Residents celebrate win over utility

Prince Edward Island - Residents in western P.E.I. watched as Maritime Electric removed cable from utility poles along a 3.

7-kilometre stretch of Howlan Road.

"It’s been declared Happy Day on Howlan Road," one resident told Debbie Horne of the West Prince Graphic in Alberton.

The removal of the high-voltage power lines ended the community’s two-year fight with Maritime Electric and the provincial government. The utility put up the lines to transport electricity for Suez International from its wind farm in West Cape. The electricity went to a substation, and most of it was exported to New England.

Throughout the dispute, residents maintained they were not against the wind turbines but concerned about health effects from the electromagnetic field created by the 138,000-volt power corridor.

"This took its toll on us," resident Beulah Costain said. "There was a physical and emotional toll we paid."

Gordon Ramsay led the fight to have the lines removed because he knew there were children sleeping within eight metres of the lines.

"Right from the start, I never thought the lines wouldn’t come down," he said.

"When we would get to the point of giving up, something would come up to keep us going."

Mr. Ramsay said while 62 homes have been spared, he regretted that the lines still pass by 14 homes on the upper part of Howlan Road.

He praised Maritime Electric for being a responsible corporate neighbour, and called on Rogers Communications to follow the utility’s example when it comes to putting up cellphone towers in residential areas.


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