PPJ committee begins with a perceived bias

0
44

I was one of over 30 Cycloparc PPJ users who attended the May 15 MRC council

I was one of over 30 Cycloparc PPJ users who attended the May 15 MRC council
meeting to listen to a presentation prepared by Green-PPJ-Verte, and Les amis du Cycloparc PPJ outlining the importance of preserving the PPJ from motorized vehicle (ATV) use. The presentation covered many points including loss of safety for current users, loss of funding, and loss of economic and touristic potential if the trail is removed from the province-wide Route Verte network.
It was also noted that 3 of the 5 mayors, who volunteered for a committee to study allowing ATVs access to the PPJ, have already publicly expressed support for this.
In order to bring more fairness, and balance to the committee, a request was made for PPJ users to have 2 seats on this committee. Warden Jane Toller immediately refused this request, stating that it will be an all-mayors committee and that the public will have to wait for their recommendations. Although the MRC has the right to appoint an all-mayors committee, it is well known that involving stakeholders from the beginning of a study ensures transparency and that all points of views will be considered. 
In 2016, the MRC formed a similar committee to “find ATV road links between
communities” which was made up of then mayors Murdock from Thorne and Stewart from Campbell’s Bay; the Green-PPJ-Verte asked for and were assigned 2 seats. It was these two members who then informed the MRC that the committee had quickly changed from their given mandate to solely focus on allowing ATVs onto the PPJ. In the end, that committee was disbanded. 
It seems to me that it is the intent of the new committee to do the same, but this time in total secrecy. Is the MRC using their resources to push forward the agenda of a private ATV club to add the PPJ to their already extensive trail system? Is it the mandate of the MRC to take away the only safe public trail from its citizen to the content of a special interest group?
I call on Warden Jane Toller to bring fairness to the perceived bias of this committee and do like her predecessor: open up the committee to allow 2 seats to be occupied by present users of the PPJ.  

Remo Pasteris
Bristol