The Owls Head Act

“Our Owls Head Act says that whenever there is a piece of Crown Land in Nova Scotia that is pending protection as a wilderness area, or as a park, or as a nature reserve, that that pending protected status cannot be rescinded by the government without there being a process of public engagement, public consultation, and the sharing of public information. […] Because after all, that land was put on the protected list, in the first place, as a result of extensive public consultation.”

Gary Burrill

The Owls Head Act as tabled:

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Michael Gorman Interview Residents in Favour of the Golf Course and Gary Burrill

Rock Crevice by Caitlin Porter
Owls Head golf proposal could bring much needed economic development, supporters claim.

CBC’s Michael Gorman interviews Margaret Stevens, Seldon Keating, and Ronnie McKay, local residents that live near the proposed golf course development at Owls Head Park. Then, Michael Gorman hears from NDP Leader Gary Burrill about the Owls Head Act. We have transcribed some of the questions and answers below. You can listen to the whole interview here.

March 3, 2020
CBC Radio
Information Morning

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Late Debate: Gary Burrill Speaks about Owls Head in the House of Assembly

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February 26, 2020
The Nova Scotia House of Assembly
Late Debate (Adjournment Debate)
Gary Burrill, Leader of the NDP

Resolution for Late Debate, as submitted by Gary Burrill:

Therefore be it resolved that the government could have done a much-improved job in its handling of the question of the Owls Head Provincial Park.

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Gary Burrill Questions Premier Stephen McNeil about Owls Head Provincial Park

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Gary Burrill: I would like to ask the Premier about the Crown lands in Owls Head and Little Harbour. In March of last year, the government passed a confidential minute letter by means of which Owls Head Provincial Park was removed from the list of pending protected areas. Then in December, a couple of months ago, thanks only to the investigative work of a diligent journalist this fact came to public light. Last month, in January, the government quietly removed the park from the online map of protected areas. I want to ask the Premier if he would share his reasoning as to why his government did not consult, did not engage, did not even inform the public at any point along this process?

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Gary Burrill Introduces The Owls Head Act

NDP's Gary Burrill at Save Owls Head Rally - Photo by David Sorcher

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On February 26, 2020, Gary Burrill, leader of the NDP of Nova Scotia, introduced a bill to strengthen the Provincial Parks Act, the Special Places Protection Act, and the Wilderness Areas Protection Act. This bill aims to clarify the protections that the aforementioned acts afford to wilderness areas that are awaiting final designation as Parks or Park Reserves. If passed, the act would prevent the removal of lands without public notice or consultation. This Act may be cited as the Owls Head Act.

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