LTE: Release Information

Contributed by Angela Poirier
The Chronicle Herald
May 15, 2021

Originally published here>

Re: “Proponent of Owls Head golf development has acquired more than 20 area properties,” May 2.

Karen White, publicist for the proponents of this project, says, “It is unfortunate that so much misinformation is clouding an objective view of the project.” I would like to think that objective analysis would come from government and not the developer’s side of the house.

As a former civil servant, it’s highly likely comprehensive analysis was undertaken by bureaucrats before submitting options to cabinet regarding the delisting of Crown lands for Owls Head Provincial Park. Summaries of those options have been redacted from the Memorandum to Cabinet obtained by opponents to the development because of cabinet confidentiality.

But there should be nothing stopping government from releasing the research bureaucrats undertook to support the cabinet submission, which might go some way toward helping people understand the rationale behind government’s decision. A cast of thousands signed off on the paperwork, many of whom have a duty and responsibility to provide evidence to support decision making.

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A Brief History of Owls Head Provincial Park

Note: The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has been renamed the Department of Lands & Forestry.

February 1975

The Eastern Shore Seaside Park System Citizen’s Representative Committee is formed, following the Nova Scotia government’s announcement of plans to develop the Eastern Shore Seaside Park System.

May 1, 1975

Local community representatives unanimously approve the concept of an Eastern Shore Seaside Park System. The concept is the product of co-operative efforts by the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forests, the provincial government, public participation advisors, and elected citizen representatives.

The Minister of Lands and Forests declares that his department wants to actively encourage public participation in the planning of the proposed provincial park system. The Committee is comprised of 21 locally elected members representing 17 communities from Musquodoboit Harbour to Sheet Harbour. Soon after its formation, the Committee decides on its own objectives.

1977

The Eastern Shore Seaside Park System Brochure is launched by the Parks and Recreation Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forests, in cooperation with the Citizens Representatives Committee for the Eastern Shore Seaside Park System.

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The birds of Owls Head need a wingman

The government puts the piping plover on license plates, but will it help the plovers on our beaches?

Lindsay Lee
The Coast
May 4, 2021

Read Full Article>

Love will soon be in the air—for barn swallows, that is. Courtship during the upcoming mating season will feature elegant aerial displays. Cobalt blue, cinnamon and chestnut-coloured, the barn swallow is a striking species. But it’s in flight that these birds go from interesting to incredible. Barn swallows are aerial acrobats, which have been recorded at speeds of up to 74 km/hour. They zip and zoom through the air, performing impressive manoeuvres to catch flying insects. Who knew that you could look so graceful while eating bugs all day?

Unfortunately, the barn swallow population has declined by approximately 76 percent in Canada over the past four decades. In Nova Scotia, the barn swallow is an endangered species. Biodiversity loss is a real and escalating threat. There are a staggering 2.9 billion fewer birds in North America today than there were in 1970.

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Owls Head [Provincial Park] – Not the Place for a Golf Resort

Dale Dunlop
The Maritime Explorer
February 19, 2021

Full Article Here>

Why then the need for yet one more post on Owls Head? Perhaps naively, I believe I do bring a slightly different perspective to the matter. As a lawyer, I can comment on the case currently before the courts, particularly as one who has faced off with the Department of Justice many times over the past forty-five years. As a concerned environmentalist who has visited every provincial park in Nova Scotia and almost all the Wilderness Areas as well, I can comment on what makes Owls Head different from all these other places. Finally, as far as I know, I will be the only golf journalist who has offered an opinion on whether or not Owls Head would make for a good location to build a golf resort. I love the game of golf and am almost in awe of how quickly Nova Scotia has rocketed to the top of the must play places in the world with the success of the Cabot Links courses in Inverness. I have written many posts on Nova Scotia golf courses including this one describing why Cabot Cliffs is the #1 course in Canada. If not for the success of Cabot Links, I do not believe this matter would ever have arisen in the first place.

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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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Barb Adams (MLA) Recognizes Movement to Save Owls Head Provincial Park

February 29, 2020

Barb Adams of the Progressive Conservative Party was first elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly as MLA for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage in 2017.

SAVE LITTLE HBR. FB GRP.: PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT -THANKS

BARBARA ADAMS: I rise today to acknowledge the 3,138 members of the Facebook group Save Little Harbour/Owls Head from Corrupt Backroom Deal. These are members of the community who decided that they were going to make sure the government heard their voices.

I also want to quote the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association, which wrote recently that the apparent process and lack of public consultation upfront has the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association concerned that similar actions could be taken with the areas that we manage for the people of Nova Scotia through the Department of Lands and Forests. After that deliberation, the Cole Harbour board unanimously passed the following motion: That the board endorse and distribute the following position statement on the Owls Head protected area, that the provincial decision to remove the Owls Head area of Eastern Shore from the list of potential protected areas and parks should be reversed until a more thorough public consultation is carried out.

I recognize all of these constituents for speaking out publicly.

Related Reading:

Letter from the Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Society