Eastern Shore Cooperator
July 13, 2020
At a hearing before Supreme Court Judge Kevin Coady on June 29, opponents of the province’s plan to destroy Owls Head Provincial Park learned that the fate of the 600-plus acres of coastal land may hinge on the narrowest of legal points
On December 18, 2019, CBC’s Michael Gorman wrote that through a Freedom of Information request, he had learned that the Cabinet, acting on a request from the Department of Lands and Forestry, had delisted Owls Head Provincial Park on March 13, 2019, but had hidden the decision from the public.
At issue in this hearing was a request from the Eastern Shore Forest Watch (Barbara Markovitz) and former DNR biologist Bob Bancroft asking for an exception to the official deadline for a lawsuit they had filed challenging the province’s secret Owls Head decision. The province has legal regulations that require anyone wishing to challenge a government decision to bring that challenge within a deadline. The McNeil administration argued that since the applicants had failed to meet these filing deadlines, the Court should deny their request, killing the lawsuit, despite the fact that the government had made this decision in secret.