Zane Woodford
The Halifax Examiner
July 30, 2021

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Read the judge’s decision

In a written decision released Friday but dated Monday, Justice Christa Brothers argued that the court would be setting too much of a precedent, that accepting the argument would mean decisions about any land “identified as having public value beyond the value of Crown lands generally” would be subject to a public process.

“Judicial acceptance of this ‘public trust doctrine’ would mean that Owls Head, and any other lands the government has recognized as having such public value, could not be sold without public consultation,” Brothers wrote.

“I conclude that recognition of the public trust doctrine proposed by the applicants would not represent the kind of incremental change to the common law that this court is permitted to make.”

In the timely decision, Brothers wrote that if citizens have a problem with politicians’ decisions, they should head to the polls.

“In such circumstances, if a remedy is sought by the public, the proper recourse in our constitutional democracy is not through the courts, but at the ballot box.”

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