Nova Scotia Legislature
Question Period
October 15, 2021

CLAUDIA CHENDER: Mr. Speaker, changing topics, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. In the election there was no doubt that people across the province were angered by the backroom dealing that led to the delisting of Owls Head. We’ve all heard about it in this House and out of this House.

Many people expressed their anger, including the Premier, who said that the Liberal government’s actions on this file were “really despicable.” When a party uses words like “despicable,” one would expect urgency in rectifying this situation.

My question to the minister is: When will the Progressive Conservative government actually make that Order in Council and stop the sale?

HON. TORY RUSHTON: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I thank the member opposite for the question. The issue of Owls Head certainly probably hit every constituency during the election. As we know right now, there’s an appeal process going through.

I do want to make the announcement today and let the member opposite know that we are committed, because it is in a court process right now. Our government is committed officially today that we will allow the public have input on this decision. Thank you.

CLAUDIA CHENDER: That’s quite different, actually – the announcement that was just made – from what we heard in the platform. In the election, the Progressive Conservatives promised to protect all remaining areas in the 2013 Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan. Our caucus supports this plan, but it’s puzzling, again, that this wasn’t one of the first actions of the incoming Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. After all, in the platform document, which I have here, it is stated that all that is required at present is an Order in Council.

Again, my question to the Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. We’re eight weeks in. When can Nova Scotians expect to hear news of that Order in Council?

TORY RUSHTON: Thank you to the member opposite for the question. We were always very adamant. We needed to understand the deal that was taking place. The deal with Owls Head is still within a court decision, but looking at the lands that are on that list, I’ve certainly directed staff to have a review of the whole list, not just parts of this list.

I will commit to the member opposite that we’re going to make sure that the lands are protected on an ecological and biological will of the land, not the political will of the land.

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