LTE: In dark over Park Development

Re: “Golf developer threatens Owls Head park” (Dec. 30 Reader’s Corner). Along with Dusan Soudek, we are shocked, dismayed and incredulous that the status of this park reserve could be changed in such a sneaky and underhanded way! Not only is this action — to remove the proposed 267-hectare parcel from protection to profit — despicable on every level, it flies in the face of actions taken and funded to establish the protection of 100 islands of the Eastern Shore.

Announcements in 2016 by the federal MP, provincial MLA and councillors for the area promoted the saving of these ecosystems, which would include the wetlands and barrens of the shoreline.

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Letter from Tourism Operator Celes Davar

December 31, 2019

Honourable Premier, Ministers and Members of the Nova Scotia legislature,

Re: Recent CBC Article, N.S. won’t protect land with ‘globally rare’ ecosystem that company eyes for golf resort

First of all, Happy New Year to all of you. Wishing you a thriving and fulfilling 2020.

I am a tourism operator in the Gaspereau Valley. I also have had the opportunity (perhaps privilege) of spending considerable time on the Eastern Shore this summer, and have visited multiple times. It is a stunning, wild shoreline. The people living along the Eastern Shore are fiercely in love with their landscape. There are a number of new entrepreneurs emerging doing cool things. The Nova Scotia Nature Trust has a great campaign underway called the 100 Wild Islands Campaign.

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LTE: Golf developer threatens Owls Head park by Dusan Soudek

I am shocked and dismayed at the possible demise of Eastern Shore’s Owls Head Provincial Park. According to recent media reports, our provincial government decided some time ago to remove this proposed 267-hectare coastal park from the list of properties proposed in 2013 for protection as provincial parks, wilderness areas and nature reserves. The parcel, consisting mainly of rugged barrens and wetlands, is apparently to be sold to a U.S. developer and turned into one or several golf courses.

This decision by cabinet was taken in utmost secrecy following extensive lobbying by a recently defeated provincial cabinet minister, in spite of the fact that the original Our Parks and Protected Areas: A Plan for Nova Scotia, involved extensive consultation with interest groups and members of the public. The provincial park, or, more accurately, the provincial park reserve, contains a number of rare ecosystems and endangered species, besides providing many recreational opportunities and public access to the coast.

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Group calls for government to re-commit to protecting Owls Head Provincial Park

On the Eastern Shore sits a piece of coastal crown land that was — up until last week — on a list to eventually be protected

Victoria Walton
Halifax Today
December 22, 2019

Full Article Here>

“It’s one of about 90 or so sites that have been identified across the province for their conservation value and are awaiting legal designation, or to be made official by the provincial government,” says Caitlin Grady with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

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MICHAEL GORMAN: Former land planner says province’s golf proposal a ‘betrayal’

Nova Scotia favours golf resort proposal to protecting Owls Head provincial park

Michael Gorman
CBC News 
Posted: December 20, 2019

Full Article Here >

A former provincial park planner for the Nova Scotia government says a proposal that would see coastal Crown land sold for a potential golf resort is a “betrayal of the public trust” and should be stopped.

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Who’s protecting Owls Head park from development? Not the provincial government

Morning File, Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Suzanne Rent
Halifax Examiner
December 18, 2019

Full article here>

Province won’t protect Owls Head park from development

A developer wants to buy the lands at Owls Head park on the Eastern Shore to develop up to three golf courses.

Michael Gorman at CBC reports that Owls Head provincial park on the Eastern Shore, an area with a “globally rare” ecosystem, is no longer on a list of provincial properties that will get legal protection.

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MICHAEL GORMAN: N.S. won’t protect land with ‘globally rare’ ecosystem that company eyes for golf resort

(This is the article that broke the news of the secretive delisting and proposed sale of Owls Head Provincial Park)

Michael Gorman
CBC News 
December 18, 2019

Full Article Here>

According to the province, [Owls Head is] one of nine sites in Nova Scotia with a “globally rare” ecosystem and home to several endangered species. For six years, Owls Head has been one of the provincial properties awaiting legal protection.

But that changed last March when, after several years of lobbying by and discussions with a private developer who wants to acquire the land as part of a plan to build as many as three golf courses, the Treasury Board quietly removed the designation, according to records CBC News received in response to an access-to-information request.

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Aerial View of Owls Head - Vision Air