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Letter: Precious treasure

Updated: Mar 4

Letter to the Editor by Margaret MacDonell Saltwire - Oct.31, 2022

Letter originally published here

While many of us in the province attempt to do our bit for the environment by observing “No Mow May” and having pesticide-free lawns, Cabot Cape Breton thinks it’s a good idea to propose a golf course development on protected provincial parkland at West Mabou Beach.

Unlike the location of Cabot Links, West Mabou Beach is not a former coal mine slag heap. It is one of only 10 Class A beaches in Nova Scotia. The beach and surrounding wetland and parkland are about as pristine as it gets in Nova Scotia. The proposed golf course would destroy a significant and ecologically sensitive dune system (which makes it Class A beach), a fragile salt marsh and wetland.

In addition, rare plant life would be lost — forever. This golf course development proposal is antithetical to everything the province’s Coastal Protection Act espouses.

If the Houston government is serious about its commitment to preservation of coastlines, sand dunes and salt marshes, it must clearly and definitely reject Cabot’s proposal. End of story.

We only have to look at the devastation caused by Fiona to be reminded of our urgent need to be the best possible stewards of the natural environment.

This golf development does not serve the best interests of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotians — quite the opposite. For the Houston government to allow the proposal to go ahead would be a blatant act of disregard for our precious and precarious natural environment.

All Nova Scotians should be very concerned about precedents set should this development be approved. “Protected” provincial parks up for grabs. Nova Scotians should be able to rest easy knowing their beloved provincial parks are safe from private development. As a provincial park, West Mabou Beach belongs to every Nova Scotian, there for all to enjoy the natural beauty and to marvel at the intricate ecosystems.

More fundamentally, however, we are stewards of this land, a job we receive from previous generations and pass on the future generations. Such a precious treasure must be protected.

Margaret MacDonell, Mabou/Halifax

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