What Happened to Owls Head?
In March of 2019, the Nova Scotia government secretly removed Owls Head Provincial Park from our Parks and Protected Areas Plan in order to enter into a Letter of Offer with a private developer.
On April 1st of this year, biologist Bob Bancroft and local group Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association took the provincial government to court to challenge two decisions: 1) the de-listing of the park (on March 13, 2019), breaching “procedural fairness” by failing to provide notice to the public or engaging in public consultation, and 2) the decision to entertain a Letter of Offer from a developer (on December 16, 2019), which the plaintiffs felt was unreasonable and unjustified.
Supreme Court Justice Christa Brothers recognized several important points in the case, but ultimately ruled that there is no “recognized common law duty of procedural fairness owed by the Crown to the public at large.”
We think this should change.
So, as Bob Bancroft and Eastern Shore Forest Watch prepare to head to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, we at Nature Nova Scotia are joining the fight to help fundraise for the coming legal battle.
“The underlying question in this appeal is whether Nova Scotians ought to be informed before the government makes decisions affecting the fate of ecologically important lands, especially those lands that have been identified as protected. We believe the answer is yes and that the courts play an inherent role in promoting fair government decision-making.” – Jamie Simpson, Juniper Law
Donate to our legal fund
An anonymous donor has offered Nature Nova Scotia $5,000 in support of the Owls Head legal fund, asking that we match that amount through fundraising. For every $1 raised, our donor will match $1 up to $5,000 total, bringing our total goal to $10,000 raised by January 1st. You can help us get there by donating today!
Learn more about the appeal process, the need to protect coastal ecosystems, and more at SaveOwlsHead.org
and donate via our CanadaHelps page
or by mailing a cheque “attention of Nature Nova Scotia”,
care of the NS Museum of Natural History,
1747 Summer St, Halifax NS B3H 3A6