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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Court Costs Overview from Forest Watch

Update: The judicial review has been fully funded thanks to concerned citizens like you. Thank you!

Statement from Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association
September 5, 2020

Good News: The people of Nova Scotia have won the first round! Justice Coady of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has granted us an extension to file an application for a judicial review regarding the delisting of Owl’s Head Park from the list of Provincial Park Reserves. We are also requesting a judicial review of the provincial government’s Letter of Offer to sell Owl’s Head Provincial Park Reserve to Lighthouse Links Development Company.

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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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N.S. Supreme Court Grants Environmentalists More Time to Appeal Cabinet Decision

Battle is over Owls Head, a 285-hectare piece of Crown land on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore

Blair Rhodes
CBC News
August 5, 2020

Full Article Here >

In a decision released Wednesday, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Kevin Coady granted Bancroft and the forest watch association more time to file their request for a judicial review.

“The Applicants have a reasonable excuse for the delay,” Justice Coady wrote.

Coady added that the applicants “will suffer prejudice if the extension is not granted” but the respondent “will suffer little prejudice” if it is.

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Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association

Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association

Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association (ESFWA) is one of the applicants in the court case to save Owls Head Provincial Park. Along with biologist Bob Bancroft (President of Nature Nova Scotia), Forest Watch has requested a time extension to ask for a judicial review as well as requested the judicial review itself.

While Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association has never been an applicant in a court case before, the group felt compelled to take legal action when Owls Head Provincial Park was secretly removed from Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan.

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