JIM VIBERT: McNeil’s environmental record a litany of broken promises

Save Owls Head Rally - Photo by David Sorcher

Jim Vibert
The Chronicle Herald
November 21, 2020

Nova Scotia’s Liberal government has quite a story to tell on the environment, but unfortunately that’s all it has. The reality is a litany of delayed action and unkept promises.

… Since 2013, Nova Scotia’s goal — adopted unanimously by the legislature — has been to protect 13 per cent of the province’s total landmass for nature.

McNeil promised that his government would reach that goal in its first term. It didn’t. In fact, it hasn’t yet, seven years on.

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LTE: Unfinished Homework

Letter to the Editor
Contributed by Lindsay Lee
The Chronicle Herald
October 7, 2020

Voice of the People – October 7, 2020

Unfinished homework

Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin teased that he’d be making an “exciting announcement” on Monday. Here are some truly exciting announcements that he could (and should) have made before declaring his intention to run for premier

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Back at Owls Head

Photo courtesy of CPAWS NS

Statement from Canadian Parks And Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Nova Scotia Chapter

This summer, CPAWS-NS has visited Owls Head numerous times. Accompanied by a range of biodiversity experts, we have been completing a series of surveys to record the rich natural diversity of this coastal headland. 

Our team has identified over 75 species of birds that occur here, undertaking surveys from the land and on the water. Later this month, we’ll be out again with our snorkels, studying eelgrass beds in the area. 

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An Adventure at Owls Head

Professional sea kayak instructors Eleanor & Jenn are doing a summer series of destination paddles throughout the beautiful 100 Wild Islands on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. This area has incredible potential for recreational tourism in conjunction with environmental protection. Thank you, Eleanor and Jenn, for organizing not one but two paddles around Owls Head Provincial Park.

We’d also like to thank kayaker Peter Copus for sharing these lovely photos with us. Please click to enlarge.

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Timeline of Promised Protections

OWLS HEAD: A RECOGNIZED CANDIDATE FOR PROTECTION FOR 45 YEARS

MAY 1, 1975

“The concept of an Eastern Shore Seaside Park System was unanimously approved-in-principle by local community representatives on May 1, 1975. This proposed concept was the product of co-operative efforts by the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forests, the provincial government, public participation advisors, and elected citizen representatives.”

Eastern Shore Seaside Park System Brochure
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Saving Our Natural Heritage Can’t be Optional

Nova Scotia’s treasures are in danger and the McNeil government’s culture is the problem

Zack Metcalfe
Halifax Magazine
February 5, 2020

Full Article Here>

The sanctity of Nova Scotia’s protected areas has taken a beating in recent yeras, especially those of the Easter Shore, their significance dragged through either corporate or political mud in order to justify their dismantling, a sharp contrast to the multitudes of money and time once invested in their longevity.

Consider Owls Head, the provincial park reserve slated for enduring protection by virtue of its unique ecology. Our provincial government quietly stripped its legal safeguards then cunningly defended the action as economic development. At present they’re negotiating the sale of Owls Head to a developer, keen to turn this unspoilt wilderness into a golf course.

The uproar against this impropriety has been spectacular, resulting in hundreds of disappointed letters to the provincial government, coming from private citizens and from groups so humble as the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society. Will the government change course or double down? Either way, this is a blow to the security of proteced lands across Nova Scotia and it’s not the only one.

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