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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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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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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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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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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Back at Owls Head

Photo courtesy of CPAWS NS

Statement from Canadian Parks And Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Nova Scotia Chapter

This summer, CPAWS-NS has visited Owls Head numerous times. Accompanied by a range of biodiversity experts, we have been completing a series of surveys to record the rich natural diversity of this coastal headland. 

Our team has identified over 75 species of birds that occur here, undertaking surveys from the land and on the water. Later this month, we’ll be out again with our snorkels, studying eelgrass beds in the area. 

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