LTE: Three Years of Secrecy by Lindsay Lee

Re: “Exploring potential sale for protected Crown land at Owls Head began in 2016.” 

Francis Campbell’s Nov. 4 article kicked off with one of the most consequential points yet written about Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve: “The province was preparing to remove Owls Head Park Reserve from the parks protection list and sell it to an American developer more than three years before the public was notified, provincial documents show.”

If the sale of this biodiverse coastal ecosystem was such a great idea, then why did our government orchestrate three years of secrecy? If betraying the 45-year history of Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve was truly beneficial to our province, then why did the government refuse to organize public consultation? 

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Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association

Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association (Forest Watch) is one of the applicants in the court case to save Owls Head Provincial Park. Along with wildlife 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 after the provincial government secretly removed Owls Head Provincial Park from Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan.

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Weasel Awards

The starting point for this group was a CBC article by Michael Gorman. That article, on December 18, revealed that a secretive process was underway to remove Owls Head Provincial Park from the list of protected lands in the Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas Plan, and sell it to a private developer… reportedly for the development of three golf courses. It was revealed in that story that there was absolutely no public consultation nor scientific basis for removing the 661 acres of pristine coastal barrens from the protection and public ownership it had enjoyed for 45 years.

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