LTE: Steeped in Secrecy

Owls Head Map

Letter to the Editor
Contributed by Beverlee Brown
The Chronicle Herald
August 7, 2020

When did “secrecy” become the provincial byword for the governing Liberals? 

There is a review of Northwood and its recent COVID-19 problems going on, but we’ve been told the results will be mostly kept secret. Confidentiality is needed in order to protect those named in the review. Wouldn’t it be easier just to not publish their names? 

And then there’s Owls Head and the delisting of that area as a reserve in order to quietly sell that land for a golf course. That’s not the premier’s land to sell, especially by changing the rules behind the scenes. It belongs to the province and therefore to the citizens. There should have been a transparent process. If the deal is a good one for Nova Scotia, then secrecy wouldn’t have been needed; a public meeting on the proposal should have been the way to go, allowing full knowledge of the province’s intentions.

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Judge Grants Extension to Apply for Judicial Review into Owls Head Decision

Stuart Peddle
The Chronicle Herald
August 5, 2020

Full Article Here >

HALIFAX, N.S. — A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has granted opponents of the province’s decision to delist Owls Head as a provincial park reserve an extension to file for a judicial review of the matter.

Justice Kevin Coady heard arguments from Jamie Simpson, the lawyer for Bob Bancroft and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association, on June 29. They were seeking permission to file their review application even though the six-month time limit to file after the decision was made had passed.

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N.S. Supreme Court Grants Environmentalists More Time to Appeal Cabinet Decision

Sydnee Lynn at Save Owls Head Rally - Photo by David Sorcher
Battle is over Owls Head, a 285-hectare piece of Crown land on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore

Blair Rhodes
CBC News
August 5, 2020

Full Article Here >

In a decision released Wednesday, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Kevin Coady granted Bancroft and the forest watch association more time to file their request for a judicial review.

“The Applicants have a reasonable excuse for the delay,” Justice Coady wrote.

Coady added that the applicants “will suffer prejudice if the extension is not granted” but the respondent “will suffer little prejudice” if it is.

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Owls Head Dancing on the Head of a Pin

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Richard Bell
Eastern Shore Cooperator
July 13, 2020

Granite Ridge at Owls Head

At a hearing before Supreme Court Judge Kevin Coady on June 29, opponents of the province’s plan to destroy Owls Head Provincial Park learned that the fate of the 600-plus acres of coastal land may hinge on the narrowest of legal points

On December 18, 2019, CBC’s Michael Gorman wrote that through a Freedom of Information request, he had learned that the Cabinet, acting on a request from the Department of Lands and Forestry, had delisted Owls Head Provincial Park on March 13, 2019, but had hidden the decision from the public.

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CPAWS: Community scientists descend on Owls Head

cpaws-nova-scotia

Original Post from CPAWS
here

Nova Scotia’s coastline is home to an abundance of birds – shorebirds, seabirds, waterbirds, and even woodland species. Recently, CPAWS-NS helped organize an expedition to Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve, with a group of expert birders, to document the diversity first-hand.

Owls Head is a coastal headland that supports a variety of habitats including bogs and wetlands, estuaries, salt marshes and beaches. Our birding team set out to identify bird species across these habitats and document the ecological significance of this unique region.

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