Today, Justice Christa Brothers of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia will hear arguments in a judicial review of the Minister of Lands and Forestry’s decisions to de-list Owls Head Provincial Park from the Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan and to enter into an agreement to sell the land to a private company, Lighthouse Links, for development into a golf resort.
The applicants, Robert Bancroft and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association, have argued that the province should have consulted the public before de-listing Owls Head. The park, while not legally designated under legislation, had long been thought to be a park. Additionally, it has been managed by the Department as a park for many years under its Parks Program.
“For forty years the people of Nova Scotia have trusted successive governments which assured us that Owl’s Head was protected as a Provincial Park. Governments must be required to tell the truth about public land, and to consult the public when such a major decision is contemplated”, says Barbara Markovits, a director of the Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association.