LTE: Firm up the plan

Contributed by Dusan Soudek
The Chronicle Herald
March 13, 2021

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Re: “Climate action, prosperity promised,” March 10 story. I read with great interest your report on Premier Iain Rankin’s first throne speech. There are many exciting promises with respect to climate change and the environment. 

But whatever happened to his intention to complete the designation of the remaining properties still languishing on the “Our Parks and Protected Areas: A Plan for Nova Scotia” of 2013? He promised to complete the plan when he ran for leadership of his party.

Dusan Soudek, Halifax

Parks and Protected Areas: What the Government Tells the World

If you have a few seconds, read what the Nova Scotia Government tells the world on its official website about protected areas like Owls Head Provincial Park, site #694.

You will note at no point do they say ” we will secretly negotiate to remove selected protected areas in the plan when approached by lobbyists for wealthy American developers who feel they need golf courses instead of important ecological areas. “At no point do they say, ” we will lie about the history of any protected area we select, and sanitize our websites of any record of it to facilitate its sale for the profit and enjoyment of the few.”

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JIM VIBERT: Finally, Nova Scotia hits land protection landmark, barely

All the sites in the Parks and Protected Areas plan – including the 20 announced this week – got there after extensive consultation, so the places in question have already cleared that hurdle once.

Plus, most folks living near those sites will likely be surprised to learn that they aren’t already protected, just as folks on the Eastern Shore were shocked to learn that Owl’s Head provincial park wasn’t a park at all, but prime real estate for a golf resort.

The Liberal government surreptitiously removed Owl’s Head from the Parks and Protected Areas list a couple of years back to clear the way for a golf development, unleashing a firestorm of protest that still rages on.

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JIM VIBERT: McNeil’s environmental record a litany of broken promises

Save Owls Head Rally - Photo by David Sorcher

Jim Vibert
The Chronicle Herald
November 21, 2020

Nova Scotia’s Liberal government has quite a story to tell on the environment, but unfortunately that’s all it has. The reality is a litany of delayed action and unkept promises.

… Since 2013, Nova Scotia’s goal — adopted unanimously by the legislature — has been to protect 13 per cent of the province’s total landmass for nature.

McNeil promised that his government would reach that goal in its first term. It didn’t. In fact, it hasn’t yet, seven years on.

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Once a leader in conservation, N.S. now falls behind, report finds

“Owls Head is probably the most egregious example we have seen this year of the Nova Scotia government showing their disregard for the protected areas in this province,” says Caitlin Grady

Katie Hartai
Halifax Today
July 16, 2020

Full Article Here>

Nova Scotia was once considered to be a leader in Canada for the creation of new protected areas, but in a new report, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) says that’s no longer the case.

The non-profit, which is dedicated to the protection of public land, oceans and freshwater, released its annual parks report, ‘Healthy Nature Healthy People,’ on Wednesday. The publication reviews the state of Canada’s parks, celebrating significant progress, noting slowdowns, and highlighting threats.

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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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