February 5, 2020
Dear Mr. MacKay,
I am writing to you as my elected representative to express my concern about the proposed sale of Owls Head.
Although this is not in your riding, this is a watershed moment for Nova Scotia and citizens in all Nova Scotia ridings. Sale of this land would set a terrible precedent. Destruction of this land would be irreparable.
Owls Head was treated for 45 years by successive Nova Scotia governments as a provincial park. After a great deal of public consultation, Owls Head was placed on a list of lands that were considered valuable enough ecologically to receive formal legal protection. Yet it was secretively taken off that list and considered for sale to an American for development of golf courses.
I am incensed that this was done in secret. I am incensed by elected representatives repeating the same talking points that ignore the actual facts, including the science.
Climate change requires that we think seriously about how to protect our environment. Conservation of land and marine areas is now even more important to address loss of biodiversity and climate change itself.
15 years of study by the Ecology of Plants and Communities Lab at St. Mary’s University have shown that Owls Head is ecologically unique.
The Nova Scotia Government has committed to the Parks and Protected Areas Plan and its goal of protecting at least 13% of Nova Scotian landmass for nature conservation. Yet only about 5% of our coastline (for which Nova Scotia is famous) is public. Even less is formally protected. Which begs the question – why was Owls Head delisted? We need to protect more, not less. There is no way to build golf courses at Owls Head without decimating the ecosystem there.
I would hope that you, as a member of our current Nova Scotia Government, would mention these concerns to your colleagues and Premier McNeil.
A Concerned Citizen
Cc: Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia
Honourable Iain Rankin, Minister of Lands and Forestry
Honourable Gordon Wilson, Minister of Environment
Gary Burrill, Leader of the NDP of Nova Scotia
Tim Houston, Leader of the PC Party of Nova Scotia
Honourable Kevin Murphy, MLA Eastern Shore