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Nova Scotia to protect Owls Head Crown land as next provincial park

Click to play video: 'Sale of Owls Head to a U.S. developer becomes a major election issue' Sale of Owls Head to a U.S. developer becomes a major election issue
A rally was held in downtown Halifax to call on the province of Nova Scotia to halt the sale of 207 acres of Crown Land, known as Owls Head, to a U.S. developer who wants to build several golf courses along the Atlantic shoreline. With the provincial election set for Aug. 17, the sale of Owls Head is quickly becoming a major issue on the campaign trail. Jesse Thomas has more – Aug 7, 2021

A piece of Crown land that had been controversially removed from a list of territory awaiting protection is now being designated as Nova Scotia’s next provincial park.

Natural Resources and Renewables Minister Tory Rushton says that 266 hectares of Owls Head in Little Harbour, N.S., will be protected, although he says some survey work and administrative steps are necessary before the designation is complete.

Read more: Developer pulls plug on controversial Owls Head golf course development plan

The area of coastal barrens and wetlands was quietly removed by the former Liberal government in March 2019 from a list of lands awaiting legal protection.

The coastal barrens and wetlands known as Owls Head is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Nova Scotia Nature Trust

That decision was revealed in documents obtained under an access-to-information request by the CBC. The documents indicated the government was considering a proposal from a private developer that wanted to build as many as three golf courses on the land.

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Read more: Judicial review sought after Crown land removed from list of pending protected areas

The developer eventually abandoned those plans in November 2021, citing a lack of government support.

Rushton’s department is to manage Owls Head as a natural park reserve, meaning the public will have access, but there will be no services offered such as washrooms and parking areas.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2022.

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