MLA raises alarm over limited road access to West Prince if Route 2 blocked

MLA raises alarm over limited road access to West Prince if Route 2 blocked

The P.E.I. Legislative Assembly officially ended the fall sitting Wednesday but not before a Liberal MLA raised alarm bells on a section of highway that he says could be problematic for western Islanders in an emergency situation.

Last Thursday, multiple power poles came down on Route 2 in the St. Eleanors region of the highway.

During question period Tuesday, Liberal MLA for Tignish-Palmer Road Hal Perry said a little further along Route 2, if the area between Portage and West Devon was blocked, there would be no other way into West Prince.

He said it's concerning when the road closes in emergency situations and someone needs to get in or get out of the area and asked Public Safety Minister Jordan Brown what happens if emergency vehicles can't use the road.

"In the immediate short-term solution, we have to do something," Perry said. "We also need a long-term solution."

Perry suggested that the minister, in collaboration with the Department of Transportation, look into building an alternate route along the highway in case the road between Portage and West Devon became blocked.

No commitments to alternate route

Brown didn't speak directly about the section of highway Perry is concerned about but referred to the P.E.I. Emergency Measures Office. 

Brown said that office is responsible for creating and maintaining the provincial All Hazards Emergency Plan which outlines solutions to various emergency situations including how departments should co-ordinate if major roads are closed.

"If the road was blocked, EMS for example, might do a patient transfer at the sight of the blocked area," Brown said.

"It would depend on what the emergency is, how long it was to last and what the requirements might be."

Brown said he was open to other options like a route around that bottle neck but made no commitments.

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