JIM VIBERT: Without answers, Rankin’s credibility suffers

Jim Vibert
The Chronicle Herald
April 10, 2021

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In the legislature this week, Nova Scotia’s novice premier found himself on the pointy end of NDP leader Gary Burrill’s probe into the department’s action and inaction – while Rankin was minister – that landed it in court.

… Naturalist Bob Bancroft and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch were in court last week making the case that the secret removal of Owls Head from the list denied the public an opportunity to be heard. There was broad public consultation to develop the list.

They’re challenging the clock-and-dagger process – my characterization, not theirs – that the government engaged in, first to delist the property, and second to enter into negotiations to sell it to a golf course developer.

Rankin’s defence of the behind-closed-doors machinations was vague and vapid. He talked about listening to Nova Scotians and following the right process.

Yet, all available evidence suggests Rankin and the government listened only to the golf course proponents and their well-connected Liberal lobbyists. As for the process, it was hidden from Nova Scotians, who just happen to own the land.

There’s something deeply troubling about a government that would sell publicly owned, protected land out from under the Nova Scotians who collectively own it, without telling them.

Rankin needs to come clean on the backroom wheeling and dealing that apparently went on for two years or more, before a CBC news report blew the lid off the caper.

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