Update

Don't forget the Plan B Social, Monday, April 1st, 2 - 4PM, Bonshaw Community Centre-- two weeks from today!

----

Someone pointed out an article in Sunday's Halifax Chronicle-Herald, about valuing our Old Growth Hemlock:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/thenovascotian/1019922-hemlocks-nature-s-pharmacy

It gives practical descriptions of the worth of the forest, and raises good questions about what we value and how we show it.  The author is in Nova Scotia and doesn't even address the stupidity of cutting forest for *roads* and the fragmentation of wildlife space.  It might make some good reading for our politicians.

-----

Fact Check:  I screwed up talking about my terms when I described "decommissioning" one of the streams in Fairyland on Saturday.  It wasn't officially decommissioned because it wasn't classified as a "stream", or something. 

Very clunkily annotated map of Plan B:

I am referring to the most easterly ravine along the project line.  The two Fairyland ravines are too close together to distinguish on this image.   The second one was a lovely little stream of meltwater last spring.

Before:

Larger ravine (more westerly), Fairyland, March 17, 2012 (a walk last year)

Second (easterly) ravine, Fairyland, March 17, 2012

Both of those photos were taken one year ago yesterday, when my family explored the Plan B surveyor's cut for the first time end-to-end.  Bittersweet.

From November 2012's Flight Over Plan B:

November 11, 2012.  Overhead, west is left, over Fairyland ravines. This was before the culvert (little pile in upper left) were installed.

March 2013 -- And Fairyland this week, photo by Cindy Richards and crew, looking east.

Have a good return-of-winter day!

March 17, 2013

Cindy Richards' Environmental Report -- Facebook

The events of the past few days has left me extremely frustrated. We made virgin tracks to discover landslides, wash-outs, silt pond blow outs etc. Then to hear it defended as a result of the weather conditions and it is normal is almost more than I can bare. I walk past silt fences and silt ponds that have not maintained as outlined in the EPP and contributed to the problem. I witnessed silt traps drain through the joints of the box culvert to be deposited into the stream which ran red for longer than "normal". Approximately 20 000$ was spent on a review of Stantecs mitigation measures, great! except they hired Stantec to audit itself and the report is not finished or released yet, we needed it last week....well for what it is worth. A skeleton crew came in to repair some of the damage, as silt fences still lay on their sides, silt ponds still needing cleaning and repairs to some which are still blown out....., reactive with no proactive efforts. So do I sit and wait for the next rain and then take pictures of a bad situation that could have better mitigated? Do I grab a shovel and start cleaning silt fences, reattach and pick them up, move rock.....and risk arrest!! Do I write more letters to Gateway and get a flippant responses, to the ones they actually answer? To address the problem as being "just the way it is" or status quo allows the problem to grow!!! It does not make it acceptable, it does not justify a lackadaisical approach, it does not alleviate any of the responsibilities to mitigate and IMO it should in fact invoke much more effort. I ask that letters be written to Gateway, many of them so they are unable to ignore it and are forced do better.

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Yesterday's CBC website had an mildly interesting article:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2013/03/15/pei-culverts-flooding-584.html

Two items of note about it:
One is that the photo to illustrate a story on aging culverts is from Plan B public monitors checking out the Fairyland culvert on Thursday.  It is almost humourous.  Plan B is not mentioned at all in the story.


Transportation crews have been working to repair wash outs and damage to more than 12 roads across P.E.I. (CBC)

And a comment at the end of the article (yes, they are often not worth reading at all) from a person who goes by Mr. Smithers:
"Most of PEI's secondary roads were paved during provincial election cycles in the 60s and 70s -- particularly when free? federal money was flowing during the 15 year comprehensive development plan
That's 40-50 years ago! The PEI government is notorious for not maintaining its infrastructure. Everything has a life cycle and ours expired many many years ago, and most of it was never designed by a professional engineer to begin with.
Don't believe me? Just look at all the places across this province where there used to be railway crossings. They were just paved over after the tracks were removed in 1990-92. That's 20+ years ago and that's just asphalt. Culvert and bridge replacement is even worse.
But I guess Plan B is very important for those 3000 vehicles per day. Mr. Chiasson (engineer mentioned in article) and I went to engineering school together (only 2 years apart) and I know he would never question the political directions given by his masters but I can only imagine the questions going through the heads of the engineers at TIR.
Here is a province that simply doesn't have its s**t together to have a proper infrastructure maintenance plan for existing roads (it never has), yet has $16+ million to throw at a 5 km realignment that is ''oh so important''.
Why do reporters and opposition politicians not ask the hard questions on these files?
We have infrastructure failure happening all across this province, yet idiocies like Plan B and the Borden Hills take priority? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ?
File those FOIPP requests and get us some answers. And please, someone in the know, slip the brown envelopes containing the cabinet minutes concerning Plan B and the Borden Hills under the doors of Kerry Campbell's or Teresa Wright's offices.
I'd be very curious to see the discussions that took place.
"


(asterisks are mine)

Folks, if anybody knows some useful information, we would be happy to hear it.

A while back, one of my kids calculated that if each MLA gets about 5km or less for paving for his or her district (which the MLA helps decide where), it will take more than 70 years to resurface a particular section of asphalt.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 16, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Here are a few details regarding Thursday's erosion control failures:

The Bonshaw area, like Fairyland, is far enough away from Base Camp and not too easy to monitor, but the public environmental monitoring crew has been there when needed.

Here is a photo from Thursday of a series of sediment ponds downhill from the built-up road base (visible in upper right of photo -- hill and horizontal dirt edge) that getting ready to curve around the CBC tower (thin black stick visible in upper right), photo thanks to Cindy Richards:

One section of the Bonshaw part of Plan B, March 14th, 2013.

On another part of the Bonshaw site on Thursday, closer to the most western edge by Bonshaw Provincial Park and right next to the existing road, an excavator, later joined by another, tried to scrape and break up the bedrock. Some of the excavators are rental, at of cost of tens of thousands of dollars a month.

Below is a link for a two minute YouTube.

http://youtu.be/iE7s4UKMnuA

Click the "gear" icon to select HD -- it is much clearer. You may want to turn down the sound, since it is mostly machine noise.

This video was shot Thursday afternoon, March 14th, looking out towards the TCH.

The white dust is bedrock dust made by the teeth (those ones that we heard cost $10,000 a week to replace) scratching bedrock.

About 1:20 into the video you can see efforts to break the rock.

The seven giant dump trucks were there that day, but were moved Friday.

Does the rental company know what difficult work these machines are being put through?

March 15, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Mitigation failure was the theme for yesterday.  Yes, Thursday was preceded by a night of rain after a good melting day, but we aren't talking about a huge 1 in 25 year event...maybe, maybe 1 in 10 year.  And every area had a big failure of mitigations that were supposed to withstand this kind of water flow.

Some coverage from CBC Compass:
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/PEI/ID/2344288197/
About 4 minutes into the broadcast.

Cindy, Larry, Deb and Dana, environmental monitors, spent the whole day investigating the Crawford Stream and Brook and the Fairyland sites, and around Bonshaw.  Most of their photos were posted on Facebook on the Plan B site:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/220834614673617/
which you can request to join.  I have borrowed a few for this.

Here are some of the "highlights", going east to west:
Here are some of the "highlights", going east to west:
First, I apologize for the map and my amateur "skills", but to give you an idea of where we are talking about:


(Ignore the "Meet on Peter's Road..." , since this map was for a walk last year.)

Fairyland


This is along Plan B in Fairyland, which you cannot see from the TCH because of the remaining trees in the area.  It's been built up a huge amount, with the culvert being for the small stream there (the other stream was "decommissioned", I think).  This was one of those beautiful ravines last year, and still wants to be a ravine.

The Fairyland area, certainly, would not have been noticed if it weren't for Cindy and Company trudging in, discovering what's behind those trees, and encouraging Brian Higgins and his cameraman to do the same. 

Crawford's Stream -- sediment pond

This is upstream of the giant arch culvert on Crawford's Stream.  Sediment is pouring in from up above on all the fill used to bury Hemlock Grove and the construction east of the Grove. This is an area that was a clear water melt last spring.

Crawford's Brook

This is ironic - -where is the red water from Wednesday afternoon?   The contractor/TIR came to pump first thing Thursday morning, too.  It appears a lot of it seeped into the culvert (like perforated "tile"!) and rushed out of the culvert downstream.  The box culvert is supposed to be a watertight tube, with all that black sealing tape and caulk and such.

Bonshaw
I don't have a photo of Bonshaw right now -- on the part between the CBC Tower and the western end (the curve by "Plan B" on the little map) there is erosion down the built up hillside and the sediment pond is filled.

At the very tip of Plan B nearing the bridge in Bonshaw, yesterday an excavator and sometimes two were working away on chipping the bedrock and forming it into neat piles to be carted off later (as the rest of the depression they are working on is a big lake).  The TIR folks were moving rocks at Crawford's Stream with their hands, and an excavator was chipping bedrock down the road. 
A YouTube video is coming soon of that area.

Photos by various environmental monitors, with thanks.

Cindy Richards' Environmental Report -- Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/220834614673617/permalink/424999980923745/

Work was underway today to repair the damage at Fairyland. I was happy to hear that the department of Environment has finally assigned a full time dedicated employee to plan b. I was equally happy to see an environment officer on site today. I have also been informed that an environment officer was on site yesterday March 14th and although we didn't see him, he apparently made it to site in the afternoon.... perhaps when we were off exploring the Bonshaw area? The explanation that environment officers have not been on site because there was no work going on.... doesn't really fly for me, the way I figure it, the environment is always at work and these mitigations have to be effective even if no one is there. I was told that I only post the negative stuff about plan b construction and fail to recognize when things don't fail. I guess I take that for granted and expect embankments next to roads shouldn't erode into the waterways. Of course it is nothing personal against the hard working Islanders doing their jobs, it reflects more on the design and decision to bulldoze this project through. Today I learned that not all silt fences are alike some are used as silt fences, some are used to direct water, while others in place are not in use. Now to try to figure out which one does what?

March 14, 2013

Mitigations fail...(once again..sigh) --- CBC Compass TV News

Cindy Richards give another stellar performance...there should be an award for this!!!

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/PEI/ID/2344288197/

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Rain.  On top of snowmelt.

First, we all know some of our rivers and streams run red in spring melting and rain events, and this is often from open fields, clay roads, driveways, etc. losing sediment into the waterflow.

However, enough of us rambled around the Plan B survey zones last spring (2012) to document that Crawford's Stream (east of Peter's Road, old Hemlock Grove) and Crawford's Brook (west of Peter's Road, the maple and birch forest) never ran red due to runoff during rain or melt -- of course not, as there was forest floor (not exposed dirt) to soak up the water.

This year, the temperatures in past 24 hours have accelerated a mess, with flattened dirt on one side (both impermeable to rain and melt, and loose enough to lose particles in water flow) -- over Hemlock Grove, and a steep hillside denuded of its trees and mossy undergrowth on the hill up form Crawford's Brook.

Tuesday, March 12, there was snow and ice, and the water was running clear in Crawford's Stream (by old Hemlock Grove) and there was no run-off by Crawford's Brook (concrete boxes). 

Wednesday, March 13, by the late afternoon, red water was flowing down into the Stream on the east side, upstream of the culvert....all coming from the flattened roadbed area and where they are finding bedrock. 

Crawford's Stream, just upstream of Hemlock Grove, Wednesday, March 13, 2013.  Photo by Cindy Richards.

And on the other side of the road, in the ditches on either side of the box culvert, muddy water filled up on both sides.

West of Box Culverts on Crawford's Brook.  Photo taken March 13, 2013 by Cindy Richards.

And keep in mind this was before it started to rain last night.

All this is to say it is unequivocal that the red water in Crawford's Stream and Brook as of today is caused by the faulty erosion control measures put in place in Fall and Winter 2012 in an attempt to lesson the impact of the ridiculous decision to start a major highway project in Fall on PEI.

More later. 

Cindy Richards' Environmental Report

March 14: roadbed at fairyland erodes and washes away!!

March 14: roadbed at fairyland erodes and washes away!!

March 13, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Yesterday, on the Plan B site, east of the Hemlock Grove, a small crew put in a new patch of crushed glass to help with existing and anticipated run-off on that eastern side of Crawford's Stream. (Large-scale construction work is not expected to resume until late April.) This is area of a lot of little streams and seeps.

In this photo, by Cindy Richards, public environmental monitor, you are looking WEST towards Bonshaw, along Plan B. Fairyland would be across the current highway and behind you. That landing strip-looking area framed by the excavator's arm is Plan B above Hemlock Grove.

-----

From yesterday's and last week's Guardian: an article, a letter to the editor, and opinion piece that show problems and connect the dots as to why. A little light reading for a rainy day. :-/

First, this article seems to confirm that the Legislature will open Tuesday, March 26, and on Wednesday the budget will be tabled. It sounds like two bills allowing HST to go ahead will be voted on, and then they will break for the Easter recess.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-03-12/article-3198745/Red-ink-will-continue-to-flow-from-P.E.I.-budget/1

In a recent CRA poll, the government party had a 51% approval rating among decided voters.

Next, Boyd Allen describes actions (or lack thereof) speaking louder than words:

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Letters-to-editor/2013-03-12/article-3197553/March-toward-gender-equality/1

and in full:

March toward gender equality
Published on March 12, 2013

I recently attended a reception and film screening to celebrate International Women's Day. It was a very well-organized event involving a number of organizations and the venue was packed to capacity.

Progress made in the long march toward gender equality in this society was certainly celebrated but the appalling inequities were also painfully evident. In terms of workplace equity, domestic violence, affordable child care and reproductive rights, to mention just a few issues, government has chosen to not facilitate positive change to reflect the obvious need.

I noticed that only one of our MLAs of any party attended this reception (and not, incidentally, the one responsible for the Status of Women file). Was this laziness on their part or apathy? As evidenced by the HST implementation, Plan B highway realignment project, MLA wage increase, etc.,etc., there doesn't seem to be a role for public will in the "announce and defend" style of government we live under in this province.

Despite being our elected representatives, why unnecessarily expose yourselves to a group who may disagree with the party line? That's what you hire managers for, isn't it?

Boyd Allen, Pownal

and a thoughtful opinion piece from late last week by David MacKay about our eroding democracy (federal, but applies to provincial):

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Letters-to-editor/2013-03-08/article-3195244/Eroding-democracy/1

Hope it is some food for thought.

Cindy Richards' Environmental Report

Yesterdays efforts to reduce the flow of water and sediment were not successful. This pic was upstream of the arch at the Grove, before the rain. :(

Yesterdays efforts to reduce the flow of water and sediment were not successful. This pic was upstream of the arch at the Grove, before the rain. :(

Trenches at Crawfords brook are filled with water! Mitigations measures were to include the pumping out of these trenches ....but seriously in what direction uphill?? failed last time likely to fail this time altho they have trenched above as well. Pic taken before the rain, pumps will arrive tomorrow after the rain. The water has already found a way through the berm. :(

Trenches at Crawfords brook are filled with water! Mitigations measures were to include the pumping out of these trenches ....but seriously in what direction uphill?? failed last time likely to fail this time altho they have trenched above as well. Pic taken before the rain, pumps will arrive tomorrow after the rain. The water has already found a way through the berm. :(
This side has not crested its banks yet this is because water is seeping through the berm :( into the brook as can be seen as solid red flow on the other side.

This side has not crested its banks yet this is because water is seeping through the berm :(   into the brook as can be seen as solid red flow on the other side.
This this Crawfords brook after travelling through the leaky, concrete flaking, box culvert. It was not flushed out as the Cr. stream was.... told there wasn't enough volume of water to worry about it ...hmm??? The rain has really started to pour :(
This this Crawfords brook after travelling through the leaky, concrete flaking, box culvert. It was not flushed out as the  Cr. stream was.... told there wasn't enough volume of water to worry about it ...hmm??? The rain has really started to pour :(
The sediment flowing into Crawfords stream and where it is coming from and sediments from concerned citizen who is disgusted at the base of failed mitigations

I don't mean to obsess about the concrete box but I am a bit scared of them. this is a bolt found at the base of the box at the downstream entrance. It is rusting with corrosion already beginning....it should have been mortared over......except ??? this doesn't seem to be the solution either, the patches are flaking, wet never properly curing :( guess that is what happens when you pour concrete in the cold of January

The ditches which were designated to hold this mess have been breached and now it runs into the brook via the trench :(

Photo

50 concrete boxes so far. Crawford's Brook  By: Deb Jeffrey

March 12, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Tonight is a talk at the University that may be of interest regarding Plan B and the federal aspect of the Environmental Impact Assessment, or Plan B in general.

If anyone is able to go, please let us know about it.

        The Federal Government, the Environment, and You

        What: A presentation about the Environmental Petitions Process. Created in 1995, this process is a formal means for                 Canadians to raise environmental concerns. To date, over 380 petitions have been submitted.

        Who: Hosted by UPEI Environmental Studies and led by guest speaker David Willey, Office of the Auditor General of                 Canada

        Where: Don and Marion McDougall Hall, Room 242, UPEI Campus, 550 University Avenue

        When: Tuesday, March 12, 7:00–9:00 pm

         Why: This presentation will show how Canadians can use the petitions process to bring their environmental concerns to             the attention of federal government ministers and get answers to their questions in a timely manner.

         For more information, contact Dr. Carolyn Peach Brown, Director of Environmental Studies and Assistant Professor, (902)         620-5066 or hcpbrown@upei.ca

Hope you are having a great week. People are keeping an eye on the melting at some of the Plan B areas, which has so far been slow.

Cindy Richards' Environmental Report

Work is underway today south of Crawfords stream, tweaking environmental mitigations in anticipation for tomorrows rain. Seen here are efforts to slow water flow through the drainage ditch, the trench is made deeper and filled with a dam of crushed glass, which is employed as drainage aggregate.

Work is underway today south of Crawfords stream, tweaking environmental mitigations in anticipation for tomorrows rain. Seen here are efforts to slow water flow through the drainage ditch, the trench is made deeper and filled with a dam of crushed glass, which is employed as drainage aggregate.
On my hunt for the elusive dedicated environmental employee, with camera in hand to capture the moment..... I returned with this pic in in its stead, as have I yet to come across such individual. This pic providing further evidence of the degradation of the concrete boxes....these paw like prints are deeply pitted. As I walked through I noticed a wet patch on the side of the box, it was sticky to the touch as if had been a patch just applied...which it wasn't. ???
https://www.facebook.com/groups/220834614673617/permalink/423298314427245/
On my hunt for the elusive dedicated environmental employee, with camera in hand to capture the moment..... I returned with this pic in in its stead, as have I yet to come across such individual. This pic providing further evidence of the degradation of the concrete boxes....these paw like prints are deeply pitted. As I walked through I noticed a wet patch on the side of the box, it was sticky to the touch as if had been a patch just applied...which it wasn't. ???
Why is this patch sticky and wet on the side of the concrete box? What does it mean?? I have added blistering,curling, delamination, low spots, pop outs and spalling to my vocabulary when describing the effects seen at the box culvert (thanks to the publications of the PCA Portland Cement Association) but haven't found out about sticky cement conditions yet??
https://www.facebook.com/groups/220834614673617/permalink/423311874425889/
Why is this patch sticky and wet on the side of the concrete box? What does it mean?? I have added blistering,curling, delamination, low spots, pop outs and spalling to my vocabulary when describing the effects seen at the box culvert (thanks to the publications of the PCA Portland Cement Association) but havent found out about sticky cement conditions yet??

March 11, 2013

Cindy Richards' Environmental Report

There is good news!! the peace of the Bonshaw hills will not see the des/contruction begin before the end of April. A skeleton crew will come to site tomorrow to tweak a couple of mitigations before weds. rain.... although I would expect such crews will be busy before the scheduled return. The concrete boxes are presenting pouring water and sediment through many of its top joint seams as well as extensive spalling....the best response I have gotten... TIR knows and have told the contractor to fix it.....ok?... Back to the good news, this week end saw many hands make light work at the camp woodpile :) Camp coffee is now being served from fresh ground kick ass coffee, using solar energy to grind which imo actually enhances the taste!!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/220834614673617/permalink/422959557794454/

March 10, 2013

Cindy Richards' Environmental Report

This was taken in the 8x8 box culvert at Crawfords stream. It is found throughout and is known as spalling rhymes with appalling!! to learn more of spalling please refer to comments.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/220834614673617/permalink/422577341166009/
This was taken in the 8x8 box culvert at Crawfords stream. It is found throughout and is known as spalling rhymes with appalling!!  to learn more of spalling please refer to comments.
Monitor finds further failing of concrete box culverts 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/220834614673617/permalink/422590684498008/
Monitor finds further failing of concrete box culverts

There are other pics I can not load at this time :( .... during installation, box #50 was damaged, the joint cracked....I can now put my fist in the gap it has deteriorated with spalling, and showing signs of rebar. It is recommended that these structures be backfilled asap after installation to ensure stabilization, it was scheduled to be back filled in Jan but they made a last minute decision to wait until April. I would say as a result of this decision these boxes are migrating and will continue to do so with heave accelerating the rate until repaired and filled. Then I question what does it matter when the water is being dammed up under the current TCH meters downstream?!? I am going to start standing on my heads to get a better perspective because it is clearly upside down and backwacks!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/220834614673617/permalink/422635527826857/

March 7, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Early this week, CBC Radio's Island Morning announced a contest where you could win a trip to the taping of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" in Hlaifax by sending in a 22-second rant of your own.

It sounds like they very soon changed it to something like a "22-second spot about your best Spring Break"; I didn't hear the explanation why, but perhaps they didn't want people to talk about issues...

But Gail Rhyno made this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOKJ6NAIV-A

March 6, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Legislative Update:
The PEI Legislature will start its Spring Session on Tuesday, March 26, from 2 - 5PM, take a supper break, and resume from 7 - 9PM.  They will also sit Wednesday, March 27, from 2 - 5PM, but then will go on Easter break until Tuesday, April 2nd.  The guess is that they will bring in the budget before they head out for the holidays, so the HST can be passed before April 1st, but without too much scrutiny before things shut down.  It should be an interesting two days.

Comments on Four Parties
A few of us popped in to the Coles building to say hi and give a Plan B update to the Tories yesterday, at their request.  Colin LaVie, Environment Critic, and James Aylward, Finance Critic, were there with a couple of the staff.  They listened, still get the main issues with Plan B (cost, damage to the environment, lack of consultation), but admit they will have lots of other issues to go after this Spring.
They are probably going to continue Island Voices (where they read questions on behalf of Islanders, so questions can be thought of for Question Period and sent in).
We explained how the PEI Citizens Alliance is moving forward to "watch PEI" about environmental and democratic issues.

And the other major political parties:
Peter Bevan-Baker of the PEI Green Party has always listened, always been there.

Mike Redmond and president Andrew Want of the PEI NDP have been very communicative and supportive.

Here's the last communication with my MLA, Liberal Valerie Docherty, when the Flight Over Plan B video came out:

I watched this video the day it was posted on FB (Facebook). It is well done & provides a 
great over view for everyone, regardless of the position one has on the project. The efforts
of those involved are to be commended and I'm sure it wasn't an inexpensive project. 
Well, *Plan B* is certainly an expensive project, and we *don't* commend all involved.  (And everything about the flight was donated.)  And the Premier and Ministers involved either hide behind others or make promises they don't follow-up on.
Here is the Flight YouTube link, by the way:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=e3VZvNeqqaA

March 5, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

I thought I would take a quiet moment to mention another of the wonderful people who has been opposed to Plan B and is now active in the PEI Citizens Alliance.

Catherine (Russell) O'Brien said she got more involved in opposing Plan B early last Fall after a conversation with Bonshaw resident Tony Reddin, when he encouraged her to go and *do* more. (Yah for Tony!) Catherine organized a rally in very short order the Friday before Minister Sherry's announcement on Plan B came out. Many people came to that rally, which was held on the Grafton Street side of Province House, so the lunchtime traffic could "voice" their concerns. It was a perfect, breezy early fall day, and I still remember the honking of nearly every vehicle that came down the road.

Catherine was at the road along the construction site or in Hemlock Grove that entire week that construction started, waving signs, fielding calls from the media, and standing brave and tall when the RCMP swooped in that Friday afternoon.

photo by Shirley Gallant (I think)
Six RCMP officers and one construction manager zero in on one woman (left).
Hemlock Grove,October 12, 2012.

The November "A Concert for Change" was organized primarily by Catherine (we have GREAT concerts, don't we?), and she is currently busy as Artistic Producer for Young at Heart Theatre, a non-profit organization which brings musical theatre to seniors' residences across the island.

http://yahtheatre.com/yaht/

They are in the middle of the production of the show "Extraordinary", and there are performances in other venues around the island, including at the Arts Guild this Saturday, March 9th, for the general public.

More details on times and on their fundraising campaign with Indiegogo at their Facebook site:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/44206296330/?ref=ts&fref=ts

A Plan B opponent, minus the raincoat and boots.

March 4, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Thanks to all who made the concert yesterday a great deal of fun, and very productive!

It was a a great time, so good to see you all, and your generosity is amazing. Hope you all had a lot of fun.

The media was here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2013/03/03/pei-plan-b-protest-fundraiser-584.html

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/PEI/ID/2340072730/   (2:20 in the broadcast)

Mark your calendars for Monday, April 1st for a Plan B Social -- to talk about the previous year, and the coming construction season, and everything in between.

Have a great day -- back to updates from Camp and other news later this week! ;-)

March 3, 2013

Plan B opposers fundraise to help with protest -- CBC Maritimes Sunday TV news

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/PEI/ID/2340072730/   (2:20 in the broadcast)

Plan B opposers fundraise to help with protest --  CBC website

CBC file photo

A small group will continue their protest at the Plan B highway construction site in the Bonshaw area during the winter. (CBC)

Protesters of the controversial Plan B Highway realignment project held a benefit concert on Sunday to help raise money to offset their legal costs and expenses.

The P.E.I. Citizens Alliance said besides covering peoples’ trespassing charges the money will also support demonstrators still camped out watching the construction site in Bonshaw.

“We're trying to support the people that put their bodies out there basically,” said P.E.I. Citizens Alliance spokesman Chris Ortenburger.

“No one's getting paid anything or anything like that. It's just basically things like firewood, it's Internet and it's reimbursing people who've paid for everything out of pocket.”

The concert took place at a theatre in Charlottetown.

“They need the support, I believe in what they stand for,” said attendee Charles Russell.

More than a dozen Island musicians played for the audience.

“It's a very small price to come to a concert, or play music at a concert to raise money for their court fees,” said musician Teresa Doyle.

Fellow musician Fraser McCallum agreed.

“The people involved, their hearts are in the right places,” he said.

Members of the P.E.I. Citizens Alliance said any money left over will go to their organisation.

They say the funds will be used to help them protest any non-environmentally friendly projects on the Island.

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Today is the Bet-R Plan Concert, from 2 - 5PM, at the Arts Guild. There will be a lot of fun and fundraising going on!

Admission is by donation. Performers will include Tim Hamming, The Misled Ukes, Scott Parsons, Nancy Clement and Graeme Hunter, Teresa Doyle and Todd MacLean, Margie Carmichael, and a host of others.

There will be a cash bar with beer, wine, pop, and juice; Casa Mia and other places are open down the street if you want to pop out to grab a coffee during the intermissions.  And one of the fundraisers is a bake sale going on at the Guild, too.

Both raffles will have the last chance for purchasing tickets, and the draws will be held during the concert:  Lisa Murphy's painting "Last Stand" and the Basket of Island Treasures.  And there will be a 50:50 draw, also.

The Bet-R Plan Art Exhibit is downstairs and will be open right before and during the concert, but then it is closing.  Most of the artwork is for sale and a portion of the proceeds goes to the the PEI Citizens Alliance for costs related to fighting Plan B.  Lovely images, all.

So come out for any amount of time that you can -- there has been a lot of planning and giving by wonderful people!

I'll be in the back at the PEICA/Stop Plan B tables.

photo from The Guardian

Friends,organizers, and contributors: Cathy Grant, Charlie DesRoches, Susan Christensen and Shannon Mader

March 2, 2013

Chris Ortenburger's Update

Here is the link to the very nice story about the Concert tomorrow in yesterday's Lifestyles section of The Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Arts/Entertainment/2013-03-01/article-3188362/Concert-of-concern/1
The time is listed a bit wrong and should be 2 - 5PM.

Here a profile of the last artist in the Gallery exhibit downstairs:

March 1, 2013

MLAs don’t deserve raise -- The Guardian Letter to the Editor

So, within the space of 24 hours, we learn that our MLAs are not only in line for a salary raise, but that this will be on top of an increase they have already been receiving since Jan.1.

Yet our provincial government has ignored the priorities that are on the electorate's agenda (health care, education, jobs, the environment), preferring to fritter away tax dollars on dubious schemes such as the Plan B highway, the 2014 slush fund, the Holman Hotel boondoggle, etc., running up a record deficit in the process. Then, they stick it to us, the taxpayers, by bringing in the HST, presumably to pay for all this mismanagement.

Now, MLAs want a pay raise? Whatever happened to the idea that pay raises should bear some relation to performance? If such were to be the case, they should be voting themselves a pay cut.

So, I beg to differ from those letter writers of late who think it would be a good idea to add more MLAs to the crop of 27 that we currently have. Considering that Whitby, Ont., a community with the same population as P.E.I., manages with just one MLA, we are over-governed as it is.

Our problem is not insufficient government, but a poor one. Enough already. It’s time for a fresh approach. Bring on the NDP.

Roger Gordon, Stratford

Chris Ortenburger's Update

In making your weekend plans, consider stopping by the Bet-R Plan Art Show today or tomorrow (noon to 5PM) or Sunday before or during the Concert (2 - 5PM), before it closes.

Here is the YouTube link for Bruno Peripoli's preview of the Art Show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCJPqww-nnM&feature=youtu.be

And here are some words from Shirley Gallant, who has "been there" at Plan B:

And some Plan B people and others will be participating in the the Soccer Balls for Haiti. One game I know of is the Green Party tonight at 8PM at Stone Park Jr, High School (back entrance):
https://www.facebook.com/groups/soccerballsforhaiti/?ref=ts&fref=ts
The whole event runs 24 hours starting at 4PM.

Concert of concern --The Guardian online

.by Sally Cole

The Guardian photo

Members of the P.E.I. Citizens Alliance (PEICA) are excited about the Bet-R Plan Concert taking place at The Guild in Charlottetown on Sunday, 3-5 p.m. From left are Cathy Grant, Charlie DesRoches, Susan Christensen and Shannon Mader. Money raised..

Members of the P.E.I. Citizens Alliance (PEICA) are excited about the Bet-R Plan Concert taking place at The Guild in Charlottetown on Sunday, 3-5 p.m. From left are Cathy Grant, Charlie DesRoches, Susan Christensen and Shannon Mader. Money raised...

Musicians take to the stage of The Guild on Sunday during fundraiser for Bet-R Plan Fund

P.E.I.’s Teresa Doyle is passionate about music.

She also feels strongly about the environment.

So the singer-songwriter is looking forward to combining both passions when she steps onto the stage this weekend during the Bet-R Plan Concert, to be heldat The Guild in Charlottetown on Sunday, 3-5 p.m

“I was delighted to be invited to be part of the event. I’ve been asked to share and teach the chorus of my new song, Un Destino Nuevo (A New Destiny) to the audience,” says Doyle.

Inspired by her conversations with activists in Mexico, it’s a song of hope.

“I really see a big change in Prince Edward Island, that there’s a new, province wide commitment to a new way of thinking, a new destiny. We’re getting serious (about the environment),” says Doyle, referring to the work of the P.E.I. Citizens Alliance, (PEICA) a newly-formed concerned citizens group taking action to improve conditions that affect the Island.

“We have to take a page out of Mi’kmaq book and start thinking about seven generations (from now). I grew up on a small family farm. My father loved music and children and horses. Above all, he loved the land. When he bought the farm, it was on a run-down, crappy piece of land. His life’s goal was to leave that land in better shape then he found it. So, if we could all leave the land in a better shape than we found it, then Jimmy Doyle’s dream would be realized,” says Doyle, noting that Un Destino Nuevo is one of the songs on her new CD, Song Road.

“This is not a record release for me, but a preview. I’m going to do my CD release in the summer when my producer, Jaron Freeman-Fox, is here. However, it will be available at the concert,” says the performer, adding that $5 from the sale of every CD will go towards the Bet-R Plan fund to help defray legal costs incurred in opposing the highway realignment in Bonshaw.

Doyle is one of several musicians taking part in concert. Also on the entertainment roster are the Misled Uks, Fraser McCallum, Bonnie LeClair, Devin Krauskopf, Scott Parsons, Tim Hamming, Madeline Heckbert, Nancy Clement and Graeme Hunter, Margie Carmichael and Todd MacLean. Storyteller Erskine Smith will emcee the show.

The concert is an important one, says Shannon Mader, PEICA member.

“It was inspired by the group of people that came together to oppose Plan B and the energy that they brought with them. Along with the Bet-R Plan Art Show, which is currently on display at the Gallery@the Guild, it’s one more way for people to express their concern for what’s happening on P.E.I. as well as their love for P.E.I. nature,” she says.

Mader hopes that people will come.

“It’s also a great way to show support for the Citizens Alliance and the work that we’re doing.”


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