Election 2021: Party leaders lay out their priorities

The 38-year old Rankin may be the closest thing to a Green Premier Nova Scotians have seen to date, but he could also be hobbled by his support for the proposed Goldboro natural gas plant (which now seems aborted) and by some past decisions he made during his stint as Environment* minister, when he allowed the Owl’s Head provincial park to be de-listed as a protected place and open for business as a golf course development on the Eastern Shore (Did you know he has a diploma in golf club management?). 


Statements from NDP Candidates

Numerous MLA candidates as well as NDP Leader Gary Burrill have pledged their support for saving Owls Head Provincial Park.

Protecting Nova Scotia’s natural places, which attract visitors from all over the world to our rural communities. The NDP would protect the remaining areas of the Parks and Protected Areas Plan, including Owls Head, and consult with the public and Mi’kmaw communities about new areas.

Something Better for Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia NDP (page 45)

Lisa Roberts Recognizes “Save Owls Head” Group


LISA ROBERTS: Madam Speaker, today I want to recognize citizens who are organizing to save Owls Head. Their Facebook group surpassed 5,000 members in the last few days.

Members of the group have also fundraised to fund a legal case that seeks to challenge the secret process that resulted in Owls Head being disposed of as a Crown asset and protected area for all Nova Scotians.


JIM VIBERT: Without answers, Rankin’s credibility suffers

Naturalist Bob Bancroft and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch were in court last week making the case that the secret removal of Owls Head from the list denied the public an opportunity to be heard. There was broad public consultation to develop the list.

… Rankin’s defence of the behind-closed-doors machinations was vague and vapid. He talked about listening to Nova Scotians and following the right process.

Yet, all available evidence suggests Rankin and the government listened only to the golf course proponents and their well-connected Liberal lobbyists. As for the process, it was hidden from Nova Scotians, who just happen to own the land.


“Does the Premier regret forcing communities to take his decisions to court for a third time?”

Gary Burrill questions Premier Iain Rankin about a pattern of judicial reviews brought forward by citizens

GARY BURRILL: Mr. Speaker, the Premier’s decisions as minister are now in court a third time. This time, it’s the judicial review from last week of his decision to secretly delist Owls Head Provincial Park with a view to selling it to a developer who would turn it into a golf course.

Does the Premier regret forcing communities to take his decisions to court for a third time now?


House of Assembly: Premier Rankin & NDP Leader Gary Burrill on Owls Head Provincial Park

Question period: THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2021

GARY BURRILL: Mr. Speaker, today’s judicial review of the Premier’s action when he was the Minister of Lands and Forestry to move Owls Head from the list of parks and protected areas in preparation for a potential sale, is a judicial review that is drawing a lot of public attention. Why wouldn’t it?

Owls Head is one of 153 areas under the 2013 Our Parks and Protected Areas plan which have never officially been designated as protected, so it’s normal and natural for people to have questions and to be concerned now about the other 152.


The Owls Head Act

“Our Owls Head Act says that whenever there is a piece of Crown Land in Nova Scotia that is pending protection as a wilderness area, or as a park, or as a nature reserve, that that pending protected status cannot be rescinded by the government without there being a process of public engagement, public consultation, and the sharing of public information. […] Because after all, that land was put on the protected list, in the first place, as a result of extensive public consultation.”

Gary Burrill

The Owls Head Act as tabled: