The Nova Scotian Government Scraps the Coastal Protection Act

Photo by Nataliia Kvitovska Via Unsplash

The Nova Scotian Government has decided to scrap the Coastal Protection Act.

This action by the Premier, Tim Houston, will have major environmental impacts. 

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Tim Halman has not correctly assessed the threat of climate change towards Nova Scotian coasts. This piece of legislation was vital in protecting Nova Scotian coastal zones, which will inevitably be affected by the process of climate change.

The Minister has said the legislation is “in a silo” and wants to support Nova Scotians in making informed decision-making. The province plans to split responsibilities between property owners, municipalities, and the province. 

They will encourage the public to use an online mapping tool to identify coastal hazards.

What the province will do to prevent or midgate these hazards is still unknown. The province is pushing responsibility onto private property owners. Without the resources of the provincial government, property owners will likely be less effective in protecting Nova Scotia against the looming threat of climate change.

The province is turning its back on one of the most important issues in Nova Scotia and is effectively waving a white flag.

The province last summer budgeted $100 000 to a consulting firm that was tasked at reaching out to 40 000 people. This survey only had 1070 responses.

Across the province, Nova Scotians are calling on the government to proclaim the act. In addition, on November 12th, municipalities in Nova Scotia called on the PC government to complete the process of proclaiming the Coastal Protection Act. 

Sea levels are rising fast in the Maritime provinces. Coastal towns like Mahone Bay and Lunenburg are especially at risk as sea level continues to rise. The downtown sector of Halifax will also be deeply effective with most of the boardwalk at risk of being underwater. 

The sea could rise between 1-2.5 meters by 2100. By 2050, there will be between 0.27-0.32 meters of raised sea levels.

With this decision, the Nova Scotian government has turned its back on the people and environment of Nova Scotia.

These actions by the Premier, the minister, and the current government are deeply pathetic and disturbing. Our government must be responsible to the people of Nova Scotia and listen to them as they demand the government to proclaim the Coastal Protection Act.