By Richard Bell
Someone is paying for a phone poll of people on the Eastern Shore to see what they think about destroying Owls Head Provincial Park. You can listen to the poll on this link on Soundcloud.
This poll suggests that someone is getting really worried about the political impact of Premier Rankin’s decision as Minister of Lands and Forestry to secretly de-list Owls Head Provincial Park and sell it to American billionaire Beckwith Gilbert. Gilbert’s company, Lighthouse Links, plans to grind the park into sand in order to build luxury housing and a few golf courses.
Notice that the pollster refers twice to “Owls Head Provincial Park.” In the April 1 court hearing on the judicial review of the decision to sell the park, the Crown’s attorney argued that people had been mistaken for the past 40 years for thinking that “Owls Head Provincial Park” was actually a park. He claimed the province had never formally declared the area to be a park, a status that applies to more than 200 other provincial parks, reserves, and wilderness areas.
The first two questions were about the next provincial election:
- Who would you vote for Eastern Shore MLA? They included the current MLA, Liberal Kevin Murphy, and the PC candidate Kent Smith.
- Who would like to have as Premier?
The third question asked what issue is most important to you. The choices were:
- Public education system
- Wait times in health care
- Job creation and the economy
- Sale of Owls Head Provincial Park
The final question was about the sale of Owls Head, with a built-in pitch to view the sale as leading to “economic activity.” Here is the question:
“The province has proposed to sell government land known as Owls Head Provincial Park to developers who will bring economic activity to the area. Do you agree or disagree.”