Jim Vibert
The Chronicle Herald
April 26, 2021

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As an Earth Day gesture, last week Nova Scotia’s Liberal government 2.0 — a.k.a. the Rankin government — moved 49 provincial parks and 12 wilderness areas and nature reserves a step closer to protection from bulldozers, skidders and golf course developers.

The 61 sites — don’t get too excited; most of them are small — are named in the Parks and Protected Areas Plan that the Liberals inherited from the NDP in 2013, and since then have implemented at a pace that could, charitably, be described as sluggish.

… Rankin wants to move land conservation up a notch — but only a notch — until 14 per cent of Nova Scotia’s landmass is protected for nature and for the respectful enjoyment of nature by Nova Scotians and, eventually, visitors.

Nova Scotians who are unfamiliar with the Parks and Protected Areas Plan are generally taken aback to learn that provincial parks are not protected from development until the government designates them as protected.

Owls Head is the most famous case in point.

… The Liberals claim there’s nothing nefarious in entertaining a proposal to sell a provincial park to a golf course developer, but they haven’t explained why it was necessary to hide that intention from Nova Scotians for more than two years.

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