Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
July 31, 2021

Full article here

Read the Judge’s Decision

The province’s top court has ruled that the proper channel to remedy a perceived Liberal government wrongdoing on Owls Head is “not through the courts but at the ballot box.”

[Bob Bancroft and Eastern Shore] Forest Watch argued that the minister was required through a duty of fairness to inform and consult the public before he made the decision.

“The fundamental defect in the applicants’ position, however, is that there is no recognized common law duty of procedural fairness owed by the Crown to the public at large,” Brothers wrote in a decision released this week.

“Neither the province’s previous misrepresentations about Owls Head, nor its history of public consultation in relation to parks and protected areas, entitles the applicants to be consulted before decisions are made about the protection or sale of Owls Head Crown lands.”

Simpson took issue with Justice Brothers’ ballot box solution, too.

“The ballot box is a blunt tool and a trip to the ballot box once every four years is not an appropriate tool for addressing an injustice such as this,” he said. “There are a lot of injustices out there that are best suited for the courts to deal with.”

Jamie Simpson
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