The Northumberland Strait is one of the most picturesque coastlines in eastern Canada, but there’s one parcel of land near Parlee Beach that’s causing a wave of concern among residents.
Over the Victoria Day long weekend, sewage and water lines were installed for what is believed to be a trailer park in Grand-Barachois.
Retired engineer and Grand-Barachois resident Terry Thompson says the lines don’t meet bylaws, as they’re zoned residential and not commercial.
“These trailer parks and other facilities have got to move back from the shoreline, back from the wetlands,” said Thompson.
“People don’t understand how important these wetlands are.”
The wetland is just metres away from where trailers are located, and it has been an area of contention within the small coastal community. In 2003, the landowners were caught filling in part of the wetland which resulted in charges under the Clean Water Act.
Gilles LeBlanc owns the property, which was gifted to his family from the King of England in the 1800s. LeBlanc says he plans to put 12 trailers on that site, which is about an acre of land.
“We’re not in the marsh. We’re definitely not in the marsh. Everything has been approved, I’ve got all of the paperwork,” said LeBlanc.
LeBlanc says the sewage hook ups connect to the town of Shediac and in no way will impact the marsh or Parlee Beach. That concern has been raised by residents working to clean up the tourist attraction.
“They don’t want anybody in their backyards and they don’t want anybody in their front yards,” said LeBlanc. “My parents bought 60 acres. The residents occupy maybe 16 acres of the 60, but they don’t want anything else on the property.”
But Thompson says that’s not the case.
“Our biggest problem is that there’s one set of rules for one group and another set for others,” he said.
The residents have written a formal complaint to all parties involved, including the planning, environment and sewage commission.
LeBlanc welcomes the complaints, and ensures he’s dotted all his Is and crossed all his Ts.