Rally in Review

On April 1, 2021, approximately 100 supporters participated in a demonstration outside the Law Courts in solidarity with judicial review applicants Bob Bancroft and Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association.

Mi’kmaw Grandmother Darlene Gilbert (Thunderbird Swooping Down Woman) gave a land acknowledgement. Scheduled speakers at the demonstration included local resident Beverley Isaacs, Lindsay Lee of Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association, Tynette Deveaux of Sierra Club Atlantic, environmental activist Jacob Fillmore, and Facebook group founder Sydnee Lynn McKay. Nina Newington of Extinction Rebellion emceed the demonstration.

Gary Burrill (leader of the NDP Party) addressed the crowd, as did Thomas Trappenberg (leader of the Green Party) and Jessica Alexander (deputy leader of the Green Party). An Eastern Shore resident who has asked to remain nameless also chose to speak in support of Owls Head Provincial Park.

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Jacob Fillmore’s Speech: Save Owls Head Demonstration

Hello everyone, I’m Jacob Fillmore, and it feels great to be eating again.

Thank you all for coming to this rally to show your support for Bob Bancroft and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association. Today, I’d like to talk a bit about Owl’s Head Provincial Park, and why I believe it should continue to be protected.

Owl’s Head, touted by the provincial government itself as a “globally rare ecosystem,” has significant biodiversity and ecological value, and is home to the critically endangered Piping Plover. Though there are believed to be fewer than 40 mating pairs left in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia’s Recovery Plan for the Piping Plover deems that the recovery of the species is still feasible. This is because “The primary threats (…) can be avoided or mitigated.” However, one key challenge to the recovery is habitat loss from coastal development. If we want to protect the Plovers, we cannot develop Owls Head.

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Press Release: “Save Owls Head” Demonstration

K’jipuktuk (Halifax) – Judicial Review applicants Bob Bancroft & Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association will have their day in court on Thursday. In solidarity with the applicants, the grassroots “Save Owls Head” Facebook group is organizing a gathering of supporters outside the Law Courts at 9:30 AM on April 1, 2021.

“More than 4,300 Nova Scotians have joined the Save Little Harbour/Owls Head Facebook group,” said Sydnee Lynn McKay, founder of the Facebook group. “We’re gaining more members every day, as people across Nova Scotia learn about the park, the process, and the precedent.” McKay was born and raised in Little Harbour.

“The government’s decision to secretly delist and offer to sell a park awaiting designation sets a dangerous precedent for Nova Scotia. There are approximately 100 other provincial parks with proposed or pending protection, areas that Nova Scotians reasonably believed to be safe,” said Lindsay Lee of the Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association. That’s one reason that thousands of citizens across the province are passionate about reversing this decision through this lawsuit.” Everyday citizens have contributed over $25,000 to enable this legal case to go forward.

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