LTE: Revolving Door

Contributed by Gillian Thomas
July 3, 2021
The Chronicle Herald

Originally published here>

Jim Vibert’s column (June 16, “Freedom of Information: Premier’s Response Hard to Swallow“) is a reminder that much needs to be done to free Nova Scotia politics from its unsavoury past.

A decade ago, in the wake of the M.L.A expense scandal, The Globe and Mail observed that, “ Nova Scotia was once known as a province where vote-buying and personal enrichment by politicians was accepted, even expected.” In the same article, Herald columnist Ralph Surette suggested that his home province was not necessarily more corrupt than other provinces but that “it hung on longer and was deeper here.”

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Proponent of Owls Head golf development has acquired more than 20 area properties

Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
May 2, 2021

Full Article Here>

“Beckwith Gilbert, director and president of Lighthouse Links, has been acquiring real estate in Little Harbour on the Eastern Shore that are referenced in the Lighthouse Links proposal as part of the larger plans for the area,” said Sydnee McKay, founder of the the grassroots Facebook group, Save Little Harbour/Owls Head from Becoming a Golf Course.

“Owls Head provincial park should be protected for the enjoyment of all Nova Scotians, not ground into sand, like Lighthouse Links proposes to do,” McKay said.

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Owl’s Head Developers Hire Local Voice

Samantha Long
All Nova Scotia
December 11, 2020

The Americans behind a proposed golf development on the Eastern Shore have hired NATIONAL Public Relations to engage with the public before buying provincially owned land for their project.

National’s Karen White says she’s been hired as the local voice for Lighthouse Links Development Company, the firm that wants to build as many as three golf courses at Owl’s Head.

The firm, led by Beckwith and Kitty Gilbert, first had to convince the government to take Owl’s Head off the list of pending protected areas and put it up for sale.

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Owls Head court case stalling golf courses, much-needed jobs, Lighthouse Links argues

Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
December 11, 2020

Full Article Here>

It’s unfortunate that the golf course proposal for Owls Head “continues to be delayed by this lawsuit which deprives Eastern Shore residents of what could be as many as 200 badly needed local jobs, during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lighthouse Links said in a statement released to media Thursday.

… The Crown properties, according to the provincial documents submitted to the court in November, include a variety of coastal barrens and wetlands, exceptional bedrock-ridged topography and are home to the piping plover and the barn swallow, two species at risk.

The properties were removed from the protected list in March 2019 without public notification or consultation.

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New Freedom of Information Request Reveals Government Process to Facilitate Sale of Owls Head Provincial Park

Public servants have been working with the prospective buyer, Lighthouse Links Development Corporation, to facilitate the sale of Owls Head Provincial Park

Update: In November 2019, Lands and Forestry had to file more documents in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, in response to the applicant’s request for a judicial review. As a result, we learned that the price for this unique coastal ecosystem had been assessed at $306/acre.

This means that 704 acres would only cost the developer $216,000, far below the asking price of nearby parcels. The appraiser (Turner and Drake) had determined the price based on the land being undevelopable, yet Lighthouse Links does plan to develop it.


Included in the Freedom of Information (FOIPOP) package are the signed Letter of Offer for the sale of Owls Head Park Reserve, a Valuation Report, and emails between members of the government staff and Gilbert’s representatives.

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