The grassroots group Save Little Harbour/Owls Head Provincial Park From Becoming Golf Courses is calling on Premier Rankin to immediately discontinue the sale of Owls Head Provincial Park.
The McNeil administration’s decision to secretly delist and offer to sell Owls Head Provincial Park sparked province-wide opposition when the story broke in December 2019. Sydnee McKay, who grew up in Little Harbour, founded the Facebook group that is now approaching 4,000 concerned citizens. McKay noted that the fundamental issues are transparency, environmental protection, and government accountability. “Premier Rankin can show that his administration will be open and transparent in all its decision-making by withdrawing from the Letter of Offer to sell Owls Head Provincial Park,” McKay said.
McKay explained that the secret delisting and offer to sell Owls Head Provincial Park set a dangerous precedent, threatening nearly 200 other nature reserves, provincial park reserves, and wilderness areas. She points out that they all have the same vulnerable status that Owls Head Provincial Park had before it was secretly delisted. “If it could happen here, it could happen anywhere in Nova Scotia,” McKay said. “That’s why thousands of Nova Scotians have joined the ‘Save Owls Head’ movement. They’re concerned about the park, the process, and the precedent.”
Chris Trider, a co-administrator of the Facebook group, said that Premier Rankin needs to start over with an emphasis on the available scientific data. “We all know how hard it can be for politicians to re-evaluate past decisions,” Trider said. “But look at how well using the best scientific research has worked for us in dealing with Covid-19. We believe an impartial review, with full public participation, would clearly show Premier Rankin that he should save Owls Head Provincial Park.”
Nova Scotia Supreme Court will hold a judicial review hearing of the government’s decisions on April 1, 2021.