The Coast

Owls Head(ache) Provincial Park

- — Dusan Soudek, Halifax

If you think the provincial cabinet's secret decision to remove Owls Head Provincial Park reserve (or an “undesignat­ed” provincial park in government-speak) from a list of public properties slated for permanent protection is of interest only to a few Eastern Shore locals, think again (“Eastern Shore rallies behind Owls Head parklands,” City story by Richard Bell, January 30, 2020). Many other provincial parks in HRM, and elsewhere in Nova Scotia, are “undesignat­ed” under the Provincial Parks Act and hence enjoy only administra­tive protection—not legal protection.

On the Eastern Shore they include Paces Lake Provincial Park, Lower East Chezzetcoo­k Provincial Park, Liscomb Point Provincial Park and others farther east. Closer to home, they include the immensely popular McCormacks Beach Provincial Park in Eastern Passage and Herring Cove Provincial Park and Blind Bay Provincial Park outside Halifax. These coastal provincial parks contribute to the measly five percent of the province's coastline that is publicly owned. But maybe premier McNeil and his cabinet cronies have also secretly “de-listed” them and they are being offered for sale to a US golf-course developer.

Is this the same premier McNeil who, following his party's second election victory in 2017, instructed his ministers, in their ministeria­l mandate letters, that “we believe in an open, transparen­t and accountabl­e government that engages citizens?” It is not too late to stop the planned sale and resurrect Owls Head Provincial Park.

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