We are excited to announce that the federal parcel of land at Owls Head Park has officially been transferred to Environment and Climate Change Canada … a monumental step in the Save Owls Head Park campaign.
This would not have been possible without the intense opposition to the sale of public parkland or the committed advocacy of our conservation partners. We would especially like to thank CPAWS NS, who have been working tirelessly to save this ecologically significant property and its 45-year history of promised protections. The importance of your work at the provincial and federal levels cannot be overstated.
We are also grateful to the government of Canada and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada) for recognizing the importance of this representative coastal ecosystem. Thank you for your commitment to honour the best and highest use of Owls Head Park Reserve.
Background on the federal parcel:
As revealed in Michael Gorman’s initial story on December 18, 2019, “The province [had been] in negotiations with the federal government on behalf of the company to buy about 17 hectares of surplus Crown land next to Owls Head that’s home to an automated light beacon and helipad. Ottawa would [have kept] 0.09 hectares, including the helipad and light, and [sold] the rest to the province for $167,500. Originally the land was offered for $1, but that required the province to use it for a public purpose.”
Below: Map from a FOIPOP shows the division of lands between federal, provincial, and private properties. Click to enlarge.
The province of Nova Scotia had been lobbying the federal government on behalf of Lighthouse Links. The company coveted the 17.46-hectare parcel of federal land at Owls Head Park Reserve for inclusion in their golf and residential community. However, the federal government rescinded its offer to sell the federal parcel to the province of Nova Scotia amidst widespread environmental and ethical concerns.
Future of the federal parcel:
Instead, the federal land parcel will now belong to The Canadian Wildlife Service! The Canadian Wildlife Service is a branch of Environment and Climate Change Canada that focuses largely on migratory birds, species at risk, and habitat protection.
We now urge Environment and Climate Change Canada to afford this parcel the appropriate legal designation to ensure that the land will be protected long-term. It is critical that the federal government follow through on the promise to safeguard this property.
All of our voices are still needed to protect Owls Head Park Reserve. But this key milestone shows that, together, we do have the power to affect decisions at the highest level.
Thank you to Facebook group founder Sydnee Lynn for tracking down confirmation that PID: 00555284, formerly owned by Transport Canada, has been transferred to the Department of The Environment (Environment and Climate Change Canada).
Type: STANDARD PARCEL
LR Status: LAND REGISTRATION
Owner: DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF CANADA
Mailing Address: LES TERRASSES DE LA CHAUDIERE
10 WELLINGTON STREET
GATINEAU QC CA K1A 0H3
Civic Address: SOUTHWEST COVE ROAD SOUTHWEST COVE GRANT 3819B
County: HALIFAX COUNTY
Area: 17.46 HECTARE(S)
Value: $18,900 (2020 RESOURCE EXEMPT)