Province firm on Owls Head sale despite objections

Stefan Sinclair-Fortin
The Signal
February 7, 2020

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Public will get a say but on the developer’s terms

The government defended its handling of Owls Head on Thursday, despite continuing calls for the sale of public land to be stopped.

Minister of Lands and Forestry Iain Rankin said he is aware of the public’s interest, but has no plans to protect the area. He said the sale to a private developer is still in progress.

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Jim Vibert: Public to be consulted on Owls Head

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Jim Vibert (jim.vibert@saltwire.com)
The Chronicle Herald
February 7, 2020

The public consultation that should have taken place before the provincial government removed Owls Head from the parks and protected areas list will now fall to the prospective developer of the land.

Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin said Thursday that public engagement, in a fashion approved by the province but conducted by Lighthouse Links, the company that’s proposing to build a multi-course golf resort on the site, is a precondition of the land’s sale.

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MLA Kevin Murphy on Delisting Owls Head

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Posted by Richard Bell
January 14, 2020, 3:36 PM
Eastern Shore Cooperator

In a January 3 2020 email to the Cooperator, MLA Kevin Murphy said that he first heard about the golf courses about two years, and that he had had two phone calls from the golf course lobbyist, Michael Samson. He wrote that he had not talked about the project with any other lobbyists, nor had he discussed the project with anyone from the Owls Head community (within 50 miles of Owls Head.)

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PC’s Brad Johns on Owls Head

Posted by Richard Bell
January 14, 2020 3:01 PM
Eastern Shore Cooperator

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In a phone interview with the Cooperator, Brad Johns, Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party critic for the environment, was blunt about the province’s decision to delist Owls Head Provincial Park and sell the land to a golf-course developer: “The fix is already in.”

Johns said that his party supported exploring opportunities for economic development, but that the time for public consultation was before making a decision, not after. “What they’ve done is put the cart before the horse here.”

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MICHAEL GORMAN: Public will be consulted before any development at Owls Head, says minister

Lighthouse Links Development Co. wants to build 3 courses in the Little Harbour area.

Michael Gorman 
CBC News
January 10, 2020

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Members of the public have decried the fact the move happened with no notice or public consultation and have called on the government to reverse the decision. Government staff’s own assessment of the land notes the area is home to several endangered species as well as a globally rare ecosystem

But in an interview Thursday, Environment Minister Gordon Wilson said that even if the land is sold, no development would proceed before first going through the environmental assessment process, which includes opportunities for public comment.

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