Pollsters Asking Questions About Owls Head

Someone is paying for a phone poll of people on the Eastern Shore to see what they think about destroying Owls Head Provincial Park. You can listen to the poll on this link on Soundcloud.

This poll suggests that someone is getting really worried about the political impact of Premier Rankin’s decision as Minister of Lands and Forestry to secretly de-list Owls Head Provincial Park and sell it to American billionaire Beckwith Gilbert. Gilbert’s company, Lighthouse Links, plans to grind the park into sand in order to build luxury housing and a few golf courses.

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RICHARD BELL: Owls Head Goes to Court

The Executive Summary states, “With these changes, the new parks and protected areas system will include: 205 provincial parks.” And “Appendix A: Lands” presented “a complete list of new protected areas, as well as provincial park properties.” The list included 782 properties, listed alphabetically. In position 694, the document lists “Owls Head Provincial Park” as an “existing” park.

What the public was not aware of  was that the province had never gone through the formal process of designating Owls Head Provincial Park as a “park.” And in fact, more than 100 of the other properties in the Plan were in the same undesignated category.

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RICHARD BELL: Sweetheart Deal for Owls Head

Richard Bell
Eastern Shore Cooperator
Published online on December 1, 2020

View on the Eastern Shore Cooperator’s website

In the latest round in the fight to stop the province from turning Owls Head Provincial Park into an American billionaire’s three private golf courses and acres of luxury housing, the Department of Lands and Forestry (L&F) released another round of documents with dramatic new information.

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Most HRM Council Candidates Want to Save Owls Head Provincial Park

Richard Bell
The Eastern Shore Cooperator
October 15, 2020

Read the full article here>

Opponents of the secret sale last year of Owls Head Provincial Park by the Department of Lands and Forestry took advantage of the upcoming election to ask every candidate for HRM Council, “If the matter is before Council, would you support upholding the Regional Park designation, in order to protect Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve?”

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Owls Head Sale Opponents Back in Court

Richard Bell
Eastern Shore Cooperator
August 23, 2020

Full Article Here>

Opponents of the proposed sale of Owls Head Provincial Park to an American billionaire took the next legal step forward on August 18 with the filing of an amended version of their January request for a judicial review. A hearing to set a date for the full judicial review will take place on September 23, although the trial itself will probably not take place until 2021.

The amended petition challenges two different secret decisions by Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin:  the decision to de-list the park on March 13, 2019 and the decision to entertain a Letter of Offer with the golf course developer on December 19, 2019.

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Owls Head Dancing on the Head of a Pin

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Richard Bell
Eastern Shore Cooperator
July 13, 2020

At a hearing before Supreme Court Judge Kevin Coady on June 29, opponents of the province’s plan to destroy Owls Head Provincial Park learned that the fate of the 600-plus acres of coastal land may hinge on the narrowest of legal points

On December 18, 2019, CBC’s Michael Gorman wrote that through a Freedom of Information request, he had learned that the Cabinet, acting on a request from the Department of Lands and Forestry, had delisted Owls Head Provincial Park on March 13, 2019, but had hidden the decision from the public.

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photo Sydnee Lynn McKay

Groups Unite to Oppose Owls Head Park Sale

Eastern Shore Cooperator
Posted on March 12, 2020
By Richard Bell

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In a show of province-wide opposition to the government’s controversial decision to sell Owls Head Provincial Park, 23 groups submitted a joint letter to Premier McNeil on Tuesday, March 10 calling on the government to do three things:

  1. “Stop the sale of publicly-owned lands at Owls Head
  2. Protect Owls Head as a legally-designated protected area
  3. Fully implement the Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas Plan”
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