If you have a few seconds, read what the Nova Scotia Government tells the world on its official website about protected areas like Owls Head Provincial Park, site #694.
You will note at no point do they say ” we will secretly negotiate to remove selected protected areas in the plan when approached by lobbyists for wealthy American developers who feel they need golf courses instead of important ecological areas. “At no point do they say, ” we will lie about the history of any protected area we select, and sanitize our websites of any record of it to facilitate its sale for the profit and enjoyment of the few.”
Owls Head Provincial Park is one of the very few remaining pristine natural publicly owned coastal properties in Nova Scotia. Large undisturbed coastal areas are not well represented in the Protected areas plan so they are valuable to the biodiversity of our province. The park lands are home to an ancient botanical collection that evolved since the last Ice Age and remained relatively intact due in part to the character of the landscape. This valuable park resource should never have been secretly removed from its protected status as site 694 in the plan that was created and endorsed by the citizens of Nova Scotia. To then offer to sell it to an American developer who will destroy its ecological integrity is a betrayal of the clear public interest.
On April 1, the government of Nova Scotia — Premier Rankin’s government — will be arguing against the people of the province in favour of a secret deal to sell the 700-acre public park at Owls Head to a private development company.
They are essentially fighting the public interest in favour of the American developer. It’s not a pretty picture, is it?
A government forcing its citizens to fundraise and go to Court to seek fairness, truth and transparency.
Ironically, taxpayers are also paying the developer’s costs since the government has chosen to argue on his behalf. The government lawyers are paid by all the taxpaying public, not just the few who stand to profit privately from this development.
On April 1 the government — Premier Rankin’s government — will fight against the interests of the people who elected them.
Our parks and protected areas contribute to our economy by:
anchoring our nature tourism industry
supporting the outdoor recreation industry
helping us brand Nova Scotia as a clean, green place in which to live, work, and do business
contributing to local and regional economies
employing people (directly and indirectly), especially in rural areas
So now, on April 1, we have to go to Court and fight the government, Premier Rankin’s government, to protect the public interest in the significant, large, coastal protected area referred to as Owls Head Provincial Park.
Christopher Trider, co-administrator of the Facebook group Save Little Harbour/Owls Head, joins host Jordi Morgan to offer perspective on Owls Head Provincial Park.
Jordi Morgan: So we’re talking about Owls Head this morning. We wanted to get both sides of this issue, so joining us today is Chris Trider. Chris grew up on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia and he also has formed a Facebook group to talk about this issue and to oppose it. They are opposed to the sale of this land, which is not a done deal yet, but Chris joins on the phone this morning. Good morning, Chris.
January 28, 2020 Eastern Shore Cooperator Richard Bell
More than 200 people turned out on Sunday, January 26 2020 for the public meeting on the fate of Owls Head Provincial Park. The Facebook group Save Little Harbour/Owls Head from Becoming a Golf Course and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association sponsored the meeting. The sponsors oppose the sale of these public lands to a private developer planning to build three golf courses. During the Q&A session after the formal presentations, several people did raise questions about the need for jobs on the Eastern Shore, and the potential for the proposed golf courses to boost economic development on the shore.
Posted by Richard Bell January 14, 2020 3:25 PM Eastern Shore Cooperator
The revelation that the province’s Department of Lands and Forests has been secretly planning to sell Crown land on Owls Head to a wealthy American couple who own Lighthouse Links Development Company to build as many as three golf courses has stunned Nova Scotians.
For more than four decades, members of the public had every reason to assume that Owls Head would eventually become a fully protected provincial park. As late as the week of January 6th, a Department of the Environment online map of protected areas showed the area as “Owls Head Provincial Park” as late as January.