For the record: Rankin’s first comments as premier of Nova Scotia on implementing the Lahey Report & Owl’s Head 25Feb 2021

UPDATE Feb 27, 2021: About golf courses in protected areas (“A legacy of the past”)

Iain Rankin, sworn in an Premier on Tuesday Feb 23rd was interviewed on CBC’s Information Morning the next day.

For the record, an ‘abbreviated transcript’ of the section when he was asked first about implementation of the Lahey Report and then about Owl’s Head (3:17 to 6:38) is given below.

CBC: Will the Lahey report be implemented before the next election?

IR: I gave a timeline of a year, it’s important that we get it right, I have tasked the new Minister that portfolio and new deputy to reach out to Prof Lahey right away, we have the new management guide that has been anticipated for some time and implementing that will be an important part,..the matrix side of the forestry will see a drastic reduction in clearcutting but we need to support industry and they are going to have to see the High Production side up too.

I just want to ask all Nova Scotians to make sure that we know this is a balanced approach and we need to support the report in its entirety so that we have a sustainable forestry sector for the long run but it is transformational change and we need to do it the right way

CBC: Just to focus on the ecological forestry aspect… the Healthy Forest Coalition sent out a release saying that the plan isn’t in line with the Lahey Report that there is some work to do… the group says that the province’s new draft guidelines for ecological forestry are actually less ecological than they are right now and they are asking for an independent third party to review it… would you support that?

IR: Well that’s already the case there is a 3rd party report mechanism and that’s what happened after the first draft, Prof Laura Kenefic from Maine gave recommendations and the project team which included the authors on the report worked on making those changes happen… but I think it is important that stakeholders like the Healthy Forest Coalition have a say, I respect their work as I do others that will be laying in on what they think are required changes, but it is important to hear from all sides and once a final draft is ready I am eager to see the changes happen so we can really truly realize ecological forestry here.

CBC: With respect to Owls Head..what’s your plan now?

IR I think it’s really important we listen to community, there is an engagement plan that I don’t believe has been submitted yet by the proponents I really recommend they get going with that, it does need to be approved by government so that it’s truly objective and hears all views. I look at this as making sure that we listen to communities.  If there is a potential economic project I think it is our duty to listen to communities, if something comes out that out of an analysis or public engagement that says look we are going to have long term impacts to environment of the area, then we should stop, but it hasn’t happened yet

I know there are sensitive areas in that region but golf courses have co-existed in other protected areas in our province and country, so it’s worth pursuing.


A Plan for continued progress to address climate change
PDF of web page from IR’s campaign website, 2/11/2021

Healthy Forest Coalition determines that Forest Management Guide does not meet Government’s own commitment
Healthy Forest Coalition determines that Forest Management Guide does not meet Government’s own commitment, Feb 22, 2021

– Clearcuts
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner Morning File, Feb 19, 2021. Scroll down to item #5. She comments on the Wood Product Manufacturers Association touting its support of Rankin and the Lahey recommendations

UPDATE Feb 27, 2021, About golf courses in protected areas
In a discussion on Social Media, MW commented:

He’s probably talking about golf courses in national parks, such as in Cape Breton Highlands NP. This park was created in 1936 when ideas about national parks were very different than they are now. This was before “ecological integrity” became the primary mandate for national parks in Canada. The golf course has been very controversial in recent years because it is not consistent with the ecological integrity goal, and exists now only because it has been “grandfathered-in” as they say. In relative terms it’s a well-managed course, but its creation involved destroying the ecological integrity of that part of the park.  The scenic road did the same thing, and such roads are also no longer created within Canada’s national parks. They are a legacy of the past.

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