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Letter: Good Health Includes Healthy Spaces

Updated: Mar 17

Letter to the Editor by Mike Hunter Saltwire - Mar. 16, 2023

Letter originally published here

This is not a contribution to the debate over a possible application for possible leave to possibly develop West Mabou Beach Provincial Park.

There are plenty of qualified and passionate voices in that debate already, and while my family uses that space quite often we do not live nearby and don’t feel our voices would be a valid contribution.

However, my family values our access to such spaces and over the years we have used many extensively in our pursuit of good health and wellness. We are grateful for the efforts of so many people before us who have laboured to ensure that such spaces exist, are enhanced and enjoyed.

So with all the brouhaha over the possible dissolution of a portion of the protected space that is West Mabou Beach, I am very surprised how little has reached my ears and inbox about the reality of such “protected” spaces in Nova Scotia.

We were distressed to learn from a CBC article that the Nova Scotia Provincial Parks Act gives the minister power to “dispose” of a park’s “flora or fauna” and to grant “privilege or concession” for use of a park. According to the article, “cabinet is free to interpret (the act) in any way it likes . . . without public consultation or an act of the legislature.”

We get that occasionally our governors (remember when we were taught to regard them as “our betters”?) have to make difficult decisions. But that’s what they do when they declare parks in the first place.

Everyone uses the term “health care” when referring to the health industry and the management crisis we endure, but there’s nary a mention made of health like healthy lifestyles and healthy spaces. We urge our government to recognize the need for and to solidify access to good health in its many forms, including solidifying protected spaces.

If we want Nova Scotia to grow, let some things grow, for all our sakes.

Mike Hunter, West Bay

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