LTE: Very Slippery Slope

Letter to the Editor
Contributed by Verna Higgins
The Chronicle Herald
August 8, 2020

Very slippery slope

All Nova Scotians should be aware that, in 2013, our province published an “Our Parks and Protected Areas” map for comments by the public. 

Owls Head Park appeared under the heading “Park Lands for Review” along with 281 other parks! That list included such well-known provincial parks as Wentworth, Porters Lake, Martinique Beach, Five Islands, Blomidon Lookoff and Taylors Head.

If Owls Head is sold, which of the others might be next?

Verna Higgins, Middle Musquodoboit

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Photo by Susan Vickery

LTE: Steeped in Secrecy

Owls Head Map

Letter to the Editor
Contributed by Beverlee Brown
The Chronicle Herald
August 7, 2020

When did “secrecy” become the provincial byword for the governing Liberals? 

There is a review of Northwood and its recent COVID-19 problems going on, but we’ve been told the results will be mostly kept secret. Confidentiality is needed in order to protect those named in the review. Wouldn’t it be easier just to not publish their names? 

And then there’s Owls Head and the delisting of that area as a reserve in order to quietly sell that land for a golf course. That’s not the premier’s land to sell, especially by changing the rules behind the scenes. It belongs to the province and therefore to the citizens. There should have been a transparent process. If the deal is a good one for Nova Scotia, then secrecy wouldn’t have been needed; a public meeting on the proposal should have been the way to go, allowing full knowledge of the province’s intentions.

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Judge Grants Extension to Apply for Judicial Review into Owls Head Decision

Stuart Peddle
The Chronicle Herald
August 5, 2020

Full Article Here >

HALIFAX, N.S. — A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has granted opponents of the province’s decision to delist Owls Head as a provincial park reserve an extension to file for a judicial review of the matter.

Justice Kevin Coady heard arguments from Jamie Simpson, the lawyer for Bob Bancroft and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association, on June 29. They were seeking permission to file their review application even though the six-month time limit to file after the decision was made had passed.

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JAMIE SIMPSON: Up to citizens to challenge government when laws not followed

Rally 2/20/2020 - photo Peter Barss

Contributed by Jamie Simpson
The Chronicle Herald
June 3, 2020

Thank you for the thoughtful editorial in Wednesday’s paper (“EDITORIAL: Judge to province: Listen to the Lorax,” June 3), and for drawing attention to Justice Brothers’ decision regarding the Department of Lands and Forestry’s systemic and chronic failure to fulfill its legal obligations under Nova Scotia’s Endangered Species Act. Combined with the recommendations of the Lahey Report, which stressed the need to adopt an ecological approach to forestry, the department has an opportunity to reinvent itself and let go of the outdated (and reckless) “clearcut, plant and spray” ideology. 

Continue reading “JAMIE SIMPSON: Up to citizens to challenge government when laws not followed”

LTE: Owls Head rally tally lowballed

Rally-2-20-2020-39

Letter to the Editor
Contributed by Ian Guppy
The Chronicle Herald
February 25, 2020

Re: Your Feb. 21 front-page news story on protesters rallying to save Owls Head park. It is good to see this important issue of our government’s secret delisting and removal of Owls Head Provincial Park from Nova Scotia’s Parks and Protected Areas Plan receive the coverage it deserves. However, ironically, this is undermined by an inaccurate account of the number of participants at the rally. I attended and would estimate, based on that experience and counting people in post-event photos, that the crowd was easily twice the size than what was reported.

Owls Head Provincial Park is a unique and beautiful place. We have very little public land in Nova Scotia, let alone along our coast. This, together with its high conservation value, makes it a priceless coastal public property. We need to stop the government’s sale of this land to private interests. For the future of Nova Scotia and the planet, I hope this is the path we take.

Ian Guppy, P.Eng, Halifax

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