Covert delisting of the land from park protection rallies community members.
Mira Dietz Chiasson
February 21, 2020
A determined group of Nova Scotians gathered yesterday at Grand Parade Square to protest the sale of Owls Head, a planned provincial park that was recently de-listed by the provincial government. Despite cold temperatures, approximately 120 people were in attendance, wearing hats and mittens, chanting “Stop the sale, save Owls Head.”
“The government wasn’t going to tell us,” said Chris Trider, one of the main organizers of yesterday’s rally, addressing the crowd. “They were doing it in secret. No denials. No apologies. No remorse.” Trider is a former provincial park planner, and he said this is the worst he’s ever seen when it comes to secrecy and deceit within the government. He says he just couldn’t sit by and watch.
“We’re taking the government to task,” he told the crowd, “because this is our property, this is our environment, this our legacy for our children. And it’s not theirs to sell!”
Although many protesters are opposed to the idea of golf courses replacing an ecologically sensitive and unique area, the anger is mostly directed at the “government that conducts business in secrecy, and that makes vital land decisions without consultation,” said Pam Baker, a resident of the area near Owls Head, who also spoke at the gathering.
Baker said that not much has changed on the Eastern Shore in the last 30 years, and that jobs are needed. “Development would be welcome. But none of it should come at the expense of a rare ecosystem,” she said. “And with apologies to Joni Mitchell, let’s not pave paradise and put up a parking lot,” she added, to cheers from the crowd.