Owls Head: It Takes a Village

Letter to the Editor
Contributed by Beverley Isaacs
The Eastern Shore Cooperator
January 23, 2021

Originally published here

To the Editor:

The McNeil/Rankin  “Sweetheart Deal for Owls Head” (Cooperator, December 2020) is an insult to all Nova Scotians, starting with Little Harbour residents like me.

Do they think we are a bunch of backward hillbillies? The citizens of Nova Scotia do not have to stand back and allow an American billionaire, Beckwith Gilbert, working behind closed doors with the former Minister of Lands and Forestry Iain Rankin, to destroy Owls Head Provincial Park and its rare ecosystem, all for just a few pennies.

Take the outrageously low selling price for hundreds of acres and miles of ocean front: $216,000. I paid more than that 6 years ago for less than an acre when we bought our property in Little Harbour. And Rankin let Lighthouse Links, Beckwith’s company, pay an appraiser to come up with this low estimate?

You just know that when you hear politicians start using the promise of jobs to divide a community, something bad is going on. And what kind of jobs are we talking about here? Seasonal low-wage jobs will not provide the income young people need to  purchase a home on the Eastern Shore—much less to purchase a home in the lavish residential subdivision that Beckwith intends on building to cover the cost of building the golf courses. At the minimum wage of $12.50/hr at 40 hours a week for 20 weeks, you gross $10,000. I can just see the young people running back to Little Harbour now.

If Beckwith is so concerned about the lack of job opportunities, why hasn’t he done anything over all these years when he’s been buying up property and land in Little Harbour? Why is it that the person he has looking after all of his homes and properties in Little Harbour is someone who lives over an hour away?

The other thing I dislike about politicians using the jobs argument is that it lets them hide the fact that Owls Head Provincial Park is Crown land. It belongs to ALL the people of Nova Scotia. Our officials ought to be acting on behalf of all of us, not an American billionaire.

And why aren’t our elected officials using science to guide their decision-making about the Park? Our Government has been using science to maintain the wellbeing of Nova Scotians through this pandemic, and they’ve been doing a better job than most other provinces. I haven’t heard Rankin or anyone else talk about having looked into the ecological value of the Park, even though there’s solid research out there about what a rare place it is.

It’s time to use science-based facts to save our environment, not just the opinions of an American billionaire and Iain Rankin, and anyone else who FEEL that grinding Owls Head Provincial Park  into dust is a good idea. The Old White Collar way of running our province has run its course. This Government will go down as one of the most secretive in provincial history. We need to change our way of thinking. Our Government needs more innovative minds to carry our Province through the ever-changing world. We need diversity, creativity, accountability and forthright minds to lead Nova Scotia into the future.

There is an old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It is going to take more than a village to Save Owls Head/Little Harbour. We have over 3,800 members in our Facebook group to save Owls Head, all Nova Scotians have a voice, this land belongs to the citizens of Nova Scotia. Let’s stand together, stand for the future generations!!


Beverley Isaacs, Little Harbour

The Rick Howe Show: Liberal Leadership Candidates on Owls Head Provincial Park

Host Jordi Morgan interviews Randy Delorey, Iain Rankin, and Labi Kousoulis

January 19-21
The Rick Howe Show
News 95.7

One of these three Liberal leadership candidates will not only become the leader of the provincial Liberal party but also the new premier of Nova Scotia. Take a listen to their responses to environmental questions, including the fate of Owls Head Provincial Park.

Mr. Randy Delorey
January 19, 2021

Randy Delorey
Photo: RednozerCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mr. Iain Rankin
January 20, 2021

170200Iain Rankin, Photo from the Nova Scotia Legislature

Mr. Labi Kousoulis
January 21, 2021

Labi Kousoulis
Photo: Anatoli99CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Parks and Protected Areas Network in HRM

Maps by Shanni Bale

Please click to enlarge.

Data sources:
Significant Species and Habitats Database (Incomplete), NSLNF (2007);
NS Landscape Resilience, S. Bale (2017);
Parks and Protected Areas Plan, NS Environment (2020);
NS Lands Proposed or Pending Protection, NSLNF (2020)

Owls Head Provincial Park is a gem of Nova Scotia, containing a variety of ecosystems, including heathlands, salt marshes, bogs, freshwater lakes, and estuaries. This habitat diversity makes it a haven for at-risk species, including the Barn Swallow and Piping Plover. Owls Head Provincial Park had been awaiting protection for decades. However, in 2019, the NS Liberal government removed it from the ‘Pending Protected Area’ list so that this ecological treasure could be sold and developed. The fate of the park remains uncertain, but thousands of Nova Scotians continue to give their time, money, and energy to save it.

Premier Candidates Should Save Owls Head Provincial Park

It is out of that love that we are dedicating this issue to a plea for the people of Nova Scotia to stop our Liberal government from deliberately committing a terrible crime. The Liberals are doing the bidding of a wealthy American billionaire and his “Lighthouse Links” company who propose turning Owls Head Provincial Park into a gated billionaire bunker housing project for the ultra-wealthy, with a couple of golf courses on the side. The Liberals’ endorsement of this scam is an assault on both the body politic and the rocky bones of the body of the province itself.  

Continue reading “Premier Candidates Should Save Owls Head Provincial Park”

After three weeks of camping out, lone protester told to leave Grand Parade

Robert Devet
The Nova Scotia Advocate
January 6, 2021

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Jacob Fillmore, the young man camping out on the Grand Parade across from Halifax city hall in support of the threatened mainland moose in Western Nova Scotia has been told by city staff to leave within a day or so.

… Jacob started camping out here three weeks ago, after spending time with the forest protectors deep in the woods of Digby County. When he returned to Halifax he felt that continuing the protest in downtown Halifax would be the best way to keep the threatened mainland moose in the public eye. 

And it’s not just the moose, he is equally upset about what’s happening with Owls Head, and the state of Nova Scotia’s threatened species altogether, he says. On his Facebook page he talks about his support for the water protectors fighting Alton Gas.

Continue reading “After three weeks of camping out, lone protester told to leave Grand Parade”