FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is opposing Tourism Minister Bill Fraser’s approval of the construction of a snowmobile trail on Mount Carleton, saying it violates the wilderness area intention of the park. Moreover, Cardy said there are also many questions around the process in which this plan was approved.

“Mount Carleton Provincial Park is the only wilderness park in the province, and is a big draw for tourists for that reason,” Cardy said. “Allowing snowmobiles, and by extension, ATVs in the summer to travel up the mountain will violate the wilderness appeal of the mountain. There are many other fine options for further development of snowmobile trails in the province, and even in the vicinity of the park. This specific area should stay undeveloped.”

Cardy added that there are numerous questions around how this plan was approved.

“We have met with some of those concerned about this plan and they have informed us that there are questions surrounding matters such as whether tenders were properly issued to conduct the trail work, whether public consultation procedures were followed, and whether various rules for granting authority for the work were adhered to,” Cardy said.

Cardy also said that the argument that the trail is fine as snowmobilers already use the hiking trails around Mt. Carleton sends the wrong message. “If people get the idea that they can effectively get what they want as long as they persist in breaking the law long enough, the government is rewarding bad behaviour. There is enough bad behaviour in the Gallant government without them encouraging it among the general public.”