“Owl’s Head didn’t have a voice,” said local resident and advocate Beverley Isaacs says. “So we used our voices.”

Erin Anderssen
The Globe and Mail
July 31, 2022

Full article here

Had it not been for the fight of Nova Scotians such as Ms. Isaacs, much of these 266 hectares of coastal barrens and wetlands and eight kilometres of rugged coves and beaches on the eastern shore of the province might have been bulldozed by an American developer planning to build a luxury resort.

“Owl’s Head didn’t have a voice,” Ms. Isaacs says. “So we used our voices.”

Across Nova Scotia, similar battles are being waged – to preserve public rights to the province’s shoreline in the face of expanding private development, to balance economic interests against protecting nature.

In fact, in June, just as the province was officially announcing that Owl’s Head would become a provincial park, another group of residents, 200 kilometres away on the south shore, were starting their own protest to stop private construction on the edge of a sandy beach used by the community for generations.

“There is a real gut feeling of unfairness and injustice,” says Bob Bancroft, a retired biologist, who is one of the lead applicants in the case. ”It shouldn’t be up to citizens to try to keep an eye on backroom deals.”

As Owl’s Head highlighted, communities may wrongly assume that land is protected, or that a right-of-way, used for generations, is written into property deeds. And they may only learn otherwise when the land is unexpectedly sold.

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