LTE: Faith in Grits Shaken

Letter to the Editor
Contributed by Pamela Baker
The Chronicle Herald
February 18, 2020

I have been a Liberal voter all my life. Not a passive bystander, I have worked on six Liberal campaigns, both federal and provincial, in Ontario, P.E.I., and here in Nova Scotia. Much of my faith in the candidates whom I have supported has been rooted in the same ideology that has driven me in my career and my day-to-day life: fairness, transparency, logic, and compassion.

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Letter from Karen Beazley, Dalhousie Institute for Resource and Environmental Studies

Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier,

Please do not sell public land. NS has very little public land. It should not be sold to or for private interests. The Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Nature Conservancy of Canada are working hard to purchase and secure ecologically significant lands in NS, with substantial (several millions of dollars of) funding being provided by both private and public individuals and organizations in support of their efforts. They are focusing on connected ecological systems along the eastern shore and elsewhere to complement Provincial conservation efforts. There is strong public support of their efforts, providing solid evidence of public economic and ethical valuation of public and private land conservation in NS.

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Weasel Awards

The starting point for this group was a CBC article by Michael Gorman. That article, on December 18, revealed that a secretive process was underway to remove Owls Head Provincial Park from the list of protected lands in the Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas Plan, and sell it to a private developer… reportedly for the development of three golf courses. It was revealed in that story that there was absolutely no public consultation nor scientific basis for removing the 661 acres of pristine coastal barrens from the protection and public ownership it had enjoyed for 45 years.

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Lies, Deception, and Failure

When the officials involved lie and try to sanitize online information, then you can rest assured that all is not above board. When discussions are moved to phone calls and plans are heavily redacted, again the alarm bells start ringing. Those in my profession are called “stewards of the land” and that really is what I am trying to be, to do. We must all be the voice of this land. I also know from the many years I worked with DNR (now Lands & Forestry) how difficult it is to acquire public coastal lands, and how precious the few that we have truly are.

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