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No used car sales lot for you!: Resort Municipality to applicant

Story and photos by Jim Brown

Bill Drost

Bill Drost’s dream of opening a used car lot in the community in which he lives and works has been dashed by the Resort Municipality.

They rejected his application for a used car lot near the Stanley Bridge roundabout at council’s monthly meeting on July 16 at the North Rustico Lions Club.

“I think they erred in their decision,” said a frustrated, disappointed Drost, who runs a project management engineering consulting business and a used car business in Kensington that he was hoping to relocate to Stanley Bridge.

“Council, I think should perhaps reflect a little more on the approach they’re taking to business,” he said.

Matthew Jelley, the resort municipality’s mayor, said council was on firm ground in rejecting the application.

“The current zoning is C-1 and automobile sales and service is not a permitted use within C-1 and so the current zoning does not match the requested use of the property. The concept of automobile sales is dealt with specifically as a permitted use in one zone and not in the other,” said Mr Jelley.

“They’re basically telling a resident and a business to go away, you’re not welcome in this municipality. If you look at the type of developments they allow in this municipality one would question (their approach to business development),” said Mr Drost.

Drost said the Resort Municipality may have opened the door to an IRAC challenge with a narrow and perhaps flawed interpretation of the current bylaws.

“The bylaws of the resort municipality are such that there are no lands in the municipality that permit the establishment of a used car lot or any automobile sales business. There’s also no bylaws that prohibit the establishment of such a business.

“Bylaws say the definition of an automobile sales and service business is where vehicles are held for sale and are maintained. I have absolutely no plans to maintain or repair vehicles at that location. It’s only sales. If the bylaw had said sales and or maintaining vehicles as the definition of a motor vehicle sales and service business then it would have met that part of the bylaw and the council would have made a proper decision in rejecting the application,” explained Mr Drost.

But Mr Jelley answered: “The fact that it’s automobile sales and/or automobile service doesn’t neglect the fact that automobile sales…is not of itself solely retail. The bylaw saw fit to specifically denote automobile sales as a different use and that use is not permitted in that zone.”

In the wake of council’s decision what are Mr Drost’s plans?

“I haven’t a clue. I’ve sought some other locations outside the municipality. An appeal to IRAC might be an alternative.”

He talked about what might have been, had his application been approved.

“My plan was to maintain a lot of 12 to 20 vehicles (and) operate at about eight months a year,” said Mr Drost, who also said he would likely hire staff.

“I have a project management engineering consulting business and a used car business which was being relocated from the Kensington area to Stanley Bridge. I live in Stanley Bridge (and would) like to see more business grow in the municipality. Unfortunately the municipality and its councilors don’t feel the same way,” he said.

It’s a shame the Resort Municipality couldn’t have “a little diversity in the businesses we have. The decision is short-sighted and not in the best interest of the public and the residents of the community. You’re sending the wrong message to the business community.”

Mr Drost said there was a new car wash in Cavendish his business would have used, and opportunities for other spinoff businesses and opportunities, “that are going to be lost.”

The Stanley Bridge Centre is pleased to welcome Island Senator Mike Duffy as the SBC’s newest columnist and contributor. Mr Duffy has enjoyed a remarkable career in politics and journalism, including decades of work in front of the camera for CBC and CTV national news. He got his start in print journalism, and his early resume includes working as a reporter with the Charlottetown Guardian before moving on to radio and then TV. Mr Duffy, a Cavendish resident, was appointed to the Senate in 2008.

Alex B. Campbell & the gathering fiscal storm

Senator Mike Duffy

By Mike Duffy

Later this week, Canada’s provincial premiers will hold their annual meeting in Saint Andrews, NB. It will be the first meeting of the new Ontario Premier Doug Ford with his counterparts from across the country, including our own Premier Wade MacLauchlan.

Premier Ford has already met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and from all accounts their meeting did not go well. Ontario has a long list of complaints about the federal government, and most of them involve money.

Doug Ford and Ottawa could be heading for a major confrontation

Ontario, (like PEI) does not like Ottawa’s planned carbon tax. Ontario complains federal funding is inadequate for the settlement of refugees; and Ontario government studies suggest equalization is too generous to the so-called “have not” provinces (that’s us) at the expense of Ontario taxpayers.

As the drop in the price of oil has hurt the economies of Newfoundland, Alberta and Saskatchewan, some in those provinces have joined Ontario in criticism of equalization.

Add in the fact that we are about a year away from a federal election, and you have a recipe for political fireworks. As The Globe & Mail put it, we are at “The dawn of an Ottawa-Ontario battle like none other.”

Readers may ask, why should Islanders care about a fight between Ontario and Ottawa?

If Ottawa, Ontario and the other “have provinces” get into a fight over money, the danger is we will be caught in the crossfire. If fiscal transfers to the Island are reduced, this would be a very serious blow to our standard of living.

PEI receives about $600 million in federal transfers every year. That’s about two million dollars every business day flowing from Ottawa to the government in Charlottetown.

In the “old days” – I’m talking about the 60s and 70s – we were considered “special” by the people who mattered in Ottawa. That protected us.

Former Island Premier Alex Campbell speaking at a history circle celebrating the life of Father Francis Bolger

That “special relationship” with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was built by Stanley Bridge resident Alex B. Campbell, who was elected Premier in 1966 at the very young age of 32.

Campbell and his cabinet developed a blueprint for the Island’s future prosperity. They called it the Comprehensive Development Plan.

It covered everything from the consolidation of farm land into larger economically viable units, to the construction of large new schools to replace the old one-room schoolhouses which dotted the landscape.

The CDP was big, controversial, and far too expensive for PEI to undertake alone. Alex Campbell convinced Pierre Trudeau that this plan was essential for the Island’s future. Trudeau bought the idea and the CDP was funded in large part by the federal government.

Campbell’s vision for PEI, and his positive relationship with the Trudeau government is catalogued in detail by none other than the man who now occupies the Premier’s office, Premier Wade MacLauchlan.

MacLauchlan’s biography; “Alex B. Campbell, the Island Premier who rocked the cradle” is a well-deserved tribute to the man who held power through four elections from 1966 and 1978.

The foundation of the Island we see today was built largely on the vision of Alex B. Campbell, and financed by the federal government as a direct result of his skill at building a “special relationship” with the Prime Minister in Ottawa.
Today Alex B. Campbell is living quietly with his wife Marilyn on the banks of the Stanley River. All around him are reminders of the Island he envisioned a half-century ago.

Premier MacLauchlan will need all of Alex B. Campbell’s skills and more, as he fights to protect us from the gathering fiscal storm.

That battle for cash begins this weekend at the Council of the Federation meeting in St.-Andrews-by-the-Sea, NB.

Cavendish resident Mike Duffy represents PEI in the Senate of Canada.

Father Francis Bolger’s “Island Pride” message continues to resonate.

Senator Mike Duffy

By Mike Duffy
Island Senator Mike Duffy was one of dozens of friends, colleagues and family members of the late Father Francis Bolger attending a history circle in his honour at the Stanley Bridge Women’s Institute, Sunday, July 8.

Sunday July 8 was one of the nicest days of the summer of 2018. Perfect for the beach, golf, or for the truly adventurous, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

Despite those alternatives, more than a hundred friends, relatives and Island history fans gathered in Stanley Bridge’s WI Hall to pay tribute to the late Rev. Dr. Francis Bolger on what would have been his 93rd birthday.

Dr Francis Bolger

There were heartfelt tributes and a few tears, as historian Prof. Ed MacDonald, former Premier Alex Campbell; former Lt. Gov. Marion Reid; broadcaster-historian Paul H. Schurman and a host of regular folks from Stanley Bridge paid tribute to a man they loved and respected.

Back in the 50s, Fr. Bolger led the movement to educate Islanders about our history, and to tell Canadians about the important role our province played in the creation of Canada. He made literally thousands of speeches describing the historic events that occurred at the Charlottetown Conference of September, 1864.

Today Charlottetown is recognized in law as the Birthplace of Confederation. But that recognition only became official last year, when Island Parliamentarians led by Senator Diane Griffin, and Hon. Wayne Easter managed to get the Senate and the House of Commons to pass a law officially declaring Charlottetown as the birthplace of Canada. It wasn’t easy. What should have been a slam dunk ran into quiet but determined opposition.

New Brunswick claimed the Confederation idea started with the Colonial Governor of New Brunswick; Quebec claimed the Charlottetown conference was simply a warm-up, that the real deal was made later in Quebec City.

Professor Ed MacDonald

Island history expert, Prof. Ed MacDonald, Dean of History at UPEI, saved the day. Called to testify before the Senate, Prof. MacDonald, (who was a student of Fr. Bolger) made persuasive arguments for the understandings reached during the Charlottetown Conference. His testimony broke the log-jam. The bill declaring Charlottetown the Birthplace of Confederation became law.

Former Premier Alex Campbell

So how does this connect to Fr. Bolger? As former Premier Alex Campbell told the attentive audience, until the late 50s when Fr. Bolger came on the scene, Islanders had taken their history for granted, and assumed all Canadians understood the importance of the 1864 meeting. Fr. Bolger saw that as the older generation died off, so would understanding of our historic role in nation-building.

With his intimate knowledge of the subject and his spellbinding oratory, Fr. Bolger made our history come alive. As a result of his passion and drive, today, we have a vibrant Island studies program at UPEI.

Interest in our Island’s place in Canadian history has never been greater. And with the new federal “Birthplace” law, the inspiring story of what happened in Charlottetown in Sept. 1864 will live as long as there is a Canada.

It is all part of the important legacy of Francis Bolger, the scholar-priest who called Stanley Bridge home.

Cavendish resident Mike Duffy represents PEI in the Senate of Canada.

Lucky ticket wins this beautiful painting

Connie Morrison, a member of the Stanley Bridge Memorial Society’s (SBMS) board of directors, holds a beautiful painting of the Stanley Bridge wharf by acclaimed Margate artist and author Karen Slater. The SBMS is raffling off the painting, with tickets selling for $5 each or three for $10. They can be purchased on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 9 am to 1 pm, beginning in July at the Stanley Bridge Centre. Money from the ticket sales will go towards needed renovations at the SBC.

Stanley Bridge hosting Father Bolger history circle July 8

A history circle celebrating the life of a giant of PEI history, Father Francis Bolger, will be held Sunday, July 8 at the Stanley Bridge Women’s Institute. Admission is free to the history circle, which starts at 2 pm. The guest speaker is Dr. Ed MacDonald, Chair of the University of Prince Edward Island’s history department.
Former Lieutenant Governor Marion Reid and Paul H. Schurman will also be there to offer their personal recollections of Father Bolger’s life.
Father Bolger, born in Stanley Bridge, was ordained in the Roman Catholic church in 1951. He passed away in September, 2017, at the age of 92.
As well as being a priest, Father Bolger was well known as an Island historian and professor, first at St. Dunstan’s University and then at the University of Prince Edward Island.
He was “an extraordinary lecturer” and he also authored many books on local history and other subjects, said Helen MacEwen, president of the Stanley Bridge Memorial Society’s board of directors.
Helen hopes many of Father Bolger’s former students and friends will attend, as well as visitors to the area.
“Father Bolger was both a character and an icon,” said Dr. MacDonald, in an article published by the local CBC.
“I had him in 1976 as a prof when I was at university and he was already a legend by that time. He was a legend in the classroom,” he told the CBC.

Stanley Bridge Centre’s summer concert series
Get ready for another rousing season of musical entertainment at the Stanley Bridge Centre!
The season kicks off on June 10 with a Bill and Gertie Campbell show. On July 15 Brad Trivers drops by, joined by Fenton McSwain. On Aug 19 Larry Campbell and Roy MacCaull are teaming up for another top-tapping performance, with the North Milton Band and Choir performing on Sept 23. Other performances will be announced later.

The curtain rises for all shows at 7 pm, with tickets priced at $10 to $15 each.

Woman accepted into AVC bonds with horse sanctuary’s owner

Story and photos by Jim Brown
Jim Brown can be reached at peijim@hotmail.com

Brittney Dow, 24, just got the best news of her young life when she learned of her acceptance into the Atlantic Veterinary College this fall.

But it almost didn’t happen.

Brittney, who works as a volunteer with her close friend and mentor Yogi Fell at her sprawling, 100-acre Handibear Hills Horse Sanctuary, had a medical scare that almost claimed her life four years ago.

Yogi Fell, who owns Handibear Hills Horse Sanctuary, and Brittney Dow share a lighter moment.

An ovarian cyst had ruptured and she was rushed to hospital.

“Afterwards, talking to people it made me realize I did come pretty close to death and I’d never had a situation like that before,” said Brittney, who was in her second year of a general biology degree.

“I woke up in the middle of the night with intense pains in my stomach and also my shoulder, which made the diagnosis really confusing later (at Queen Elizabeth Hospital),” she said.

“It took the hospital actually 24 hours to figure it out. The shoulder pain didn’t match anything else – it turned out there was blood rushing to my shoulder. I lost two litres of blood,” she said. That’s about half her blood.

But she gradually recovered after missing close to a month’s worth of classes and graduated with her general biology degree after taking an extra year because of her illness.

When she’s not helping out Yogi, Brittney, from Saint John, NB, works on a dairy farm near Charlottetown.

“I’ve always wanted to work with animals, but being in that situation, and physically unable to do a lot of things, made me especially want to do it when I was healthy again,” she said.

Brittney Dow with one of the 13 horses billeted on Yogi Fell’s Handibear Hills Horse Sanctuary.

“It felt like I basically a week and a half to catch up and prepare for exams but I got a tutor and I had some really good friends helping me get through it.”

Later she would need to upgrade her marks to meet the AVC’s strict admission requirements.

Brittney, who had always been healthy and never suffered even a broken bone, said she had been exhausted for a long time after her medical emergency.

“It took about three months to really get any energy back.”

Now it was her turn to carry the load for someone she respected and admired.

Yogi Fell is very grateful for volunteers at her horse sanctuary, who help her with manual labour when she is unable to do the work herself because of chronic conditions.

“I really depend on my volunteers now,” said Yogi, who has provided placements for AVC students.

“In the last five years I’ve had a lot of medical conditions…About six weeks ago I dislocated my shoulder, it’s kind of a chronic condition.

“You just keep going, plugging along. It all comes together. Some things I’ve just had to say I can’t do it. I wait until somebody comes and sometimes I’ve had to hire a carpenter because I’m unable to lift a hammer over my head,” she said.

“Yogi is such a wonderful person,” said Brittney and Yogi echoed the same view about Brittney, counting herself very lucky to have her around helping out and to have her as a close friend.

“I am so proud of her, she had to do a lot of upgrading because she lost a year of undergrad to illness and surgery. She did not give up, and got the job done. I will miss her volunteer work, and her employer is going to miss her milking,” Yogi wrote in a Facebook post shortly after Brittney learned of her admittance to the AVC.

“She does all this on her own and doesn’t ask anyone for help,” said Brittney.

“She does it for the horses, who she has such a deep love for. Yogi wants to improve their health and educate people on how to better care for them,” she said.

“Her story really touched me,” said Brittney.

“When they come here, this is their forever home,” said Yogi, who is billeting 13 horses and a llama. They were abandoned in the past or just not wanted.”
“Some of them are really broken down,” she said.
Now they get a chance to live their last years in peace and comfort.

One of Yogi Fell’s 13 horses ambled over to say hello

“There’s no one I’d rather help than someone like Yogi,” said Brittney.

“There’s lot of great people who own stables out there but this place is very special.”

The Stanley Bridge Centre – A Venue for Culture and Events
In September, 2008,  due to declining membership and financial costs to maintain the building, the Stanley Bridge United Church, in Stanley Bridge, Prince Edward Island, was decommissioned.  The United Church Presbytery of PEI and Maritime Conference decided in 2009 to officially turn the building over to the former members of the church and they in turn applied to be incorporated as the Stanley Bridge Memorial Society Inc. Directors and trustees were appointed to provide the leadership and direction for the building, as they felt that it was important to maintain its rich heritage and legacy.

The Board’s Mission Statement was the historic preservation of the church and heritage of the Stanley Bridge church.  The Stanley Bridge Centre would provide a Cultural/Events Centre and Archival Room that will house historical items and artifacts of significance as well as genealogy records.  The Farmers Market is an undertaking that continues the tradition of this community meeting place.

This renewal project will require a large financial undertaking as a new basement is needed as well as washrooms, a kitchen, window restoration, a new roof, insulation and accessibility for all. The Stanley Bridge Memorial Society Inc, owner of the building, has charitable status and is continuing a campaign to raise funds for building improvements.  This website provides an historical background, a virtual tour of the interior and exterior, a viewing of the plans for the building, a Donation page and many other features.

We ask that you consider a donation to our renewal project as we believe that the building is a landmark in the community and deserves to have it’s legacy continue for years to come.   We trust that you will support this important community effort in Stanley Bridge.

Stanley Bridge Memorial Society

This website will include developments in the planning, historical research and the ongoing process of fundraising and of the restoration, repair and reconstruction of the Stanley Bridge Cantre. Check back often to keep abreast of what is happening and how your contribution is helping to realize the goals of the Society.


Three Day Weather Forecast For Stanley Bridge, Prince Edward Island, Canada

07/20 10%
High 27° / Low 16°
Partly Cloudy
07/21 10%
Partly Cloudy
High 26° / Low 18°
Partly Cloudy
07/22 20%
Partly Cloudy
High 27° / Low 21°