Letter to the Editor
Contributed by Pamela Baker
The Chronicle Herald (Metro)
August 19, 2021
Former Dartmouth mayor Gloria McCluskey’s “Golf is good” letter on Aug. 7 perpetuates the myth that golf on our shore will solve all the problems faced by local residents.
On the same day her letter was published, I was one of several speakers at a rally to stop the steal of Owls Head. Coincidentally, I outlined many of the fallacies of her argument and those that have been put forward by representatives of Lighthouse Links, one of whom is Anthony Turner, her nephew.
The average golf course takes 12 to 18 months to construct, with another six months to ensure that the grass on greens and fairways takes hold. However, this area is not average and would need extensive blasting and grading. Fill will need to be trucked in from another site. Double the estimate and there may be a course there in 3-4 years.
Upon completion, it’s estimated that Canadian golf courses need about 900,000 litres of freshwater a day. Insecticides and fertilizers used on golf courses will create runoff that will further damage this area.
Golf courses only employ “a good number of people” if they have added indoor facilities for year-round activities. There might be 4-5 months of weather suitable enough to employ a few part-time workers. And that number will decrease once the black flies, the mosquitoes and the fog are factored into the equation.
Of course, the lure of hotels, restaurants and bars could mean more employment. However, these will come much later, once there is a certainty that the course is successful. These 19th hole additions are likely to be 8-10 years away, if at all. It hardly seems likely that driving the loop to Owls Head on a snowy Saturday will be a fun winter activity.
The Eastern Shore does indeed need development, but it needs sidewalks, bike lanes, a swimming pool, a science centre, kayak and snowshoe excursions; it does not need a version of Mccluskey’s city centre “private” golf course perched on a rare ecosystem.
Pamela Baker, Ship Harbour