April 1, 2021
Owls Head might never have been a provincial park, but the fact so many Nova Scotians believed it was — and, indeed, even government officials — should have made public consultation a requirement before the province considered selling it, Nova Scotia Supreme Court heard Thursday.
… “The heart of this issue is really the secret removal of a park’s [pending] protected status,” Simpson told the court.
He provided a variety of examples that showed members of the public and provincial government officials believed for decades that Owls Head was a provincial park. Only recently was it learned the land did not carry that designation.
As such, Simpson argued the public was owed a duty of fairness and the chance to comment before members of the treasury and policy board made the decision to delist the property and potentially sell the Crown land at the recommendation of Iain Rankin, who was lands and forestry minister at the time.