Rally in Review

On April 1, 2021, approximately 100 supporters participated in a demonstration outside the Law Courts in solidarity with judicial review applicants Bob Bancroft and Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association.

Mi’kmaw Grandmother Darlene Gilbert (Thunderbird Swooping Down Woman) gave a land acknowledgement. Scheduled speakers at the demonstration included local resident Beverley Isaacs, Lindsay Lee of Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association, Tynette Deveaux of Sierra Club Atlantic, environmental activist Jacob Fillmore, and Facebook group founder Sydnee Lynn McKay. Nina Newington of Extinction Rebellion emceed the demonstration.

Gary Burrill (leader of the NDP Party) addressed the crowd, as did Thomas Trappenberg (leader of the Green Party) and Jessica Alexander (deputy leader of the Green Party). An Eastern Shore resident who has asked to remain nameless also chose to speak in support of Owls Head Provincial Park.

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Jacob Fillmore’s Speech: Save Owls Head Demonstration

Hello everyone, I’m Jacob Fillmore, and it feels great to be eating again.

Thank you all for coming to this rally to show your support for Bob Bancroft and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association. Today, I’d like to talk a bit about Owl’s Head Provincial Park, and why I believe it should continue to be protected.

Owl’s Head, touted by the provincial government itself as a “globally rare ecosystem,” has significant biodiversity and ecological value, and is home to the critically endangered Piping Plover. Though there are believed to be fewer than 40 mating pairs left in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia’s Recovery Plan for the Piping Plover deems that the recovery of the species is still feasible. This is because “The primary threats (…) can be avoided or mitigated.” However, one key challenge to the recovery is habitat loss from coastal development. If we want to protect the Plovers, we cannot develop Owls Head.

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Sydnee Lynn’s Speech: Save Owls Head Demonstration

Hello everyone,

I don’t like speaking in public but since I was born and brought up right next to Owls Head Provincial Park, I thought I should say a few words.

Approximately 15-16 years ago, a stranger from the US purchased some property in Little Harbour. This property lies between my parents’ home and Owls Head Provincial Park. This was the first time that someone moved to Little Harbour, built a home and gated their property off from the rest of the community. Over the next 15-16 years, this same person purchased 21 additional properties in the community. Most of these properties are sitting vacant.

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Bev Isaacs’s Speech: Save Owls Head Demonstration

We are here to speak for something which cannot speak for itself – Owls Head Provincial Park.

Hello everyone, I am Bev Isaacs, a resident of Little Harbour/Owls Head, thank you for supporting us in this fight. We are here to hold our government accountable for their unfair, secretive backroom deal to sell Owls Head Provincial Park to a non-resident. Their decision to delist a Provincial Park without public consultation was disrespectful to the citizens of Nova Scotia. Our government owes this to the people of Nova Scotia, to provide an environment that we all can be proud of. An environment that will be sustainable, an environment with ecosystems that will provide clean air, clean water for the next generation.

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Lindsay Lee’s Speech: Save Owls Head Demonstration

Environmental activist Jacob Fillmore has been inspiring a lot of people lately. Jacob inspired me when he said, “Change will not happen simply because you believe in something; it happens when you stand for something.” 

So I’d like to thank you all for standing up for Nova Scotia’s Parks and Protected Areas today. 

I’d also like to acknowledge our supporters across the province. Concerned citizens, passionate about saving Owls Head Provincial Park, have contributed over $27,000 so that Bob Bancroft and Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association can stand up for transparency, fairness, and public consultation in court.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Kevin Coady wrote, “The public had every reason” to believe that Owls Head Provincial Park was formally protected.

Unfortunately, our government identified this property as Owls Head Provincial Park, but it did not follow through on the inherent promise of that title.

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