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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Guest Opinion: “PR Department” by Jodie Turner

Re: Bill Black’s column Rankin’s policies tack far to the left of McNeil

Iain Rankin is busy green-washing his persona, but the tarnish of his past as NS Minister of Lands & Forestry (2018 – 2020) steadfastly clings to the liberal leader candidate.

Nova Scotia is losing public access to shores and beaches. Less than 5% of our coastline is protected for future generations.

And yet, Mr. Rankin was all-in with a sleazy scheme to a bargain-basement hand-over of 700-acres of our coastline. He played a key role, in partnership with the premier, in the secret, backroom delisting of Owl’s Head Provincial Park Reserve. With the understanding, that once unencumbered by the category of Protected [Proposed or Pending Protection], it would be sold to an American billionaire. The price tag, an insulting $216,000 for a globally rare, coastal ecosystem, just under $310 per acre.

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Letter to the province: This era of autocratic governance and environmental degradation must end

"There is No Planet B" - Photo by David Sorcher
Lindsay Lee wrote the following letter following the call to action by Jacob Fillmore, the young man camped out on Grand Parade Square to protest the government’s lack of action on climate change.

The Nova Scotia Advocate
Contributed by Lindsay Lee
Editor: Robert Devet
December 18, 2020

Read on the NS Advocate

To Whom It May Concern:

As we grapple with the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, proper environmental stewardship is more important than ever. Unfortunately, responsible action on vital environmental issues is conspicuously absent in Nova Scotia.

I had never before thought of myself as an activist. However, I understand the escalating threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. I recognize that urgent action is needed. I expect our government to make well-researched decisions that reflect the best available science. If trusting in science makes one an activist, then I will wear that label with pride.

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Hear Our Voices

Letter from Lew Page in support of Jacob Fillmore’s environmental protest. Lew Page, originally from East Ship Habour, is an outdoor enthusiast and environmentalist. Lew has backgrounds in marine biology and finance.

Good evening gentlemen: I have been watching with interest and profound disappointment as our successive governments fail to address Nova Scotians’ concerns about and take any significant action toward finding solutions to climate change, global warming and environmental degradation. Consistently, government has failed to listen to and follow the voices and advice of Nova Scotians, scientists and consultants (eg. Lahey Report) and consequently we find ourselves increasingly frustrated and in need of meaningful change at the leadership level.

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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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LTE: Unfinished Homework by Lindsay Lee

Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin teased that he’d be making an “exciting announcement” on Monday. Here are some truly exciting announcements that he could (and should) have made before declaring his intention to run for premier

  • That Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve would be rightfully reinstated to Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan. 
  • That Nova Scotia would protect all of the properties in Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan.
  • That Lands and Forestry would adopt ecological forestry by reducing clearcutting, protecting old-growth forests, introducing a silent season to protect nesting birds, and finally, implementing the recommendations of the Lahey report. 
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