A Nova Scotia voter’s quest for a more thrivable economy

Celes Davar owns the tourism company Earth Rhythms. He lives in West Brooklyn.

As we approach a provincial election, I’m reflecting on what’s been changing in our immediate reality: climate change with severe weather impacts like more intense hurricanes in the fall; reduction in biodiversity with continued clear-cutting forestry practices; proposed habitat destruction such as the secret cabinet back-room deal to sell Owls Head provincial park to a billionaire developer to build golf courses and luxury homes while provincial policies seem to simultaneously advocate for sustainability and carbon energy reduction.

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Coastal Adventures

During the 2020 season, Coastal Adventures led destination paddles around Owls Head Provincial Park.

This area, part of the 100 Wild Islands Tourism Advancement Partnership, is perfect for kayaking & eco-tourism. The stunning archipelago contains over 100 islands and represents “one of the last remaining intact and ecologically rich island groups of its size in North America.” (Nova Scotia Nature Trust)

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A Paddling Adventure around Owls Head Provincial Park

Professional sea kayak instructors Eleanor & Jenn are doing a summer series of destination paddles throughout the beautiful 100 Wild Islands on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. This area has incredible potential for recreational tourism in conjunction with environmental protection. Thank you, Eleanor and Jenn, for organizing not one but two paddles around Owls Head Provincial Park.

We’d also like to thank kayaker Peter Copus for sharing these lovely photos with us. Please click to enlarge.

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Canada's Ocean Playground

Thoughts on Doing Tourism Differently: Celes Devar

The Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia has the opportunity to address tourism, economic development and land conservation in a different way than any other area of Nova Scotia at this time.

As a trained biologist, tourism operator and community economic development facilitator, I’d like to invite a deeper think about the news article above and its implications. My hope is that we embrace a more openly democratic discussion and assessment of tourism and economic development opportunities.

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Pause…

On February 19, 2020, CBC reported: “Owls Head land sale put on hold as potential buyers explore their options.” At first glance, this seems like cause for celebration. Right? Not so fast. The more you read, the less clear the situation becomes.

Ever since the story broke in December 2019, there has been clear and persistent opposition to the government secretly delisting Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve. No private development would preserve public coastal access or the site’s “natural beauty.”

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LTE: Too Busy Reacting by Karen Schlick

Re: the Feb. 1 opinion piece,  “Conservationists have missed the boat on ecotourism.” The headline should have read: “Developers and governments are missing the boat on ecotourism.”

Conservationists are generally busy running around putting out fires: proposals like salmon farms and golf courses in inappropriate places, gold mines that ignore watershed issues, rampant clearcutting and expropriation of Commons land. 

Where are the conservationists out there with time on their hands and money to burn? Personally, I don’t know any of them.

Karen Schlick, Musquodoboit Harbour

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Nova Scotia Owls Head Park Reserve Map

Letter: The True Value of Owls Head

February 5, 2020

By Sue Corser

Dear Mr. Ince;

RE: OWLS HEAD PARK RESERVE

I am writing to you as my representative in the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly. I am gravely concerned about the actions of the McNeil Government to secretly de-list the Owls Head Park Reserve and commence a process to sell these lands to a private interest.

You no doubt know some or all of the history and efforts to identify and protect lands along the eastern shore and across Nova Scotia as part of a park and protected areas strategy. You may also be aware that these efforts have been ongoing for more than four decades and many, many citizens have participated over and over to ensure a certain future for these precious lands. (more…)