Election 2021: Party leaders lay out their priorities

The 38-year old Rankin may be the closest thing to a Green Premier Nova Scotians have seen to date, but he could also be hobbled by his support for the proposed Goldboro natural gas plant (which now seems aborted) and by some past decisions he made during his stint as Environment* minister, when he allowed the Owl’s Head provincial park to be de-listed as a protected place and open for business as a golf course development on the Eastern Shore (Did you know he has a diploma in golf club management?). 


N.S. voters say environment, health care, homelessness, among top election issues

The Chronicle Herald spoke to people out and about in Halifax about the issues that they care about the most. Here’s what they had to say. 


For Philip Church, who is from Hantsport and currently lives in a van with no fixed address, saving the environment — and Owls Head Provincial Park specifically from being developed into golf courses and residential properties — is most important.“What’s wrong with the status quo? Why do we always have to be taking more land away from animals and wildlife? I think we’re good where we are,” said Church, 42.


Help Save Owls Head Provincial Park

Take a moment and think of your favourite park. Maybe it’s a hiking trail, a coastal area, part of a snowmobile network, or a great spot for a family picnic.

Now imagine how you would feel if that park suddenly disappeared. What if your elected officials decided that your recreational spaces, the environment, and public fairness were all less important than catering to a rich developer?

That’s precisely what happened with Owls Head Provincial Park on the Eastern Shore. Our government officials orchestrated 3 years of secrecy at the behest of a billionaire in order for him to buy 5 miles of publicly owned shorefront (for a mere $216,000).


No timeline for decision on Archibald Lake wilderness area, says N.S. minister

In early 2020, as controversy mounted over the potential of Owls Head being sold to a private developer to build golf courses, the government leaned on the potential protection of Archibald Lake as proof of its commitment to the environment.

In a February 2020 information note to the minister of the day, obtained by CBC News through a freedom of information request, government talking points highlight the need to balance protected areas with job creation in rural communities.

It goes on to note a number of new properties other than Owls Head identified for protection, including Archibald Lake.


Atlantic Gold’s imaginary conservation land

In 2008, Atlantic Gold was given provincial approval for the gigantic Touquoy open pit gold mine with the condition that within 4 years the company buy and give the province nearby land for conservation purposes. 13 years later, that condition is still unmet, and the province is making no real effort to enforce it.

Jamie Simpson says there is certainly irony in this plan — be it as yet unfulfilled — for Atlantic Gold to procure conservation lands, given what the province has not done to protect Owls Head Park, a “globally rare” ecosystem on the Atlantic Coast about 30 kilometres southeast of Atlantic Gold’s open pit gold mine at Moose River.