LTE: Dangerous Precedent by Ian Guppy

Letter to the Editor
Submitted by Ian Guppy
The Chronicle Herald
December 26, 2020

Read on the Chronicle Herald’s Site

Re: “Owls Head court case stalling golf courses, much-needed jobs, Lighthouse Links argues,” Dec. 10.

The year 2020 has been a tough one for Nova Scotia, and natural places have been where many of us have sought solace, especially those close to the ocean. Turning our precious coastal areas into golf courses — enclaves of privilege for wealthy Americans such as the one now exiting the White House — does not serve the interests of average Nova Scotians, the environment or the endangered species trying to live here.

Mr. Gilbert is intent on building his golf course, with its attendant heavy pesticide use, and razing the natural topography of this unique coastal landscape, let him do it on his privately-owned 138 hectares next to the intended Owls Head Provincial Park. That the Nova Scotia government secretly entered into a private sale agreement of public park land is an example of their cowardice and lack of accountability to the public who elected them, a public that needs green spaces like Owls Head now more than ever.

When COVID-19 shut down shopping centres and curtailed plane travel this year, many Nova Scotians discovered how crucial natural places are to our health and wellbeing. The Eastern Shore’s proximity to a major urban centre represents untapped potential for eco-tourism, especially in the stay-cation era.

Coastal Nova Scotia is, overwhelmingly, privately-owned. Can we afford to give up our scant public coastal areas for private development? The government has set a dangerous precedent with the sale of public lands to private interests, and it is up to Nova Scotians to stop them.

Ian Guppy

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