Environment featured

Letter: Observations from ‘away’

Photo Save Owls Head Provincial Park, Stephen Glazier

We do not live in Nova Scotia so this message can be ignored by those who feel people from other provinces have no “right” to comment on the actions within another province. However we are Canadians and if we become so parochial that we ignore any part of the country, we are complicit in its demise as we see it.

We therefore choose to share our concerns and hope they are read and considered fairly as a more pan-Canadian perspective.

We are clearly living at a time when global issues show how artificially we have divided the world, e.g. the pandemic and the climate crisis know no borders and what follows pertains to the latter.

We visited Nova Scotia several years ago and immediately fell in love with the people, who have a truly delightful attitude to life and to others, even if they “come from away”. We also loved the incredible untouched natural beauty that was never far from wherever we wandered. It was a total re-charge experience each time, as it became an annual event. Sadly on hold right now.

We have therefore been very interested in what happens in Nova Scotia and have noted a recent disturbing trend. Corporate interests seem to have overtaken the thinking of political leaders and although politicians sometimes speak loudly with an environmental tongue, they often seem to silently act for the dollar above all – “the price of everything, the value of nothing”, comes sadly to mind. We saw it in the open net salmon issues and now in the Owls Head Provincial Park situation, amongst others.

It does appear, hopefully erroneously, that some politicians who can make decisions only use environmental issues as “bread for the crowds” as seen in the movie, The Gladiator, and not as a prime decision making consideration.

In 2021 as we tackle a pandemic that hopefully will be reduced as we all get vaccinated, and take on our communal and global responsibilities, the next much bigger issue is beginning to sink in rapidly. There is a climate crisis, and every day we continue to act as if it isn’t happening it gets worse and the solution moves further ahead and becomes far more difficult. Our actions have to really begin very soon and it seems as if that is just not happening.

For those who are primarily selfish, continuing as normal is their clearly chosen route, but from what we see on social media, so many Nova Scotians are acting as we saw them on our first visit – most of them acting for the communal good and for others. Within that attitude we feel, lies a reverence for nature and what it offers us and not how they can gain by destroying it. They see values first in a bigger context and it is so refreshing, but some politicians’ actions do not seem to be in-sync in some projects.

We hope that the same view of common and global good first, can now penetrate the economy-above-all atmosphere that has somehow appeared.

Owls Head Provincial Park is a perfect example of the need to change course now and take the admittedly tougher fork in the road towards a truly sustainable future and stop letting corporate or individual gains dictate the future. The climate crisis is far bigger than our weather, indeed it is a misleading title in some ways. It has revealed so much more about the ways we live and the effects on the environment.

We sincerely hope that Nova Scotia politicians re-think the Owls Head Provincial Park decision and do the right thing for our times and the planet. I often wonder why politicians can never admit to making a mistake. The sale of Owls Head Provincial Park is a mistake for our times and the future, but it is not too late to correct it.

We hope that those politicians with the power to change things show all Canadians that Nova Scotia has REAL leaders in the climate crisis and are part of the solution, not environmentally blind perpetuators of the bigger problem which will affect you whether you are in a city, in the open country, indeed even if you are on a golf course. We hope they show all of us the characteristics that attracted us, and we are sure many other Canadians, to Nova Scotia.

What happens regarding Owl’s Head Provincial Park is being noted by people far beyond the Nova Scotia border and we felt you should know how at least some visitors from “away” feel.

If you got this far, thank you for “listening” to us.


Liz and Geoff Day

See also: Letter: If Owls Head can be sold, then so can any of 200 other properties awaiting designation

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