CTV News Atlantic
February 23, 2021
Steve Murphy: You are an environmentalist… You portray yourself, certainly, as one. You are under pressure to stop the sale of Owls Head, which had been considered as a park reserve – or at least was on the list for consideration – for use as a golf course now. What action are you going to take on that file, Premier?
Premier Iain Rankin: During the campaign, I actually promised that I would move forward on protecting more of nature and there are over 100 sites from the Parks and Protected Areas Plan that I will be moving forward with protecting for generations –
Steve Murphy: Not Owls Head?
Premier Iain Rankin: That is over 50,000 hectares of land… Owls Head is a piece of land that was brought forward by a community. They wanted the government to go through with the process of looking at a project that could potentially exist there. I’m not going to take a position on this until it goes through that process. The community deserves to have a say and government is in a position to listen to what that community wants, but I wouldn’t be for a project that would have any long-term adverse impact to a sensitive ecosystem.
Editor’s Note: “A community” didn’t bring forward the proposal to take a property slated for protection, secretly delist it, and offer it for sale. A prospective developer did that, and the government chose to work at his behest.
Freedom of Information Requests have shown that the government started exploring the delisting and sale of Owls Head Provincial Park 3 years before investigative journalist Michael Gorman broke the story.
Thank you to Sydnee Lynn McKay for transcribing this interview.