LTE: Betrayal of Trust by Lindsay Lee

Bill Black’s Jan. 2 column, “Rankin’s policies tack far to the left of McNeil,” includes a brief but untenable statement about Owls Head Provincial Park. “Noting the significant level of local support, he (Iain Rankin) believes that an environmentally sensitive proposal for a golf resort at Owls Head could be approved.”

It’s absurd to claim that an environmentally friendly golf course is possible in this location, as it would raze the biodiverse wetlands and rare plant ecosystems.

Moreover, Black and Rankin have both decidedly ignored the unprecedented betrayal of public trust, the absolute disregard for public consultation with Nova Scotians, and the dangerous precedent this sets for all of our green spaces.

Perceived “local support” cannot retroactively make secretly delisting a provincial park reserve OK. It’s premature to presume the level of local support, as the government has still not conducted any consultations, locally or provincially.

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LTE: Rankin Off Course by Karen Schlick

It’s mind-boggling trying to think of where to begin in response to Bill Black’s Jan. 2 column on Iain Rankin and his bid for the provincial Liberal leadership.

Therefore, I will limit myself to the quoted statement that Mr. Rankin doesn’t see any reason why an environmentally sensitive golf course couldn’t be built at Owls Head. He refers to the “local support” for said golf course.

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LTE: Alarming Pattern by Edward L. Pencer

I read with interest and, I must admit, alarm your article regarding the Owls Head proposal. Juxtaposing this development with the major concerns around the Town Point Consulting (TPC) project in Antigonish Harbour, it appears clear that a pattern is emerging.

In both instances, developers proceeded with projects harmful to the environment, without adequate prior public notification or consultation, but with the full knowledge of the Department of Lands and Forestry. In the case of (TPC), the company laid pipes in the harbour without required permits. In the case of Owls Head, Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin delisted 285 hectares of protected Crown property and then entered into very private negotiations with the Gilbert family to purchase this land with a view to building two or three 18-hole golf courses.

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LTE: Dividing Community by Karen Schlick

I read with interest the recent article on an update on the court case for Owls Head (“Owls Head court case stalling golf courses, much-needed jobs, Lighthouse Links argues,” Dec. 10).

The primary concern of this court case is the lack of transparency and consultation in delisting an ecologically sensitive area that was being considered for provincial protection. If it hadn’t been for a freedom of information request, the public would never have known about this; thus, the court case. If everything had been above board in the first place, there wouldn’t have been any need to go to court.

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LTE: Three Years of Secrecy by Lindsay Lee

Re: “Exploring potential sale for protected Crown land at Owls Head began in 2016.” 

Francis Campbell’s Nov. 4 article kicked off with one of the most consequential points yet written about Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve: “The province was preparing to remove Owls Head Park Reserve from the parks protection list and sell it to an American developer more than three years before the public was notified, provincial documents show.”

If the sale of this biodiverse coastal ecosystem was such a great idea, then why did our government orchestrate three years of secrecy? If betraying the 45-year history of Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve was truly beneficial to our province, then why did the government refuse to organize public consultation? 

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