Nova Scotia government pressing ahead despite opposition to coastal land sale

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The Nova Scotia government continues to entertain the idea of selling a section of rugged Crown-owned land along the Eastern Shore to private developers, despite growing public opposition.

Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters Thursday he's received "a lot of letters'' from people opposed to the potential sale but he maintained that the land has never been under legal protection.

The premier has been the target of a letter-writing campaign by opponents of a plan to build as many as three golf courses on a 285-hectare area of coastal barrens and wetlands known as Owls Head.

Last March, the land was quietly removed from a government list of territory awaiting legal protection but that decision only came to light in December following a CBC report.

Minister of Lands and Forestry Iain Rankin says the developer is required to conduct a public consultation on the proposal before the plan can be approved by cabinet.

But NDP Leader Gary Burrill says there needs to be a law preventing the government from removing a piece of territory from a list of land slated for protection, without first consulting the public.